One of the fundamentals of running a successful online business is knowing and understanding your audience. Not just any audience but your target audience. Those people that will most likely turn from a potential customer into a purchasing customer. Simply creating a website and hoping someone will stumble across it is a lot like playing Russian Roulette. No matter how good the content you provide, unless you attract the right kind of people, your business will stand no chance among the competition.
In order to get the results that you want, you need to have a very clear picture of who you are trying to reach, what you have to offer, what your audience is thinking and what they need or what kind of problems they are facing. The most loyal customers will be those that understand how they benefit from you, that value your brand and can celebrate success from interacting with you.
The following steps can be taken in order to get to know your target audience and understand them better.
Build an email list
The biggest benefit of having an email list is that whatever goes out to its subscribers, they all are people who have willingly entered their details and are therefore already one step further in the decision-making process whether or not to make business with you. Email marketing is still one of the most effective and cheapest ways to market your products and services to exactly the people you want to reach. Offering a free download, ebook or similar incentive can entice more people to join your email list.
Connect on social media
Connecting with members of your target audience on social media and following their discussions is a great way to learn more about them, what challenges they are facing and what really matters to them in life. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, add social media buttons to your website and invite people to follow you, then follow them back. Keep an eye on the things they are sharing most and what type of content they most likely interact with.
Read blog comments
Having a business blog not only helps you improve your online presence, it’s also a great tool for engaging with your audience. Ensure that the comment function is enabled and check in regularly to see how your readers are reacting to your content. They might provide you with fresh ideas to blog about or give you feedback on how to improve your services.
Feedback forms and surveys
Asking your audience for their opinion as often as possible will not only allow you to dig deeper into their way of seeing the world. It will also make them feel valued and appreciated which in turn will improve customer relationships and increase your brand awareness. Feedback forms can be emailed out to existing clients after making a purchase, to your entire audience prior to launching a new product or service or any other special occasion that can put your business in the spotlight.
Keeping an eye on your website analytics will tell you which content is being viewed most and which keywords people are using to find your website. This should tell you more about your users’ interests and problems and in turn help you target your content and marketing to their specific needs.
Despite the ease and convenience of online marketing and social media, talking to customers face to face is still the best way to get to know them. If you have a physical store, ensure you talk to your customers as much as possible. Engage them in conversation without being pushy to learn more about what truly matters to them. The more they feel valued and seen as an individual rather than one of many, the more likely they will open up and help you understand their needs.
If your business solely operates online, have your customer service team undertake surveys or follow-up conversations with customers via phone. Make sure you have their permission to contact them, alternatively follow up with an email. Chatbots are another source of gaining customer feedback at any point during their decision-making process, helping you understand why they may or may not have chosen to purchase your products or use your services.
Research the competition
In order to understand your audience and tailor your marketing efforts effectively, taking a look at the competition and their clientele can also be an eye-opener. Imagine you were a customer and compile a list of pros and cons of why you would or wouldn’t purchase your own products over those offered by your competitors. What comments or reviews are businesses similar to yours receiving and do they interact with their audience? Analysing this can give you an insight into how to improve your own customer experience and better address people’s issues.
Create a buyer persona
Once you have conducted your research and gathered data from existing customers, you can create your buyer persona, a visual representation of your perfect or ideal customer, someone who would most benefit from your products and services and is therefore most likely to interact with you. Include their demographic traits, their strengths and weaknesses as well as their goals, struggles and interests and consider how your business can support them.
Creating a visual buyer persona will help your entire team focus their efforts on where they will most likely be successful. Whether it’s your blog, social media postings or marketing campaign, a buyer persona will ensure you are speaking to your target audience rather than wasting money and time on users that have no inclination or need to ever do business with you.
If you would like to know more about your target audience and how you can tailor your website content towards your ideal customers, contact the friendly team at Energise Web today.