Starting every marketing campaign with a strong understanding of your target audience is one of the best ways to ensure your success.
When you understand your target audience it allows you to craft marketing messages that connect with them, and develop products and services that solve their problems.
Creating a marketing strategy without a clear understanding of your target audience is like playing tag in the dark. You can try to tag someone but it’s difficult when you can’t see where you’re going or who you’re going for.
That’s why its important your business conduct audience research consistently, so you can connect with your ideal customers. Here’s how you can gain a deeper understanding of your target audience:
Step #1 – Create Initial Buyer Personas
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. Creating one is the first step to visualizing your target audience. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling cars or furniture, using buyer personas will help you maximize sales.
When you begin creating your buyer personas you can start off with general information such as demographics. This can include gender, age, job title, income, marital status, location, hobbies and interest, and more.
Demographic information is great when its relevant, but knowing what your target audience is struggling with is even better. The problems your customers are dealing with will give you insight into their motivations.
So ask yourself, “What keeps my ideal customer up at night?”
“What challenges are they facing?”
“What are their pains and frustrations?”
Once you’ve thought of the problems you’re target audience is facing, the next step is to identify how your product or service solves those problems. By connecting the benefits of your product or service to your target audience’s problems, it will help you craft a marketing message that aligns with their motivations.
Another thing to think about with buyer personas is detailing where you can find your target audience. Where are your ideal customers most active? Knowing this information gives you insight on how to reach your target audience.
Step #2 – Get Accurate Information to Develop Buyer Personas
Initially, brainstorming all this information for a buyer persona is a great start. The goal, however, is to continue developing your buyer persona until its highly accurate. That means you’ll need to take the time to gather real information about your target audience. Here’s how you can gather real insights:
Pull From Existing Customer Information
If you already have a customer base then that’s a great source to learn more about your target. Your existing customers are the perfect place to start because they’ve already made a purchase and engaged with your company. Your sales team will also have deep insights about existing customers since they work with them directly. So speak with your sales team to discover more insider information about your customers.
Ask For Audience Feedback Through Email
If you have an email database of your target audience, you can send out an email requesting feedback about the problems they’re having, how your product or service helps them, and how your business can help them better. The answers to these will give you insights to their motivation and the benefits they’re looking for.
Conduct Surveys Regularly
You can use a survey to keep a pulse on what your target audience is thinking. Surveys can be done with existing customers or with prospects from your target audience. Just keep in mind a survey is only as good as the insights you gain from it, so know what you want to learn from each question.
A survey works wonders gathering information because you can gain a better understanding of your target audience’s needs, problems, and desires.
Use Google Analytics For Audience Insights
Google Analytics can be a great resource to learn about your target audience. It can also provide insights that you didn’t even think of. Google Analytics reports information about the people who visit your website such as age, gender, interest categories, location, language, how people find your website, and devices they view your website on.
Monitor Your Content Performance
A key metric to review on Google Analytics is how your content is performing. Google Analytics can show you the top content that people are visiting on your website. With this information you can discover what appeals most to your target audience. The opposite is also true. You can see what content is not performing well, and have insight into what doesn’t appeal to your target audience.
By comparing the content that did well versus the content that performed poorly, you can get better insight into what your target audience really wants to consume.
Get Involved With Your Social Followers
If your business has an active social presence with a decent amount of followers, you can use social media to understand your target audience better. This is done by responding to every comment and message your receive, participating in relevant special interest groups, creating posts that occasionally asks your audience what they’re interested in, and using polls as a way to research your audience.
Every interaction with your audience is an opportunity to learn more about them.
Getting involved in discussions related to your niche or industry can provide incredible insight into what’s important to your audience.
Getting to know your target audience isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s a process that takes time, but it’s a commitment worth making. As you continue to learn about your target audience, your buyer personas will evolve to reflect what you’ve learned until it’s an accurate representation of your ideal customer.
When that happens it will be easier for you to create marketing that establishes you as a trusted expert, gives value to your audience, and maximizes your sales.
Do you know other strategies for understanding your target audience? Or do you have a question about understanding your target audience? If so, please share comments and questions below.
Do you need help with target audience research? We can help. Contact DMNmedia to get started today.