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Find My Market: How to Choose The Right Traffic Source For Your Market

Here’s a shocker…
One traffic source does NOT fit all.
Raise your hand if you’ve heard this before…

“The first thing you need to do is find your market.”

But how do you actually get that done? I’m going to share how I go about finding my market.
But first you need to know…

How to Fail on the Internet

Every business speaks to a different audience. You must run traffic on the platforms where YOUR market is “hanging out.”
If you craft the perfect marketing message but then fail to put it in front of the right audience, your entire campaign will fail.
For example…
Trying to sell Apple accessories using Google display ads on a blog about PCs would end in disaster.
You know… the proverbial, “You can’t sell ice to an Eskimo.”

But the strategy remains the same…

Conceptual traffic strategies such as “The Pixel Process” or Boomerang Retargeting are applicable no matter what market you’re in.
Those strategies are applicable across all traffic sources.
To learn more about these universal laws of traffic, read these articles…

But traffic is a commodity. A click is a click.
We view traffic like a water faucet. When we want some, we turn it on.
When we want some, we go to the “Traffic Store” and buy it.

But which “Traffic Store” is right for you?

You go to buy traffic when you have an offer that you feel is appealing to a certain market.
You buy traffic where that market is hanging out so that YOU can get in front of them.
One of the biggest questions we get from members in DigitalMarketer Lab is, “Where should I start running traffic?
Great question! I had the same question when I started running traffic.
For most situations, I recommend starting with Facebook because…

  • The ad platform is easy to use. (<< This is important, especially if you’re a traffic newbie.)
  • The targeting options are insane. With the number of targeting options at your disposal on Facebook – you can find your target market easily.
  • Facebook has 1.3 billion users; there is a lot of room for scale on the platform.

But Facebook isn’t for everyone. Facebook has started cracking down and banning advertisers. Markets such as dating or weight loss just can’t advertise on Facebook.
So now I answer this question with a question…

“Where is your market?”

If you’re looking to buy traffic, you want to do so from a source that will help you reach your market.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer to this. I haven’t found a tool that tells you which platform to use to reach a specific market (if you have one, let us know 🙂 ).
It takes research. It takes time.
It takes thought.
But, the research couldn’t be more important.
Again, if you craft the perfect marketing message but then fail to put it in front of the right audience, your campaign will fail.
So how do you find your market?
First, you need to think about WHO your market is …

What’s their age, gender, income?

Websites like Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. have aggregated millions of users — but each platform has slightly different demographics.
This broad demographic information will help you decide on a platform.
More specific information such as…

  • What are their hobbies?
  • What TV shows do they watch?
  • What authority figures do they follow?
  • What books do they read?.

… can be used to target your audience once you’ve decided on a platform.
For example, here’s how to find your market on Facebook.
We like to start with Alexa. This tool will give you demographic data on websites around the web.
Let’s start with Pinterest:
Not surprisingly, Pinterest is WAY above average in terms of visits from females.
Pinterest is a wonderful platform to run traffic in the craft, clothing, make up, and anything e-commerce or female focused.
Check out this research data from PewResearchCenter on Facebook…
“Fully 71% of online adults use Facebook, a proportion unchanged from August 2013. Usage among seniors continues to increase. Some 56% of internet users ages 65 and older now use Facebook, up from 45% who did so in late 2013 and 35% who did so in late 2012. Women are also particularly likely to use Facebook compared with men, a trend that continues from prior years.”
(Facebook is specifically great for reaching older demographics that have SPENDING power).
YouTube, like Facebook, have a large and diverse user base with over one billion people visiting YouTube every month.
Let’s take a look at LinkedIn…
“[LinkedIn] continues to be particularly popular among college graduates, those in higher-income households, and the employed.” Although, it is notable that the usage by those who are not employed rose from 12% in 2013 to 21% in 2014.
(LinkedIn is especially powerful for reaching the professional market or running B2B traffic.)
You get the gist! Research must be done to ensure your running traffic on the correct platform. It may sound basic, but it really is the FIRST step to running successful traffic campaigns.

We like to shop first at the big “traffic stores”…

There are hundreds thousands of traffic sources to choose from but we like to stick to the big stores because…

  • There is big volume and the ability to scale
  • The ad interfaces are easier to use
  • The targeting is (usually) better

Here’s a matrix of the big traffic sources and when to consider using them…
Screenshot 2015-03-25 10.09.16
We have resources on using most of these big “traffic stores” for you on our blog…






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It’s the BIGGEST issue we find when traffic campaigns fail… running traffic on a platform where your market isn’t present.
We might shop at the big “traffic stores” first, but we’re always experimenting with smaller, niche traffic platforms. So, if a traffic source doesn’t seem conventional, or it’s not what the industry is talking about at the moment – that’s OK!
Test it out.
The important thing is that you find your market online.
Have a question?
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Digital Marketer

Digital Marketer

Digital Marketer stands behind its tagline, "It's Just Smarter", due to its frequent and widely focused delivery of tactical, test-based information and online optimization best practices, designed to show readers what's truly working and what isn't within online marketing.

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