If you’re hosting an event that appeals to a broad group of people, consider segmenting them into smaller groups.
It will make your event marketing much more specific. On top of that, you’ll also spend your money on advertisements that actually convert people to event attendees.
This article will cover…
- What audience segmentation is
- How you can segment your event audience
- What a buyer persona is
- How to target your audience segments
- Which tools to use for segmentation and targeting
Ready to reach the right people in the right way? Let’s do it.
What is audience segmentation?
Audience segmentation is the practice of dividing your event audience into segments based on their different traits and behaviours.
Your event could be exciting to a wide range of different people: old, young, male, female, professionals, and retirees. But they might not all consume information in the same way.
Audience segmentation lets you customise the way you reach each of these groups. Let’s look at some of the ways you can segment your audience.
The location of your potential event attendees is a good place to start. It makes no sense to advertise an event in Bristol to people in Aberdeen. (Unless you know they’re willing to travel.)
You can reverse engineer this information if you’ve held similar events in the past. Log into your ticket management system to learn where your past attendees were buying tickets from.
Tip: Read this step-by-step guide on how to target people down to the coordinates of their home.
Demographics are another way to segment your audience based on their common attributes.
Here are some of the most common characteristics marketers segment their audiences by:
- Family status
You can also group some of these attributes. So you might, for example, have an audience segment called “Single, university-educated women aged 30–35 working in marketing.”
Tip: Read this detailed guide on how to target your audience on Facebook based on their demographic data.
Firmographics is audience segmentation based on the type of firm a person works in. It’s similar to demographics but with a stronger focus on the professional characteristics of your audience.
Here are some examples of firmographic attributes you can segment by:
- Industry (manufacturing, financial services, etc.)
- Position in the company (HR, marketing, design, etc.)
- Size of the firm (1–10 employees, 50–250 employees, etc.)
- Company market cap (FTSE 250, FTSE 100, etc.)
As with demographics, you can combine some of these characteristics into groups. For example, your business conference could target “HR managers in the finance sector.”
Tip: This in-depth guide explains how you can segment your audience based on firmographics.
Psychographic audience segmentation refers to the way your potential event attendees think and what they believe. It’s their personality, lifestyle, interests, and values.
Here are some examples of psychographic characteristics:
- First-movers (the first to try new technology or fads).
- Traditionalists (prefer things they already know).
- Extroverts (love socialising and networking).
- Introverts (prefer smaller groups and reflection).
Tip: VALS is a useful tool for segmenting your audience based on psychographics.
You can make a lot of assumptions based on demographic data, but you can’t predict anything with 100% certainty. One of the best ways to do that is to look at people’s past behaviour.
Here are some behaviours you can segment your audience by:
- Early-bird ticket buyers
- VIP ticket buyers
- Repeat attendees
- Group bookings
Each of these behaviours indicates what kind of promotion you should engage in for that segment. It makes little sense to push early-bird tickets to people who always buy last minute.
Tip: This step-by-step guide explains how you can build the ideal customer journey based on behavioural data.
Lastly, you can segment your target audience based on which channels of communication they use.
Your audience will likely stay informed via one or more of these channels:
- Print publications
- Search engines
- Text messages
- Email newsletters
- Social media platforms
Note that multiple channels may be used by the same people for different purposes. It’s essential that you focus on the channels that are most relevant to your event.
Your audience could get their news from Twitter but find their cooking recipes on Pinterest. If you’re organising a cooking class, you should promote it to that person on Pinterest.
Tip: Read about which social media channels are used by different age groups, genders, and professions.
What is a buyer persona?
We’ve previously covered the term “buyer persona.” It’s the practice of creating a personal profile of your ideal event attendee based on the common traits of your target audience.
When you segment your audience based on their common attributes, you can create a “virtual attendee profile” which is based on the average demographics and behaviour.
Here’s what a buyer persona for your event could look like:
- 25–35 years old
- Lives in Manchester
- Marketing manager
- Works in hospitality
- Loves cooking
- Finds out about events on Facebook
- Usually buys early-bird tickets
Creating a buyer persona for each audience segment will make your marketing efforts much easier. Just think about what “Sarah” would be interested in.
How to target your audience segments
Once you’ve segmented your audience and created a buyer persona for each of them, you can begin to target them much more efficiently than before.
You may have to create completely different ads for each segment. It will be a lot more effort up front, but it will yield much better results. For instance, more ticket sales.
A business conference could be relevant to C-level directors in their 50’s and 60’s but also apply to the 25-year-old sales executive in the company.
The director might mainly want to attend so they can network with other directors. At the same time, the sales executive’s primary motivation might be to pick up new knowledge from individual speakers.
You’d create one ad on LinkedIn that targets the directors and emphasises the networking opportunities. Then you could create an Instagram ad targeting the sales executive with images and quotes from the speakers.
Tip: Here’s an exhaustive guide on using targeting in your marketing efforts.
Tools to use for segmenting and marketing to your audience
So how do you actually go about targeting the audience segments? By using the countless tools available online. (That includes many free ones.) Here are just some of them:
- MailChimp is an email automation software. It allows you to segment audiences and send custom emails to each of them.
- Marketo is a comprehensive marketing app. It enables segmentation and marketing via email, mobile, and social media.
- Google Tag Manager lets you track each audience segment on their journey from the ad to your event website or ticketing app.
Audience segmentation is essentially a sniper approach to marketing your event. It enables you to zero in on how each kind of attendee thinks and then speak to them in their language.
You’ll not only be able to convert potential attendees to ticket buyers, but you’ll get much more out of your marketing budget while doing so.