Determining your target market is a process that should be familiar to all marketers. While your audience will likely not deviate too drastically unless you revamp your business, it is a good idea to evaluate who exactly you’re trying to reach before each campaign. It’s almost like conducting an audit to make sure you’re on the right track.
When you do this, you must question how you define your audience. If not, it’s like you’re driving somewhere without any navigation. In other words, you’re taking action, but it doesn’t tie back to a particular goal or strategy.
As a business, you are trying to reach and connect with people. This group is a specific crowd that has a particular set of needs and wants. For the most part, it will stay consistent. But, trends may influence them from time to time. For instance, if you’re serving B2B, the decision makers may change demographics periodically, which could influence how you market to your target. The same is true with B2C too as trends come and go and family dynamics alter.
With these thoughts in mind, can you really understand who your audience is? The short answer is yes. However, there is a “but” involved that means it takes constant babysitting.
Who’s out there?
Any business, new or old, has an idea of who it would like to reach. For some, it may be families, app developers, or any number of groups. From this, marketers need to hone in on families of a particular age group, what type of app developers, etc. This will help to dictate your customer personas. From here, you will obtain snippets about your audience, but it’s up to you to put the story together. There will likely be a few different stories, but they all come together through you.
What do they want or need?
As you begin to define customer personas, you’ll notice that there is a common denominator among them. Your audience may include people that are as opposite as day and night, but there will be something that ties them all together – this is your ticket in. It’s important to understand the different backgrounds so that you can better relate to why they want or need you.
When you gather this information, you will connect with your audience in a language that relates more directly to them, which is very effective. Furthermore, you’ll be able to identify where to connect with this group. For some, it may be your blog, and for others, it may be on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. This will also guide you as to whether you should reach them through photos, videos, text, etc.
How can you show you’re not full of crap?
Everyone knows that there is a LOT of noise online and offline today, which poses a challenge for consumers and businesses alike. Everywhere we turn, there are advertisements and brand messages. As a result, society has become skeptical.
So, how can we, as businesses, cut through the noise and stand out to our target market? It’s an ongoing challenge, but there are some steps that can be implemented to show that you have something valuable to offer. For starters, you must show that you have integrity. If you deliver your brand with honesty, consistency and a sense of value, you’ll become trusted.
It’s also important to identify the negative side of the noise, a.k.a. the crap, and be careful not to ever include anything similar in your messaging. For instance, weight loss ads have a tendency to not be trusted. If you are trying to promote a weight loss program, avoid using any of the same verbiage.
In addition, you need to have proof to show that what you are saying really works. This could be in the form of statistics, third-party studies, testimonials, and various other means. Businesses just really need to show that there is more than just empty words behind their content.
What’s more, as social networks specifically have grown, it has become increasingly harder to cut through the noise. Facebook has even openly admitted that organic reach is decreasing and has advised brand pages to utilize its advertising options. While this throws a kink in many marketing campaigns, it’s not surprising. Many of the popular social networks are public companies and are expected to make money, which means that we, in turn, need to embrace advertising on Facebook and other channels to stay relevant.
In the end, getting to know your customer takes a lot of time and effort. And just when you think you have a handle on it, I can guarantee that Google will introduce a new algorithm or a new trend will emerge to start the whole process again. But, it’s worth the time to get a valid understanding of your audience. It will improve your content, your strategies, product and service development, leads and even sales.
If you’d like more information on how you can effectively find and target your audience, check out how we can help. Feel free to drop us a personal note too, as we’d love to tailor a response for you.
Image courtesy of teradatamagazine.com.