Is your business marketing on Instagram or buying digital ads on Pinterest and seeing minimal results? If so, you're probably scratching your head and asking, "Why?"

Specific strategies aren't going to work for you until you step back and look at the big picture.

For your digital marketing and social outreach to shine, your business needs to know your target audience. Your defined audience should be data-driven and paint an extremely detailed portrait of who you're talking to. We're in the age of big data. The days of guessing what your consumers want from you — and what they like are over.

Now, you can execute digital marketing campaigns with surgical precision. In order for that to happen, you first need to know your target audience.

Define your target consumer in these five aspects using your website analytics.

1. Demographics

Start with the basics by pinpointing the age, gender and geography of your shoppers.

Look at your website analytics even if you're primarily a brick-and-mortar store. You want to use data to prove who your audience is, not who you think your shoppers are.

After you're done with this step, you should be able to:

  • Illustrate whether male or female shoppers are your primary target and provide a ratio.
  • Pinpoint the most active age group of shoppers. Also, note the next two age brackets that drive traffic.
  • Determine the top three languages of your shoppers.
  • Detail what states, cities and zip codes your target audience live in.

2. Interests

Then, you need to know your audience a bit more. Beyond your industry, what other interests do your shoppers have? With this info, you can show your digital ads and sponsored posts to reach potential customers with similar interests.

Specify what percentage of your audience likes each interest. Then, distribute your ads accordingly.

Plus, this data is instrumental in creating social media posts and branded content that goes beyond your product.

3. Acquisition

Now, the fun stuff! See where your shoppers are coming from.

Look at the numbers here from five categories:

  • Referral links. Here's where your public relations efforts pay off. You'll see what sites drive traffic. Pinpoint the top 3 referral links and make sure you keep the content on those sites coming.
  • Direct. See who's headed right to your site.
  • Organic search. Determine the keywords that are getting your business found.
  • Social. Know what social network drives the most traffic, so you can invest more time there. Also, clicks from your Instagram profile often appear as direct traffic. To remedy this, use a shorten link from a site like in your profile to measure traffic.
  • Paid search. Learn what digital search ads are working best. Why? Is it the keywords, the call to action or the copy?

4. Technology

Your site should already be optimized for mobile. Otherwise, you're hurting your search results.

Still, knowing what devices and browsers your audience uses is important. Then, ensure the shopping, viewing and user experience is streamlined on the devices and browsers your audience uses most.

Plus, you can determine how important mobile shopping, advertising and apps are to your shoppers.

5. Behavior

Knowing how users behave on your site helps you improve your conversion rate. Detail the below:

  • What's your most effective landing page?
  • What is the top page where users exit?
  • What is the behavior flow of your users? Describe where they start, interact and drop off.

Then, brainstorm how you can avoid user drop-off in those spots and encourage more conversions along the way.