Can you identify your exact online target audience? If no immediate image or prototype pops into your head, you may need to re-evaluate your marketing strategy.
You could have the most visually appealing website to ever exist, but it will fail to make an impact if it’s not reaching the right audience. To make sure your hard work pays off, you’ll need to find out who your customers are and where they hang out online. By identifying your primary audience’s needs, you can increase your online conversations, optimize your social media marketing, and boost organic traffic.
Why identifying your target audience matters
If you know exactly what your customers want, you can optimize your site to maximise the likeliness of them coming across it in their online searches.
The same goes for what your customers don’t want- by understanding their state of mind you can structure and prioritise content on your site, and leave out what you know won’t interest them. Here are a few ways to identify your target audience.
Educated assumptions are a good place to start…
But they definitely wont deliver entirely effective results. If you have no paying customers yet, trust your instincts and make educated guesses. In an online world, location becomes irrelevant, so stick to making assumptions about your target audience’s lifestyle and needs.
The best way to identify your audience is to talk to them
While your own estimations are a good start, unfortunately you’re not psychic. Once you have a sketch of your target audience, put it to the test in the real world. Meet people and businesses that fit your customer profile, and converse and interact with them. Once you learn about the market you are operating in, it will be easy to tweak your previous assumptions and change course if necessary.
It’s also worth surveying some of your most recent customers on what they used your site for, and how your business has changed their life. Keep your questions short and neutral, but in-depth enough that you can gather some solid demographical data.
Do your online research
There are many web analytics services on the Internet, but Google Analytics is the biggest and the best. It tracks and reports website traffic to provide you with insightful data right at your fingertips. Use it to unearth near limitless data about your target audience’s demographic and psychographic profiles, and gain a better understanding of what they find important and interesting.
The custom reports it produces are also highly useful, allowing you to see which traffic sources convert the best so you can invest more time, money and effort into high performing traffic senders.
Connect with your customers
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you need to make them stick around. Learn about them, understand them, and represent them on your site. You can try using social media listening tools, or manual monitoring, to learn your audience’s common dialect and understand their social media conversations.
Then, it’s time to take the plunge and dabble in your own online networking. Connecting with your target demographic and having a strong social media presence will help build trust and loyalty between your customers and your brand. Done right, your social media marketing will also provide proof that you are a well-connected, conscientious company that is worth following and supporting.
Blogging is also a great way to increase your following and maximise online conversations, as you’ll produce valuable optimized content that establishes your expertise to your audience.
If you need any help identifying and securing your target audience, here at Cloud9 we’d be more than happy to arrange a strategy consultancy. We focus our marketing plans around digital marketing strategies that are proven to gain customers. You can book an appointment here.