Every single business should be able to answer this simple and vitally important question: Who is your target audience? To build a successful online marketing strategy, you need to intimately understand your audience or ‘target market’. The simple fact is, the more you know about your audience, the better you can create and implement content which attracts and engages them.
No one wants to waste their money, and you could potentially be flushing marketing budget down the toilet, if you aren’t targeting your audience effectively. You wouldn’t set off on a road trip without a GPS (or at the very least, a map) so don’t set out a marketing strategy, without first mapping out who your audience is.
So how do you get to know your target audience? Here are some research techniques I have found useful in getting to know your audience to strengthen your online marketing strategy:
Social media listening tools are a great way to get to know your target audience. There are plenty of free and paid tools, all of which have varied and useful features. Social media is one big giant focus group, which can map out details about your audience, your competitors, and your industry. People share so much of themselves online, and you can use this data to build an audience profile, drilling right down to demographics including age, gender, geographic location and interest areas. With the right budget, you can even engage with Facebook directly to provide anonymised demographic data, which is invaluable in understanding your audience.
There are so many free survey tools out there to gain direct feedback from your audience. You can use these to receive feedback from existing customers (once they have purchased from you) or you can post your surveys to social platforms, to get feedback from those already engaged with you online. For further encouragement, you can also use incentivised surveys to reward your customers for completing these surveys. This is all great research to better understand who your audience is, be it existing or potential future customers.
Know your Competition
Your competitors may already have done the audience research for you! Have a look at their online marketing and determine whether they have profiled a certain demographic. Are they targeting the same audience as you? Are they offering the same product or service as you? How does their pricing compare to yours, and do you have a competitive advantage you can exploit? Is there online chatter around their offering, how can this be used to your advantage? By understanding your competitor’s approach, you can use their research to create your own profile, and ultimately beat them!
The audience section in Google Analytics is a gold mine, in terms of gathering valuable audience data. This allows you to breakdown your website traffic by demographics including age and gender, along with geographic location. It also shows you where on your website they are spending the most time, and what devices they are using. All this information can help you put together a profile of your audience, with some very handy reporting tools. There are also lots of other handy tools, such as setting up goals within Google Analytics, which will give you a much clearer picture of which aspects of your website are succeeding, and which need some improvement.
In a nut shell – the more you know about your audience, the better you can effectively engage with them! You can contact the team at White Chalk Road for help on understanding your audience and implementing a successful online marketing strategy.
By Sarah Green.