Demographics such as age, level of education, and financial income can give you a broad understanding of a person. Are you planning on launching a TikTok marketing campaign if your target audience is mostly retirees?

By inquiring into demographic information, you can divide your readership into groups and make wiser choices based on their responses. This article provides an in-depth look at demographic surveys along with helpful tips to assist you in collecting the data.

Demographic questions

Demographic questions are utilized to uncover certain qualities of individuals. Generally, organizations utilize this as a business investigation method to gain knowledge about their viewers or customers.

The most usual inquiries regarding personal information are related to age, gender, race, salary, educational background, and area of residence. We’ll explore further down the line the possibility of gathering even more data depending on the demographics you’re attempting to obtain.

There are two ways demographic questions are usually asked:

  • In shorter types of surveys or;
  • As part of larger questionnaires.

Though it’s rare for web surveys to only inquire about demographic data. In many cases, these questions are included towards the concluding section of longer surveys to be used for gathering extra information.

Common demographic questions

1. Age

In demographic surveys, the first question asked is usually the person’s age. Getting an idea of someone’s age is a great way to get to know your audience quickly.

The effects of age are seen in the way people process information, act, and interact with their environment. If you are developing a new marketing strategy or attempting to ascertain whether the demographic you are targeting consists of Boomers or Millennials, include an inquiry concerning age.

Be aware that requesting someone to give you an exact age or when they were born could be a warning sign. Instead, provide multiple-choice age ranges for respondents. You can still obtain the necessary knowledge without needing to go into details.

2. Ethnicity

Typically, this inquiry has been viewed as either “race” or “culture”, but can you guess what? Humans are the only species, so referring to a person’s ethnic background is much more accurate than any other term.

No doubt talking about ethnicity can be controversial, however, taking the time to grasp the ethnic origins of your group of people is an outstanding way to refine how you communicate with them.

For instance, in India, Hindus have a deep-rooted belief that cows are sacred, so be sure to steer clear of any promotional material involving them.

Advice: When creating questionnaires, do not only ask for someone’s ethnicity as it may seem that you are trying to reject rather than welcome people. If you do not wish to take the time to list all the diverse ethnicities, from ones found in the Pacific to Native Americans, you should opt for an ‘other’ option.

3. Gender

In the past, it was quite standard to ask about gender when collecting demographic data, yet like other demographic inquiries, it should only be requested in cases when absolutely necessary.

When inquiring about gender, make sure to factor in the distinction between physiological sex and gender, and abstain from automatically classifying people into male and female genders.

It is possible that you may operate a business where this data is pertinent.

“Gender has become an inflammatory topic in the cultural zeitgeist, so make sure you have a good reason before asking questions about it. If you decide to, provide sufficient answer options for respondents (for example, non-binary and transgender—and always, always, include the option not to answer.”

—Vlad Shvets, Growth Manager @ Paperform.

It is preferable to use the term “gender identity” when inquiring about gender. Instead of inquiring “which gender do you identify with?”, pose the question as “What gender do you associate yourself with?”

4. Education

Gathering information about the educational background of those taking a survey can be beneficial in understanding their responses and, as a wider scope, their lives.

Having knowledge of a person’s highest academic credentials, be it either an undergraduate program, a graduate program, or a vocational school, can help you form ideas about their financial status, previous career experiences, and hobbies or preferences.

Combining these responses with other information can give you the information necessary to make decisions about marketing and other business operations (even things such as UX design could be impacted by this).

Don’t limit yourself to just having a college or university degree as the highest educational level. In addition to typical educational routes, trades and apprenticeships should be factored in.

5. Location

The place where someone resides, such as an urban or rural area, can have a huge impact on their perception of the world. It may not be necessary to inquire about a person’s location by way of a demographic question.

Depending on the tech employed, the IP address may grant you access to this info. Only pose the question when absolutely essential, as it could contribute to survey fatigue in people and they might give up answering the survey.

Even so, it may be a good idea to pose a question about where you are located or plan on being located if you offer your services in local areas or are looking to expand to different locations. Analyzing your business can reveal areas of success and help you uncover which elements are most successful.

There are two kinds of questions concerning location: wide-ranging and specific. Questions that are more general limit location information to nations or continents, while narrower queries can be used to ask more particular facts (e.g. state or city.)

6. Product promotion

After you figure out who your target buyer is, you can start looking into the best way to do promotional activities for this group. Knowing the characteristics of your target audience greatly assists you in producing social media posts and ads that result in conversions.

Some people won’t buy a house until they have been exposed to images and videos of it in action multiple times in the span of a few days.

Social networks such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram Reels are ideal for showcasing not only the capabilities of your listing but also how it could benefit their lives.

Reach out to your warm market by posting often, and interacting with content on the social media channel that your ideal group of people frequent, like Facebook or Twitter.

In these situations, having just one post coupled with strategically placed interactions with potential customers on social media can be enough to make a sale that could have slipped away.

7. Advertising campaign

You should leverage the attractive location for your next advertising campaign.

The majority of Facebook users go online during the usual working hours of a weekday, with the busiest times typically being in the middle of the week and around midday. People who use Twitter, on the other hand, usually start the day by checking the platform right after they wake up.

By honing in on the social media platform that your particular audience frequents, you can save time as opposed to expending energy on multiple platforms. Instead, you can spend time and money on one network that your target market is active on.

For instance, if the main group of people you are trying to target is Millenials, then Instagram should be the major platform you focus on.

8. Content alignment

In recent years, the use of short videos on social media sites such as TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube has skyrocketed in popularity. If your target customers don’t use these platforms, however, what should you do?

Taking a few moments to think about the preferences of your prospective customers can help you devise and carry out an effective social media plan.

Posting the same clips to Instagram instead of Facebook may be all you require to get to the ideal target audience at the precise moment.

It is evident that the ideal kind of content for this specific group should contain in-depth blog posts of considerable length. Potential customers want to obtain as much data as they can before buying something, and they are not likely to look for it on Facebook.

Understanding your audience demographics

Your notes will ultimately form the foundation of your future sales plan, but make sure you remember that having the information about age, gender and location is only the beginning.

Fundamentally, the people you are targeting have distinct patterns of behavior, which can be used as a template to determine their purchasing actions.

Gaining insight into what your customers consider when purchasing something can help you sidestep the same misfortune.