3 Ways to Get to Know Your Audience Better (And Increase Sales)

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A comprehensive digital marketing plan for any small business consists of a number of essential elements including search engine optimization (SEO), a responsive web design, user experience, keywords, and sales conversion, among others.

When you look at all these words and phrases, though, they tend to relate to how you as a business owner or brand attract, engage, and ultimately convert your target audience.

When all is considered, the crux of any good digital marketing campaign is essentially to recognize particular characteristics of your ideal client including demographic, geographic, and even psychographic variables, and to use that information to present a complete package (e.g., a brand, product, or service) that caters to their most obvious needs.

How do you get to learn things about your audience? It involves a lot of strategic interaction and a bit of research but with time, you will get to learn a great deal about your ideal customer including their personality, interests, values, and expectations.

Here’s a simple guide to help lay out the groundwork before you get to work.

1. Do a market research

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The goal here is to gather as much data as you can about a specific target group and then use that information to create a rather accurate profile for reference. There are a number of ways to go about this. Here are some:

Initiate interdepartmental collaboration for collecting consumer information. Oftentimes, we tend to ignore the wealth of information that other office departments have on consumers, when that information can be invaluable when creating an outline of your average customer.

Get into social networks (social listening). The purpose of social network shouldn’t be only to promote your own brand and ideas; it’s also a clear avenue into the minds and attitudes of your target audience and a way to identify emerging trends and social media influencers in your market.

Create a survey. You need both qualitative and quantitative data when analyzing your audience and the most crucial factors include age, gender, education, income level, and profession, among others.

One quick way to gather this information on a large population is to set up a quantitative survey using some kind of online questionnaire. By using current market research tools, you can get an accurate statistical result that helps classify groups of people, allowing you to identify existing market vacuums and sway potential customers.

Set up interviews. This will make it possible to acquire more personal attributes of your audience including opinions, motivations, and thoughts regarding your brand. It is an extremely slow and exhaustive (and potentially expensive) process so one you can make it short by involving a smaller number of prospects.

2. Create buyer personas

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Now that you have a broad source of data about your target audience, you can then use that information to build buyer personas.

Keep in mind that buyer personas have been proven by Aberdeen Research to boost conversion by as much as 73%, so this isn’t just a basic buyer profile. Instead, you can think of it as an accurate representation of your ideal customer based on extensive market research and current data about your existing client base.

How do you build a buyer persona?

Identify all personas from your research. When you conduct a thorough market research, there’s a chance that you could identify more than one persona as an ideal customer — this is perfectly fine. Proceed to tailor your marketing efforts to target each of these personas.

Include on each persona a detailed description of their characteristics. This should include a range of useful data including personality traits, goals, ambition, pain points, concerns, real quotes, etc. Refer to this information when promoting your brand.

Cater all aspects of your marketing campaign around your personas. This includes SEO, social media marketing, content creation, and even web design. It will undoubtedly bridge the gap between brand and consumer, allowing you to connect more deeply with your target audience.

3. Identify key influencers

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In the process of analyzing your target audience, you may come across key people that act as influencers and who hold considerable sway among your prospective customers.

These include industry experts, celebrities, bloggers, journalists, and anybody who can have a direct or indirect impact on purchasing decisions on your target audience.

Here’s how to track influencers:

Watch closely how they engage. The number of followers they claim is a metric to consider but equally important is how they engage.

Focus on influencers who get instant responses from a large number of their audience following each post. From a marketing standpoint, engagement is critical.

Identify popular influencers who like your brand. Once you focus on one or more influencers consider spending money for brand advocacy.

Sponsored ads are great for drawing large audiences to your brand; and bear in mind that 85% of influencers accept compensation for posts.

You can gain a lot of traction with your target audience by observing how they interact with powerful influencers. Tailor your posts with this in mind and be sure to communicate brand objectives and your values.

It’s not easy to get to know your audience, but it’s definitely worth it to do so. Having good SEO and a responsive web design is no longer enough when you do digital marketing, a connection with your audience is necessary, too.

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Originally published at www.bookmark.com on October 27, 2016.

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