First-Party Audiences – What They Are and Why They Matter
First-party audiences are those that are directed towards your specific business, brand, or product (hence the term first-party). You may be wondering why first-party audiences matter so much to your business.
After all, there are already thousands of people out there browsing social media sites and blogs with the express purpose of finding new products and services to purchase.
The reason that first-party audiences are important comes down to three simple reasons: they trust you, they know you, and they’re invested in your brand and its success.
Defining the term first-party audiences
Before knowing the first-party audiences, let us go through the basics first.
Like to understand it better we should know who audience is?
“Audience is a term that defines the group of people who a person or company is trying to reach.”
However there are many type of audiences but first party audiences specifically refer to those which are accessed through social media.
Within the scope of first party audiences, we can categorize Facebook audiences as active users, passive users, weak ties, and strong ties.
Active users: This audience is made up of people who you interact with on a daily basis.
Passive users: make up the next biggest segment because they’ve either bought from you in the past or interacted with your content recently.
Weak ties: consist of people with which you have little interaction – when they interact it usually consists of liking or commenting on posts which promote your business’s blog.
Strong ties: are very loyal and likely follow all your activity across various channels. The more often they engage with your content, the higher their influence becomes and the more positive word-of-mouth marketing you receive.
The Evolution of Media Targeting
Until the late 1990s, advertisers relied on mass media channels to reach their audiences. The internet, however, has changed the way marketers can reach audiences with content.
Today, they can create customized first-party ads on social media platforms that target only those who are interested in their content.
Marketers get more bang for their buck this way because they’re only targeting consumers who will be engaged with their ads—rather than blasting everyone with them indiscriminately.
A successful media campaign is still one where an advertiser generates a large number of impressions across a diverse audience; but now they can do so by showing ads to people who want to see them, rather than blindly casting their net as wide as possible.
One of the most successful ways brands have found success with custom advertising is through Facebook’s Custom Audience program.
What Data do Facebook and Google Collect?
The First-Party Audience is the audience you care about and is made up of customers and potential customers, as well as their friends, friends’ friends, and so on.
Facebook and Google collect data from these people because they want to sell ads. That’s it! They want to understand these audiences better so that they can make more money from them.
How Facebook collects Data?
Facebook collects data through three primary methods:
Cookies, face recognition technology, and data from third-party apps.
Cookies work like any other cookie on the internet. Facebook places these files on your computer to identify the device you’re using, the time of day it is being used, whether or not you are logged in, which pages you visit within Facebook’s domain, how long you’ve been browsing those pages for (amongst other things). The cookies will also activate if you click a Like button that belongs to a business or cause that isn’t affiliated with Facebook itself.
Data from third-party apps operates similarly to Facebook’s own data collection methods but relies on both inputted information by an app user as well as passively collected information whenever that app is open in the background.
How Google collects information
Through web browser cookies, Google collects information about the topics users are interested in from their search engine results, visited pages on Google properties, from the YouTube videos they watch, and the Google Maps route they take.
It also collects other information about its users such as: their demographics (gender, age), consumer behavior (what products do they purchase?), interests (from all of the information previously listed).
In short, it can map user preferences. The technology that Google has at its disposal is constantly advancing which enables them to capture more and more data about its user online activity which has turned it into one of the largest sources of consumer data in the world.
First-party data vs. third-party data.
First-party data is the data that is collected from the customer during their journey with your company. Unlike third-party data, first-party data offers a much more nuanced understanding of your customer’s needs.
Third-party data refers to information about your customers that has been gathered by a company other than the one who currently has access to it. When you create comprehensive profiles for customers, you not only learn about their preferences but can also find new ways to serve them better.
To ensure the best results, follow these five tips when developing profiles:
- Keep it simple. Customers don’t want to feel like they’re being asked too many questions on a questionnaire that isn’t very engaging or relevant to them; if this happens they will stop answering altogether. If you are asking fewer questions that have greater impact, then your data set will be far more useful.
