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4 min read

A Beginners Guide To Audiences

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

What is an audience?

You may or may not be familiar with audience targeting and the available types of audiences within the Google Analytics and Google Ads platforms, but broadly speaking audiences are groups of people with specific interests, intents, demographic information, or behaviours.

There may not be an extensive list of audience types available, but when it comes to how you can specify who you would like to be in your audience, there are hundreds of options.

So, the audience types:

Remarketing audiences (website visitors)

Setting up a remarketing audience list will give you the opportunity to reach out to users who have previously visited your website.

When setting up a remarketing audience list in Analytics, there are many different options that you can choose:

Usually, when you launch the audience set-up in Analytics, you’ll be given a set of pre-configured audience definitions. You can either choose one of these audiences or go on to create a new audience definition by selecting the ‘create new’ option.

Rule-based audiences

Rule-based audiences are the most common type of remarketing audience lists, as you are able to segment previous site visitors based on specific criteria that you want your audience to meet, this includes the following:

Demographics: Target users based on their age, gender, language, or location.

Technology: Target users based on the device, operating system, or browser they were using.

Behaviour: Target users based on the number of sessions they had on-site, days since their last session, transactions, and their session duration (e.g spent more than 2 minutes on-site).

Traffic sources: Target users based on the campaign, medium, source, or keyword that they used to find you.

Conditions: Target users based on specific criteria, for example, a user’s exit page, the ad content they came through, how many pages they visited, etc. There are lots of opportunities to be quite granular here.

When setting up a remarketing audience you’ll be given the option to enter a ‘membership duration’. This is the number of days that a user will stay in that audience and is completely up to you.

Similar audiences

Similar audiences are useful if your current remarketing audience lists are fairly small and struggle to get volume. To create a similar audience, Google will find people who have similar search behaviour to your existing remarketing list members.

It’s worth noting that in order to be eligible for similar audiences, your existing remarketing audiences or customer match list must have at least 1,000 cookies.

There are also a number of audience targeting options available within Google Ads (outside of remarketing audiences).

In-market audiences

You can use in-market audiences to target customers who are in the market for a particular product or service (like yours). This means that they are actively searching for those products or services.

Affinity audiences

With affinity audiences, you can target users based on their interests, lifestyles, habits, and passions. Some of these include, ‘pet lovers’, ‘avid investors’, or even ‘coffee shop regulars’. For an example, if you were running an animal charity, you may want to target ‘pet lovers’ as they are likely to fit into your ideal audience.

Custom affinity audiences

Custom affinity audiences are created using interests entered as keyword phrases, URLs to create interest categories based on the content of the website, types of places that people are interested in, or apps that an ideal customer would be interested in.

Life events

You can use life event audience targeting to reach users based on important milestones, such as graduating, moving homes, or getting married. Which will be useful in relation to purchasing decisions, for example, someone who’s about to get married may be likely to buy a wedding dress or wedding bands.

Custom-intent audiences

Custom-intent audiences are used only in Display and Video campaigns. To create them you can input keywords, such as your high-performing search keywords or branded terms, or you can input landing pages, such as your competitors to reach your ideal audience.

Detailed demographics

Fairly similar to life events, detailed demographics enable you to reach users based on demographics such as whether or not a user is a parent (you can go pretty granular with this, choosing a specific age group for their children), whether or not they’re married, single, or in a relationship, their educational background (e.g current university students), or their homeownership status (e.g renters or homeowners).

Customer match

You can use customer match using your online and offline data to reach and re-engage with customers, using information that customers have actually shared with you, e.g email addresses. Customer match is useful for up-selling customers by re-engaging them with offers or discounts through email.

I’m hoping that you’ve found this helpful and have learnt something new about audience targeting, whether that be the types available or how they work individually! I’ve linked here some more information around audience targeting, including full-lists of the types of audiences available, such as the full list of in-market and affinity audiences.

If you’re interested in what we do at Impression and how we can help you grow your online presence through the use of audience targeting, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.