As entrepreneurs we are all aware of the importance of finding our target audience when selling our product. You need to make sure that your business is seen by all the right people, and that your ideal customer knows who you are and how they can make that all important sale.
When marketing your product or service online through content and social media, it’s just as important to think about your target audience and find out where they hang-out. Think of it this way, it’s all very well putting in place a snazzy new Pinterest strategy, but if your product is for men aged 50 and over, your posts are likely to be falling on deaf ears.
Likewise with the content you are pushing out, you need to consider the tone of voice that you write in. Make sure you adjust everything you write to appeal to your target audience, whilst staying true to your brand and your own unique voice. A product aimed at teenagers will not benefit from the use of highly technical language, and likewise if you are providing a business-to-business service, they are unlikely to respond well to text-speak.
So, with all that in mind, how do you actually go about finding out where your target audience hang-out online?
5 ways to find your audience online
1. Get into the shoes of your ideal customer
Really get inside their head and think about their likes and dislikes; what radio stations and TV shows they are likely to watch; where they hang-out at the weekends; what they do for a living. Make a mind map with all your ideas to really help you build up a picture of your customer base. This will help you find out where they are likely to be lurking online.
2. Research social media demographics
A simple Google search will bring up a wealth of information about which sectors of society use which social media. For example Pew Research publish some interesting stats on social media usage to help you figure out which platforms your ideal customer is likely to use.
3. Find relevant content
Now you know your customer and where to find them, think about what they want to hear. Search the internet for content which is going to spark their interest and resonate with them on a deep level, then share it. By building up this rapport with your audience, they will forward your content to their friends and followers, many of whom will in turn become YOUR friends and followers.
4. Check out your competition
Whilst I don’t recommend spending hours researching your competition and copying them, it can be useful when building your audience to check out what they are doing and the type of content which is popular amongst their customers. It’s also a great idea to look at any strategic partner organisations, especially if they already have a huge following.
5. Make a plan
Once you have figured out exactly which sites your customers are visiting, and how best to engage them, make a plan. Choose one or two social media sites which you are happy to engage with regularly, and think about what you want to promote to them and when. By making a plan, you can track what works and what doesn’t, making your job easier in the long run.
And remember, however you choose to promote your business online, make sure it’s something which you enjoy and which feels comfortable with you. The best way to reach your audience is to build a brand with integrity and a regular social presence, and you will only do this by listening and engaging, again and again.