Finding customers for your new business is arguably one of the most difficult parts of starting a company. As an entrepreneur or marketing executive, it’s natural to want to lower your marketing costs while actively increasing your company’s revenue. Unfortunately, many marketers fail because their marketing strategy doesn’t take a target audience into consideration. The internet has given businesses an incredible platform to connect and interact with people from around the world; so, the only question left to ask is, how will you use it to your advantage?
In today’s post, we’ll share a few easy marketing ideas anyone can use to find and interact with their target audience. Let’s get started!
Finding your Target Audience
Identifying the right target audience for your business is absolutely critical to success- there are no exceptions. By reaching out to people who already have a need for your product or service, you can increase your rate of sales dramatically. But how do you determine your target audience?
The first step to defining any target audience is understanding what problems a product or service solves for its customer; only then can you segment the specific types of people or businesses that would benefit most from your service. After this step, there are thousands of different ways companies find their preferred demographic. Many still start by creating various buyer personas through market research and community feedback.
Some basic demographical information every company should have about their customers on hand includes:
- Marital Status
Companies who have a little more time to delve into their target audience further should also take time to consider some of the following aspects about their customer base as well:
- Personality Type: If you’re selling real estate and meet someone with all the “basic” criteria to become a qualified lead, it’s normal to quickly become excited about finding a new potential customer. After speaking with this person for a while, however, you learn that they’ve never even considered buying a home because of the need to make their own repairs. Examples just like this one show you just how important it is to understand the personality of a buyer persona before making the decision to consider them a qualified lead. How would you use this information to optimize your marketing or sales process?
- Lifestyle: Understanding the lifestyle habits of your preferred audience can not only help you determine who to sell to, it can also help you to learn how to sell to them. Individuals who spend their free time in networking groups often have much different behavior patterns than those who enjoy their personal time alone at home. Think about it- what do the lifestyles of your best clients look like? It’s likely that other qualified clients will have similar habits.
How can you find current trends in your industry? Here are just a few easy (and free) ways to get started:
- Google Trends: Get your information on industry, cultural, and economic trends anywhere in the world for free from your favorite internet giant. Not only will this help keep you informed, it will also help you recognize trends and generate marketing ideas.
- Feedly: Another great and free tool for staying up to date on circulating trends, this free tool will tell you what blogs are hot in your industry so you can better understand customer interest and model the success of other industry leaders.
- Trends24: Although slightly rugged and lesser-known, Trends24 will give you to-the-hour updates on the latest trending hashtags and short phrases circulating Twitter, anywhere in the world.
Targeting your Customers
Once you have zeroed-down on your preferred audience, it’s time to think about what actionable techniques you can use to send them your message. Today, inbound marketing has made a huge splash in the advertising world because of the incredible customer response and lower maintenance fees.
Although inbound is an excellent way to market, it’s likely that you will have to practice some outbound marketing techniques to jump-start your business while your site and social media pages rank with the search engines. Here are a few simple ways you can start reaching out to your customers:
- Get a Website: With millions of people shopping online each day, having a company website should be a top priority. Not only can it provide browsing customers with relevant information, it can also collect and process orders for you while you’re busy with other things.
- Get on Social Media: If you’re not doing this already, you need to be. There is a reason 81% of SME’s (small and medium enterprises) use social to connect with their customers, and that reason is brand awareness.
- Promote your Blog Content: Promoting your content in places like Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, and industry specific forums is absolutely essential for targeting your customer base. Don’t forget to use keywords and hashtags to make your posts stand out.
- Use Calls to Action: Seriously- use calls to action in every piece of content you promote, whether it’s a printed flyer or a digital ad. Your CTA doesn’t need to be pushy, invasive, or annoying; a simple “get in touch with us now” is often enough to trigger action from customers at the bottom of your marketing funnel. If you need help with this, here are some examples of calls to action from online marketing leader, The Crazy Egg.
Because finding and targeting customers is such an important task for business success, many companies dedicate time regularly to developing their methods for each of these things. You’ll find that defining (and finding) your target audience will take almost as much time as reaching out to them, but know that your research will pay off in the long run. Because targeting customers online is such an important advertising factor today, learn more about why having a dedicated company website is so important for driving sales, or contact us to get some professional help.