The Art of Tangential Targeting

Instead of trying to compete for the same audience, try audience retargeting. Look for like-minded groups that shared certain ideologies or value systems.

I recently had a conversation with a nonprofit leader around the challenge of rallying support for her cause. One of her struggles is around the challenge of audience growth and expanding her reach. Her nonprofit is focused on a very unique issue in a “noisy” space – getting her message out to the right people is proving to be difficult.

Instead of trying to compete for the same audience, we came up with a solution that offers her a way to outflank her competitors and make her advertising budgets work more effectively. We explored the idea of  tangential audience targeting.

Instead of going for her “ideal” audience – one that actually can be challenging to find and address – I suggested she search for like-minded people that have shared ideologies or value systems but are perhaps tangential to her “core” group.

For example, if your organization is involved in animal welfare, tangentially targeting your campaigns to those looking for information about vegetarian cooking or dog training might be good, tangential targets. These groups potentially share similar values and could  become new supporters for your cause.

Tangential targeting is great for two reasons:

First, it can help you to reach different stakeholders that aren’t being sought after by your competition. Sometimes in the nonprofit world, it can be hard to attract people to your cause – particularly if you are working on the same issues as other organizations. Tangentially targeting like-minded groups can open up new channels of conversation other organizations aren’t exploring.

Second, it helps you manage your advertising budgets more effectively. For instance, if you are spending $1000 on PPC advertising, you can take a portion of your advertising budget and move it to tangentially similar, and perhaps easier-to-reach or less-expensive-to-reach audiences. Since you aren’t competing with larger organizations for the primary audiences, your budget could be stretched farther and make a larger impact.

Tangential targeting works well in the attract phase of your audience’s journey.

If you know your ideal audience persona, take some time to think about similar audiences that align with that persona. What groups share similar values that you could also reach out to or engage with?

Sometimes this can be hard without an outside view. If you want to find out how tangential targeting can work for you, feel free to reach out. We can help you look at your personas and help identify new audiences. Let us know here.