When it comes to digital marketing and advertising, the goal is always the same: to build an audience of loyal users that repeatedly turn to your brand when they need the products or services you offer. Sure, sometimes you’re targeting existing customers, while other times you’re getting your brand in front of completely fresh eyes. Of course, the former is often easier to succeed with. Why? Because those customers are already “warm.”
But what does that mean? Let’s dive in.
What Is Audience Warming?
In the world of paid advertising, there are three types of audiences:
- Cold Audiences – People who have never heard of your brand or visited your website.
- Warm Audiences – Users who have engaged with your content on social media or via your website.
- Customers – People who have already purchased from your business.
It’s a good idea to re-engage with warm audiences because they have a higher likelihood of turning into loyal customers down the road. Audiences that haven’t been exposed to your brand are harder and more expensive to convert right away. Think of the customer journey: people travel through several steps as they go from learning about your company to making a purchase. It’s important to send the right messages at each stage so that users feel compelled to move further down the funnel (and closer to converting).
Building a Relationship Between Consumer and Brand
The key to building warm audiences that eventually turn into customers? Trust. It’s the foundation for building relationships, bringing new users into the purchase funnel, converting visitors into paying customers, and retaining existing customers for the long term.
To build trust, begin by warming new audiences with educational, inspirational, or testimonial content. These types of ads are designed to bring people into your funnel at a lower barrier than if you were to immediately serve them with product ads from a brand they’ve never seen before. Once cold audiences are engaged with this type of content, your brand can then retarget consumers with messaging created specifically to push them to your website to make a purchase.
When potential customers are in the consideration phase (or the middle of the funnel), you’ll want to warm them into the decision/purchase stage by utilizing campaign objectives. These include:
This objective takes organic content that lives on your social profiles and amplifies it out to a targeted audience. These audiences can be existing page engagers, users with specific demographics or interests, or lookalike audiences of people who have visited your website, engaged with your social media profiles, made past purchases, or signed up for your email list.
This objective takes paid social content one step further by creating ads that call out educational, inspirational, or testimonial messaging. The goal is to drive new users to your website to learn more about your brand.
Video view ads take the same content from above and engage users with a different medium. This helps users learn more about your brand, products, or services in an engaging, digestible format.
Lead generation (also known as lead gen) ads give new users the opportunity to sign up for your newsletter. Typically, these ads are accompanied by an incentive (such as a discount or freebie) to encourage potential customers to purchase and try your products or services for themselves. Of course, the overarching goal is that once users buy something, they’ll turn into repeat buyers.
How to Warm Your Audience
Now that you understand what audience warming is and why it’s important, you need to know how to do it effectively. Follow these tips as you plan your paid social media advertising strategy:
1. Research Your Target Audience
It’s critical to understand exactly who your audience is before you start serving them ads. When researching your target users, take note of age ranges, locations, income levels, interests, and other demographics. You should also look at past organic content engagement to determine what worked well and which posts people didn’t show interest in.
Once you know who you’re targeting, create custom audiences that include users who have already engaged with your brand. Engagement might take the form of:
- Liking, commenting on, or sharing your posts
- Interacting with your website
- Saving/Sharing organic posts or paid social adsCreate Persona-Based Audiences
You can also use your research from step one to create persona-based audiences using interest or behavioral targeting. It’s important to include a wide range of indicators to determine what this persona is interested in. The more intent signals the advertising platform has to rely on, the easier it will be to bring in new consumers (i.e., cold audiences) and warm them.
2. Create Lookalike Audiences
Use the people who are already familiar with your brand to guide you through the warming process. Then, create lookalike audiences using already-engaged users as your foundation. These new users will have similar interests, demographics, and browsing habits. This makes them more likely to be interested in your brand, and therefore, easier to bring into the funnel.
3. Use Promoted Posts
Promoted posts amplify your existing organic social media content to get it in front of the eyes of specific audiences. This can include users who already engage with your account, interest- or persona-based audiences, lookalikes of engagers, and more. By promoting your posts, you’ll help your content reach new people or re-engage those who may not have seen an organic post due to how social media algorithms work.
4. Be Mindful of Ad Frequency
Only retargeting past customers or website visitors – and not warming audiences to bring into the funnel – will reduce your marketing efficiency. It may also cause audience fatigue, which occurs when people see your ads too often. This can turn them off from your brand altogether, resulting in the loss of already trusted customers. Therefore, it’s essential to be mindful of your ad frequency and build a well-balanced strategy. The tactics above help fill your retargeting audience, and the ads within those campaigns need to be live to combat ad fatigue.
Streamline Your Paid Social Strategy with Help from Zero Gravity Marketing
Ready to turn unexposed users into loyal customers? At Zero Gravity Marketing, we have what it takes to create paid social media campaigns that expand your audience and help you reach your business goals. Contact us today to learn more!