Are you launching a new brand, product or service? Understanding the market landscape and who your audience is will help you minimize any risks and allow you to focus on your brand marketing efforts in the most productive and cost-effective way possible.
It’s commonly overlooked, but finding your audience for your brand is one of the most crucial pieces of building a marketing strategy. Generally speaking, strategies that are overly broad to begin with are typically less successful than those that are highly niched or targeted.
So, zeroing in on the specific group that you can expect to purchase your products or services will greatly help you achieve your efforts—whether it’s through an advertisement on social media, or a different kind of digital marketing campaign.
What is a target audience, anyway? They are the people who are most likely to be interested in your content, products, or services, and they are likely united by some common characteristics, like demographics and behaviors. Moreso, they are the people you want to reach with your social channels.
The beautiful thing is that when you know your target audience and its pain points, you can craft content far more effectively and then focus on advertisements with the correct marketing message for each of those segments.
So, let’s get into it…
Key Elements of Finding Your Audience
First, ask yourself these questions to help define your business:
• What problems does my company’s product or service solve?
• Who are our current customers
• Who is the competition?
• What do customers stand to gain from choosing us (instead of our competitor)?
• What features do you offer that no one else does?
• Is there something you can do better than anyone else?
Then ask yourself this:
• Why your content deserves to exist.
• Who is going to read it?
• What your competition is doing (and how you can do it better).
• Why your audience should choose your content (and product) instead of your competition.
Create An Audience Persona and Market Research
A great way of finding out who wants to engage with you is to start with the people who are already following you, interacting with your posts, and buying from you.
An audience persona is the first step to visualizing your audience as you write your content. When you picture an individual, you can properly tailor your content to them.
A great audience persona covers these details:
Target audiences can be segmented further into categories that reference, interests, intent, location, and more.
Some things you may want to consider are:
• Age: Don’t worry, you don’t need to get super specific here. You can simply focus on which decade of life or generation your social media target audience is in.
• Location (and Time Zone): Where in the world does your social media audience live? No, seriously. Where are they located? Once you know this, this will help you understand which geographic areas to target, optimal posting times, and beyond.
• Language: What language does your target audience speak? Don’t just assume that it’s your language- and you shouldn’t assume they speak the dominant language of their current physical location.
• Spending Power and Patterns: What do you know about your target audience’s budget? For instance, how do they approach purchases in your price category? Do they have any specific financial concerns or preferences that you need to address?
• Interests: This is a slightly broad category, but you should know what your target audience likes to do. For instance, what TV shows they watch, what books they read and music they listen to, and what other businesses they interact with, etc.
• Challenges: This one is simple. What pain points is your audience dealing with?
• Stage of Life: What point of life is your audience in? Are they college students? New parents? Perhaps they’re parents of teenagers, or maybe they’re retirees. The bottom line is, you should learn about who your audience is first!
B2B Companies Should Also Consider
• Size of business: What kinds of businesses are the ones who engage with you? Are they start-ups, or are they actually enterprise-level brands?
• Who makes the buying decisions: Do you know if you’re targeting the CEO? Perhaps the CTO? Maybe you’re actually targeting the social marketing manager. Knowing all of the factors that contribute to your brand’s market and purchase path, is a critical first step to helping you identify the right target audience.
Keep in mind that there are several avenues to explore your current audience. Some of these methods include:
Social Media Analytics
Analytics on social media can tell you who is looking at your profile, and what’s working and what’s not working content-wise. The next time you review your social media analytics, ask yourself when are your followers most engaged with your social media channels?
Are they most engaged when you post a funny GIF, or when you create a poll on Instagram or Twitter? Do they respond more so to photos or videos? By asking these questions, you can get some clues into what content your target audience is interested in, and you can gain followers that are in your target market.
Keep in mind that every social channel is different and has a different audience, so looking at your analytics across all platforms is very important. For instance, Instagram tends to have a younger audience, while Facebook tends to have an older demographic. By knowing these things, you can begin to plan your strategy accordingly.
Make Sure That Your Website Is Optimized
Your website should always be optimized to its fullest potential (this is where Dalex Design Group saves the day!) In the case that it isn’t, you should be monitoring your best (and worst) performing areas on your website.
Remember, your website is the introduction, the “front door” if you will to your company for your target audience. It’s worth it to spruce up your landing pages to attract more members.
Also, be sure that you’re getting the most mileage out of your content as possible. For example, if your blog post about graphic design was a hit with your readers, make sure you share it on your socials. This will greatly expand your reach!
Using Social Listening
Social listening is an incredible way to uncover conversations that are taking place about your business, your products, and your industry as a whole. By monitoring relevant keywords and hashtags, you can see what people are saying about you. You can also find out what people are saying about your competition- even when you’re not tagged.
You can also use social listening for deeper social media audience research. As you monitor keywords and hashtags, you may uncover other relevant hashtags your audience uses.
If you’re wondering if it’s worth checking out the competition, the answer is yes! You can benefit from the lessons they’ve already learned. You can see if they’re reaching segments you hadn’t thought to consider, and how they are positioning themselves?
… And Competitor Research
A helpful tool to see what your competition is doing is Buzzsumo.
In the Buzzsumo search bar, you can enter a relevant keyword for your industry. You will be able to enter a couple of searches for free, but you will need to pay for a Buzzsumo for anything beyond this. In this tool, you’ll see a list of the top shared content across social networks, including engagement data.
Make sure you look for patterns and review what formats and channels have worked well for your competitors.
If you end up getting a pro-Buzzsumo account, you can then go to the Content Analysis tab. From there you will find a breakdown of the most popular social media networks in your niche. Pretty neat, huh?
The Importance of Know Who Your Target Audience Isn’t
There will certainly always be consumers who are close to your target demographic, but they will not act on messaging. You need to try to be specific in determining who your audience is and who it isn’t. By knowing you your target audience isn’t you will keep your teams from devoting ad dollars to segments that will not yield returns.
It’s All About the Customer
At the end of the day, the buying process is in the hands of the customer. With this knowledge, businesses must create targeted, personalized experiences for their audiences if they want to be the one to get the attention. It’s a competitive world – and you need to make sure that you’re standing out.
When businesses have a comprehensive understanding of their ideal buyers, they can make more informed decisions about messaging, media, and timing. In addition to increasing ROI, understanding your target audience allows businesses and brands to build relationships and better communicate with their consumers.
Remember, as you gather more data and interact with customers, you will get an increasingly updated and accurate understanding of your target audiences. Based on this information, you will need to continually optimize and hone in personas to achieve the best results.
As always, for all of your marketing needs, Dalex Design Group is here to help. Learn more at www.dalexdesigngroup.com