With the advent of digitalisation, we can now establish our businesses online with great looking websites, sell products through e-commerce stores and we can even market that business online and get other people who are not connected to that business in any direct way, to market the business for us through affiliate marketing programs.
The main question we are however continually confronted with, is how do we reach our customers online, create a community, grow our reputation and bring in new business?
It doesn’t matter at all whether you have a large, or a small business, you need to learn how to make your customers and their priorities, your primary focus point both now and in the future. In order to build trust, foster loyalty and grow your business successfully, you need to effectively connect with your customers.
We therefore return to the question:
Who is your customer?
As a new blogger or business owner, you may think to yourself ‘why don’t I just cast out my net and try and ‘catch’ as many customers as possible?’ This may at first glance seem to be a very logical move, but you will be much more successful and be able to craft much more effective messages if you know who your ideal audience is. The people who fall into the category of your ideal audience, are the people who are going to buy from you, or who are going to engage your services.
According to Mandy Porta, in order ‘to build a solid foundation for your business, you must first identify your typical customer and tailor your marketing pitch accordingly’. By identifying and targeting a specific market (or audience), does not mean that you will be excluding other people who don’t fall into your ideal audience category. Target marketing leads you to focus all of your energy and resources on a market that will bring in dollars. You can focus your brand messaging and content marketing approach on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other segments of the market. I agree with Mandy that ‘this is a much more affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business’.
Lee Polevoi indicates that ‘the people who are most likely to buy your products or services share certain characteristics. The first step toward identifying these prospects is putting together a customer profile’.
By profiling your ‘ideal audience’ or Buyer Persona, you can provide structure to your marketing plan and decide how you are going to advertise your product or service online. You will find a downloadable template of a Buyer Persona under our Resources tab.
A Buyer’s Persona is essentially a detailed description of your target demographic that includes age, gender, income level, marital status, occupation or industry, families with (or without) children, hobbies and interests.
Score87 put together a great image (included below), that allows you to identify the demographics you should consider when identifying your target audience. ‘The more specific you get, the easier it will be to target’.
How to Determine the Demographics of your Ideal Audience?
Murray Newlands identified a couple of methods, in how to go about determining your ideal audience (and their demographics)
- Social media polls – ‘Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are effective ways of surveying your target audience’.
- Online surveys and email surveys – ‘Surveys are the perfect tool for a hands-on approach to staying up-to-date with what consumers are thinking’. Survey Monkey is a platform that provides the means to draw up surveys like these.
- Analyse current customers – ‘Analysing your current customers will help you direct your efforts towards the right audience, increase closing rates, and reduce the amount of time needed to make sales’.
- Analyse the competition – ‘With the right research you’ll be able to know what the competition is doing differently and how you can do it better’.
I agree with Murray that once you have done proper research and you have created your ideal audience ‘you will be able to identify potential opportunities, so you can create a game plan that will guide leads through your sales funnel’.
How to Reach your Target Audience?
Now that you know who your target audience is, your most important question will be how to reach them. WalkerSands Communications has identified 5 ways to reach your target audience online
- Know Where Your Audience Spends Most of Its Time – You can for example join relevant Facebook Groups or LinkedIn groups and join in the conversation.
- Create Content That Appeals to Your Audience – You know who your audience is, and you have crafted your Buyer Persona. Now you must create and aim your content marketing strategy at that audience. ‘Different content captures the attention of different audiences. Align white papers, blog posts, client testimonials and case studies with the right audiences to achieve desired outcomes’.
- Incorporate Multimedia – Share the information relevant to your Blog/ company and your ideal audience on multiple media platforms (visual and audio). You can check out our own Podcasting Shows and Videos, right here on the Blog.
- Make Content Mobile Friendly. According to Statista, ‘in 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones.’ In view of these statistics, I agree with WalkerSands that ‘a responsive design for your website will improve SEO, combat high bounce rates and enhance the user experience’ particularly for an audience that is going increasingly ‘mobile’.
- Stay Consistent. ‘All of your communications and marketing assets should tell your brand’s story. Tell a consistent brand story across every channel to keep consumers conscious of your brand and message. Channel consistency helps build a brand that your leads and customers can count on and increases loyalty’ (WalkerSands).
How to Use the Information Obtained about Your Ideal Audience
According to WebScripto, with your Buyer Persona(s) in mind you can:
- Create the ideal Marketing Strategy for your business. “Pitch” your business to him/ her and set out (on your website and through your Social Media and other Digital Marketing Campaigns), how your business can meet the needs and goals of your ideal customer.
- Create the Ultimate Digital Marketing Funnel (which will be covered in the next post); and
- Discover where the best places (websites and social media platforms) are to find these customers and what to “pitch” to them.
Your ultimate goal is to grow your Business. You can only do that with an effective Digital Marketing Strategy. The first step of such a strategy should always be to create a picture of your Ideal Customer (Buyer Persona). Through this process you will be able reach your customers online and effectively engage them. Properly engaged Customers are happy customers and a happy customer grow the reputation of your business and brings in that all important new business.
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