Amid crashing waves of information and content, psychographics are one way to keep your targeted audiences from drowning in a sea of sameness.
Both paid and organic campaigns should be using psychographics to create highly targeted, segmented, and ready-to-buy lists for your marketing and sales teams to start conversations with.
Haven’t heard of — or used — psychographics for marketing?
Pay close attention, because I’m going to lay out a complete blueprint for you right here in this post.
What Are Psychographics (And Why Do They Matter)?
Several years ago I completed my undergraduate honors thesis on psychographics and what I called “content messaging” (called content marketing today).
Though the study was small in its focus (Facebook and three non-profit organizations) the results made a huge impact on the way I market.
The results? Brands that seek to communicate on deeper levels (feelings, opinions, beliefs, attitudes) did a much better job of both moving content and securing valuable communications with their online audiences.
Psychographics, or psychometrics, are defined as personalities, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, values, lifestyles or other IAO factors.
IAO = interests, activities, opinions — areas studied by many marketers for better segmentation and advertising.
Where demographics were once king, psychographics now rule; while demographics can tell you who is sitting in your funnel or marketing list, psychographics tell you why they’re there, how they’re interested in your brand, or when they might buy from you.
What’s more valuable for selling today? Knowing someone’s zip code or knowing how they feel about your product?
Maybe both. But I’d definitely argue that knowing more about a prospect or lead’s emotional tie to what you’re selling is key!
Now that you know what psychographics are, how can you use them for your own business?
Positioning For Psychographics
There are four leading ways you should incorporate psychographics into your marketing.
I’ve been a broken record about the importance of segmenting.
I still receive newsletters from marketers who have made no attempt at segmenting their lists, meaning those 5 messages they’re sending each month are going to every. single. person. on their list.
It’s shockingly shortsighted.
At the very least, marketers can segment by demographics (location, age, gender, income, etc.).
But demographics can leave you with too-similar personas, and not really help you get the full story on the people moving through your sales funnel, as part of the infographic on this Business 2 Community article shows.
- Do the subscribers on my marketing list want the quick and dirty, or cheap product/service we offer?
- Or are my subscribers willing to spend a little more because they prefer quality?
Your premium clients probably do not want to see your “quick and dirty” messaging. It’s lost on them, and vice versa.
This is where segmenting comes in.
How do I use psychographics for segmenting?
- Start by filtering by interests. When newsletter subscribers sign up with us, we ask about their marketing INTERESTS and put them into three categories for further segmenting: Content Marketing, Traditional Marketing, or Social Media Marketing. Users can choose one or all three, but this helps us narrow down our offerings by the type of services or products they’re most interested in.
- Filter by behavior. Tag or segment users who are blog readers, who are social sharers, who open your messaging, or who click on your messaging. Are they customers? Do those customers buy at full price or only when items are discounted? Do they attend your events (online or offline)? There are so many behaviors you can segment by, just choose the ones that are most important to your brand.
- Already have subscribers sitting in a bulk list who need segmenting? Try a survey. BONUS: Offer an incentive to get people to take the time to participate.
- Use ongoing data and analytics to suss out the psychometrics of the users on your lists.
Once you have your segmented lists, you should build buyer personas for each grouping.
Then, when you send your message out, you can tailor your words around the interests, attitudes, lifestyles, etc. of each group, rather than treating them like one, monotonous audience.
2) Advertising & Retargeting
I bet you’re using psychographics with your ads and may not realize it.
On Facebook, for instance, when you choose an audience based on interests, or behaviors, that’s targeting based on psychographic data!
Facebook lists Interests as:
- Pages they (your target) have liked
- Closely related topics
And they say Behaviors can include:
- Purchase behaviors
- Device usage
Of course, you can (and should) use demographics too, but combining that data with psychographic data gives you the best option for targeting specific groups of people.
And now that retargeting is such a huge topic (and super smart), it’s a great way to use psychometrics as well.
If you’re not familiar with retargeting, it’s the act of using cookies (the code kind, not the chocolate chip kind!) to stalk website visitors around the web and use advertising to entice them back to your site.
One of my consulting clients and I are testing retargeting ads on Facebook right now to grow her email marketing list, and we’re seeing AWESOME SAUCE results.
I feel like one of the major reasons why is that Jamie has really done her homework and knows who her audience is, what they’re interests are, and how they behave online — especially on Facebook.
You can also run targeted Google Adwords campaigns just to retargeted lists based on interests (using a pixel).
If the whole “game” of marketing is building your list, using search (SEO) and psychographics to build your list definitely labels you a marketer who’s doing it right.
And if the other part of the “game” is getting your list to buy so you can make boatloads of money for yourself or your clients, you NEED psychographics to create a highly targeted list that’s ready to buy.
AND, if you aren’t using psychometrics to help build, segment, converse with, and eventually sell to your list, you may find yourself struggling to succeed with digital and online marketing.
3) Social Media
Social media may be the easiest DIY place to measure for interests.
I look at our social media audiences as a highly targeted focus group for our brand.
If there’s information I haven’t collected through our CRM and data we collect, I’m always comfortable turning to our Facebook page and asking a question I need insight on.
Social media is also good for:
- Focus groups
- Behavioral analysis
- Deciphering trends
The best way to do this is to condition your audience to think conversation and to ask key questions that will further your research.
It’s impossible (at least it has been for most people I know) to keep up with and track all of the data we need to measure what’s working and what’s not with our marketing campaigns.
We use a plethora of software and Excel sheet reporting to keep track of the data we’re collecting to produce better marketing and more sales.
At the very minimum, I couldn’t measure correctly without:
- Our CRM
- Our social CRM (we use Sprout Social)
- Our #ThinkConversation content and disclosure measurement systems
- Our advertising data (including custom, look alike, and retargeted audiences)
- Google Analytics
- Raven Tools
Trash in is trash out, as they say. So the data you glean from your audiences is only as good as the audiences and lists you’re building.
That’s why is so very important to structure your marketing lists around extremely targeted profiles.
And marketing with psychographics is one surefire way to do that.
Marketing With Psychographics
While I realize marketing with psychographics isn’t easy, I truly don’t believe you can be successful with your marketing without using psychographics.
My best advice is to start small — like segmenting your marketing list — and go from there.
Been there, done that?
Take advantage of a #ThinkConversation mantra and start using your social platforms as focus groups, or use a quick and savvy survey, or conduct one-on-one interviews with clients for an in-depth analysis of how and why they picked you over the competition.
We did this recently with one of our clients and as a result, decreased the bounce rate on our homepage by 40%!
Once you check those boxes, move on to advertising and retargeting with a mix of search and interests.
And if you’re really ready for a (FUN!) challenge, start using a CRM to capture, tag, and segment based on behaviors.
Are you marketing with psychographics? Please let me know how and what you’re doing in the comment section below!
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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