Social media and review sites are teeming with freely available big data for us to use to help us to better understand our audience and refine our segments for targeted advertising.
The greatest challenge comes with the sheer volume of big data available. Knowing how to wrangle vast amounts of big data and extract the truly relevant insights is vital to optimizing the effectiveness of your targeted ad campaigns.
What is big data?
Big by name and big by nature. Quantity is the first and most obvious thing that seperated big data from traditional data. Big data is all the data that is produced thick and fast online and overwhelms traditional methods of data capture and processing.
Volume: Big data is produced by anyone and everyone online. Any time you write a review, leave a comment, favourite a product, visit a website, use an internet enabled smart home product etc. you leave data in your wake.
Velocity: The speed at which big data is produced is another challenge for analysts. No sooner has big data been processed than it becomes outdated. Keeping on top of big data is an insurmountable task.
Variety: Traditional data fits neatly into spreadsheets whereas the vast majority of big data is unstructred.
Comments, posts, videos, photos and audio all require processing before you can derive meaning.
The role of big data in targeted advertising
Social media platforms and other digital channels such as YouTube now provide better data for targeted advertising. Big data enables us to understand digital media consumption. So along with traditional demographic data, it’s now easy to target adverts based on behaviours such as search history, interest in competitor channels and interests.
In these instances, the onus is on the advertising channels to provide the technology to allow advertisers to segment their audiences effectively, but how can advertisers and marketers use big data to further increase the effectiveness of their targeted advertising?
What can brands do?
1. Understand your audience
It should go without saying that targeted advertising is only useful if you know who you’re targeticdng.
Misjudging your audience is a costly error, but thanks to big data, you no longer need to make assumptions.
Tools such as Followerwonk allow you to analyse certain behaviours of your Twitter followers (or Twitter users that match your target audience)
The Symanto Insights Platform enables you to identify the psychological traits of your audience and compare them with those of your competitors.
Find out whether you and your largest competitor actually attract the same personality types. You might be surprised to discover that your main competitor isn’t who you believed it to be.
2. Enhance your messaging
Are you speaking your customers’ language? How do your customers like to be spoken to? What kind of messaging do they respond best to?
One method to discern your customers’ preferred communication style is to conduct A/B testing on your marketing communications. Release two versions of your ad creative with different messaging styles and see which gets the most traction.
Alternatively, you can use the Symanto Insights Platform to collect and analyse unstructured text data from your social media channels or your product review sites. The Symanto Insights Platform processes text to uncover the preferred communication styles of your customers.
Our research indicates that the way people communicate correlates with how they prefer to be communicated with.
Action-seeking: Action-seeking customers want content that triggers action. They respond well to recommendations and advice.
Information-seeking: Information-seeking customers want their questions answered. They respond particularly well to two-way conversations where they feel heard and their problems can be resolved.
Self-revealing: Self-revealing customers like to share their personal experiences and opinions.
Fact-orientated: Fact-oriented customers want objective facts to help them make their decisions.
This information is invaluable when it comes to using targeted language to connect with your audience.
3. React to customer needs
Use big data to find out what’s really impacting your customers, and those of your competitors, and use targeted advertising to address their needs.
The Symanto Insights Platform processes and analyses big data from review sites and social media channels. It categorises posts by topic and subtopic and distinguishes sentiment to tell you exactly how customers feel about different aspects of a brand and their products.
Use this information to address your customers’ issues and show that you are listening and making necessary changes to your product or service.
Though it may seem overwhelming, big data is an incredible asset to your company, and with the right tools it needn’t be intimidating.
Big data is already easily and in many instances freely accessible, and businesses are spending $180 billion a year on big data analysis, and it’s still only relatively early days.