- Make sure there is a clear purpose behind each question. You should know why you are asking the question in order to avoid having irrelevant responses bog down your data set;
- Collect as much information as possible while keeping track of what’s most important.
Ways to target first-party audiences
Goal of targeting first-party audiences is to provide them with content that is highly relevant to their needs or interests. While this can be done with text, images or video, the success of your campaign relies on figuring out how to speak their language and promote the right products in a way that’s not too salesy.
Here are six ways to target first-party audiences:
- Start by identifying who will be your customers before you create the product they’ll want.
- Ensure that all marketing campaigns target these new customer segments; not just social media campaigns.
For example, email newsletters should be segmented so those interested in specific topics receive only those emails. Consider also sponsoring events where your target audience congregates (e.g., conferences), or partnering with other companies whose target audiences overlap with yours (e.g., becoming an official sponsor of an event).
- Social media advertising – Facebook ads are one such method for placing advertisements directly into users’ feeds based on demographics, geography and more.
- Digital display advertising – These types of ads appear as banners at the top or bottom of web pages across the internet, so they reach a broad audience without being tied to any one site’s user base.
- Content publishing – In general, blogging platforms like Medium offer free accounts for anyone wishing to publish articles or have them syndicated on partner sites.
- Product development & packaging design – Products need to be appealing in order to stand out from competitors’. First-party audience research can help guide this process, from naming conventions and pricing strategies down to color palettes and creative concepts.
Benefits of first party audiences
First party audiences are a marketing technique that creates a personalized experience for the customer, because the company is acting as both advertiser and publisher.
1) First party audiences may work well for companies that have large amounts of data about their customers.
2) This type of marketing strategy helps to build brand loyalty because it makes people feel unique by catering to them personally.
3) It also encourages repeat business because when consumers see the personal connection they will be more likely to buy from that company again.
4) Using first party audiences can make a business seem more transparent and trustworthy which is helpful in building relationships with customers.
5) It can also help increase online sales or raise awareness about certain issues/services.
6) The biggest challenge for using this type of audience is tracking which ones have been most successful.
7). Companies need to know how many new visitors were brought in by each individual offer so they can make informed decisions on how best to spend their marketing budget.
Pros and cons of using first party audiences
Pros of using first party audiences include the opportunity to measure engagement. With this data, you can refine your content and target audiences more accurately. As a result, your audience will feel more recognized and interact with you more often because they know that they’re speaking to a company which listens.
Furthermore, developing stronger relationships with your current audience will help you leverage your resources by allowing you to market directly to them in the future.
Another pro of using first party audiences is how cost effective it is compared to third party audiences and databases. First party audiences are much cheaper because they use data from people who have already engaged with the brand. Third party providers like Facebook rely on data from people who may not be interested in what you have to offer or may not have enough money to buy your product/service.
Finally, while it’s possible for consumers to grow tired of seeing ads, it’s unlikely that someone will get tired of messages coming from their favorite brands.
Cons include security risks associated with having all personal information on one server. Data breaches could affect millions of users at once if a company does not take appropriate precautions. If a breach does happen, it could be damaging to the customer relationship if there isn’t an appropriate response plan ready to go.
Another disadvantage is company’s inability to control when those customers want updates delivered.
For example, sometimes customers may want daily notifications about certain deals but other times they might only want notifications every other day or maybe even just monthly alerts about events happening soon.
It’s also hard for companies when trying to keep up with new technology and trends so that their first party data stays fresh.
The conclusion of this blog post is that first party audiences are an essential part of a company’s success and it is essential for them to be taken care of properly in order for the company to succeed.
There are many different ways to do so, such as:
- Self-serving: Using content marketing and online ads to serve relevant ads.
- Sending emails with updates and new information on a product or service.
- Providing customer service from phone or email messages.
- Developing relationships with influencers who have an audience that matches yours.
- Connecting with social media users through posts about their interests.