Advertising to Different Audience Types

If you’ve ever struggled with figuring out what types of ads to request, then this post is for you.

In it, we’ll discuss 3 different audiences you can target, the types of messaging each audience segment needs to hear to move them through the purchasing cycle, and examples of that content.

The goal of this post is to give you ideas for ads, based on proven strategies. Let’s get into it!

The 3 Buckets of Audiences

The first point we need to understand is that your customers fit into 3 buckets. Cold, warm, and hot audiences. 

To keep it simple;

Cold audiences are people who have never heard about you.

Warm audiences have had some interaction with you in the past. That interaction could have been visiting your site, or engaging with you on social media for example. 

Hot audiences have had multiple interactions with you. These audience members could have been to key pages multiple times (like your pricing page), added a product to their cart, or engaged with multiple social media posts. 

Each one of these audience segments is in a different part of the buying cycle and therefore they need to hear different types of messages. 


Why Do Different Audiences Require Different Messaging?

For example, people who have never heard about you (cold audiences) require the most amount of education before they are primed to purchase. 

Think of it like dating. You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date. You would spend time getting to know them, and them getting to know you before you pop the question. (the “buy now” in this case)

Cold audiences are first dates. They care about getting to know who you are, why you do what you do, why you’re different, how you solve their problems, etc. 

Problem & Solution Awareness Messaging

You could also think about it in terms of problem and solution awareness. On the cold side, you have people who don’t even know they have a problem AND they don’t know that a solution exists. 

On the opposite end, you have hot audiences. People who fit into this bucket know that they have a problem and they know that your solution exists to solve that problem. They require the least amount of education and you pretty much just need to present the product, the price, and get out of their way. 

In between the two you have people who know they have a problem, but they either don’t know how to solve it or they don’t know that a solution exists. Those people are your warm audiences. 

Okay, now that we have a high-level understanding of how audience buckets work and why they require different messaging, let’s give you some ideas for ads that you can use for each audience. 

For each of these ideas, reference the above explanations to make the correlation between the types of content we are suggesting and how it relates to the messaging that the audience type needs to hear.

Cold Audiences

  • Lead generator content – webinars, case studies, listicles, white papers, etc.

  • Brand story – who you are, why you do what you do, how you solve their problems. 

  • Tips and tricks – how to content that positions you as an expert

  • Industry secrets – common misconceptions within your specific industry and why you’re the best choice

  • Benefits of your product or service

  • Playoff their anxieties – maybe your customers deal with trust issues, show them you won’t leave them high and dry.

Warm Audiences

  • How you solve their pain points – maybe you serve small business owners that are doing a million things at once. Tell them and show them how you can take some of that work off their plate.

  • Claims – what your product or service gets the consumer

  • Testimonials 

  • Proof

Hot Audiences

  • Discounts and deals

  • Special offers

  • Future pacing – imagine your life after you use this product or service.

Let's Get to It!

Okay, you’re now well on your way to requesting ads that have been proven to work. This is the stuff that marketing gurus spend years and bundles of money to figure out. As you can see, it’s not as simple as asking people to buy your product. 

First, you need to decide which audiences you need to run ads to. Then you can choose some ad themes from the above list. Finally, request your ads and run them on the ad platform of your choice.

Pro Tip

It is important to have multiple variations of ad creatives (the actual ad) and ad copy (the text that accompanies the ad). Often you’ll find that what you thought was going to be the best performing ad won’t perform as well as another variation. 

For example, if you request a cold ad with the brand story theme, you could request a 15-second video for Instagram and Facebook stories, a graphic carousel with your story broken up into multiple slides to run as a carousel ad, and a 1-minute video to use on YouTube and social media feeds.

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