Reach your target audience for efficient marketing
By Mandy Rich for Starpoint Marketing
You’ve worked hard to get followers and fans on social media (see 5 Ways to Build an Audience for Free), so why isn’t your business growing? Unfortunately, fans don’t always buy what you’re selling—especially the fans you got by giving away an iPad. You need to reach the right audience, not just any audience. It’s all too common for business to spend marketing and advertising dollars without pinpointing precisely who they want to reach. You can trim the time and cost of finding new customers by homing in on your target audience.
Finding your optimal audience is a strategic process that takes some time, but the payoff in acquisitions is well worth it. To get you started, we have some free tips for finding the right target audience. These five steps will work for B2B and B2C companies of all sizes. We’ll give you the overview today, and then we’ll be back over the coming months to delve into each step in more detail.
1. Do Your Research
It’s rare for a brand to have a strong appeal in wildly different markets (such as Honda or The North Face). This step hinges on one rule: Your next customer is going to look a lot like your current customers. Consult data such as information about your competitors, the current market, and your industry. By learning more about who is buying from you and your competitors today, you learn who is most likely to buy from you in the future. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever discover a new audience, but remember—you’re probably not Honda! Put most of your effort toward the most logical targets, and you’ll get the most reliable response.
2. Put it in Writing
Once you’ve done your background research, write a description of your target audience. How broad is it? Who does it encompass? Having this detailed outline of your customers will be helpful for staying organized and focused on your goals, and can serve as a “cheat sheet” anytime you’re unsure about your advertising decisions.
3. Locate Your Audience
Learn where you can reach your audience. Are there certain websites they like to visit? Or apps they’re addicted to right now? Consider what you know about the needs and interests of your audience and where those needs are being met. Then go where they already are and start leaving a trail that will lead them to you.
4. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
When developing marketing messages, it’s remarkable how often companies miss the mark. One way to get your message on track: Start with the customers’ wants and needs, then think about how your product or service fills the gap. Now, use that knowledge to focus your marketing message. And match the style of your message to the communication style of your audience. Talk in their language. What do they need to know to convince them to become your customers?
5. Re-evaluate Often
The market is constantly changing, and you need to change with it. Make sure to keep your message relevant by staying up-to-date on the topics and trends that matter to your target audience. And don’t forget that your target customer might shift over time. Repeat your market evaluation at least once a year to check if your customer base has changed. Don’t forget to look for off-shoots of your current customers who might be logical targets. And check if your competitors have seen any shifts in their customers or marketing strategies.
Check back for the next installment in this series, exploring the research step in depth.
Do you have a technique for converting fans to customers? Share it on our Facebook page or Tweet ideas to us @StarpointSocial. Watch for ideas on our Twitter profile.