When you spend hours upon hours coming up with a great product, it can be frustrating when it seems like there's no one around who wants to buy it.
But the truth is there are plenty of people around to buy it; you just need to figure out how to get your message out there and wrangle your buyers in. Tons of analytic tools and social media strategies exist to help you along, but if you don't know what kind of audience you're marketing to, it's like shouting into an endless void.
If you want your product to be successful, one of your first steps should be to figure out exactly who your potential clients are.
This month, we asked experts for their best tips for finding their companies' target audience.
Prior to launching your campaign, you must determine who will listen. Once you know who your target audience is, figure out what social media platforms they are most active on. This takes a little research, but it will pay off.
There are analytic tools available that will help you search key words around your brand. This allows you to determine the time and place your target audience is most active. Not only do you want to find out where they are active, but the type of content they are receptive to.
Marketing is no longer about putting out a message and hoping people will be responsive. Effective marketing is all about engagement. If you can get your audience to create conversations around your brand then a lot of the work is done for you. Word of mouth is a powerful tool and the internet has expedited the speed at which people communicate. Leveraging this will lead to a successful marketing campaign.
Candice Simons, Brooklyn Outdoor
Start by identifying and analysing your current audience. Gather as much information as you can such as age, gender, income level, education level, and occupation. Discover how they found your website, their interests and hobbies along with which social media channels they use.
Tools such as Google Analytics provide a range of options for analysing detailed information to help identify the primary audience for your products or services. The main social media channels, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube also provide their own analytics which enable you to gain valuable insights into who is engaging with your profiles.
Once you have all this data you can start to narrow down your target audience and create a more detailed customer profile. By identifying your specific target market you'll be able to make informed decisions that better reflect your customers and craft more compelling marketing campaigns.
Peter Collins, English Blinds
Be obsessed with connecting with your customers. Your customers will ultimately tell you if they'll buy, if they do choose to purchase, you need to find out as much about them as you possibly can. The best way to learn more about your customers is to interview them. If you don't have any customers yet, you can connect with people who are potential customers in your industry. You'll want to understand the following:
- How they found/would find your product
- How they chose/would choose a supplier
- What exactly they were looking for, did they find it? If not, why did they purchase anyways
- How did they feel about pricing
- How did they purchase, in an ideal world how would they purchase
Essentially you want to get as much information as you possibly can. On
Ally Compeau, Woof Signs
With this tool you have access to an already established database of over 2 billion prospects worldwide with different demographics and online behaviors. All you have to do is to filter the information until you meet your desired result, in our case this is the right buyers or visitors. All of the data you are about to see is based on the users' self reported data and Facebook behavior, although not a 100 percent reliable.
Working with the Audience Insights tool is pretty straightforward.. You start by filling audience criteria such as location, age, gender, interests, and different characteristics like work or education. What you will get as a result is a potential reach estimate and even more valuable demographic and psychographic data for your prospects.
Now you have some ground to work on without the need to spend money on ads
Galin Kolev, Join Fantastic
1) Target An Audience You Enjoy Serving
Ask yourself, do they make you feel energized and excited when creating your products and services for them? Are they naturally optimistic and positive? Are they the best audience for you to get results for?
2) The Ability To Pay
The most important rule in marketing is to only market to people who can afford your products and services. If you are charging premium prices, then you might not want to target students or people who just entered the workforce, because they may not have the means to buy from you even if they wanted to.
3) The Willingness To Pay
While you may have an audience that have the ability to buy from you, they may not necessarily have the willingness to pay. For example, trying to sell ice to eskimos would be an uphill battle. So it's important to identify the audience that have the need for your products and services.
With these 3 key tips, you'll be able to find a target audience that is not only a perfect fit for your business, but will also have a good chance of becoming your customers.
Davis Lin, Client Acquisition Lab
The first thing to do is identify the problem your product or service solves, then think about who can use it, and would have the ability to buy it. Be sure to consider whether there are types of customers that might buy in quantity or on a repeat basis. Those are likely to be your best and most profitable customers.
Another tip: study your competitors. Lookover their website and follow them on social media. Read all their pages on their website. You want to look for case studies, testimonial and content on their site that can provide clues to the type of business or consumer they target. Look for their ads online, in trade magazines or local publications. See who their followers are on social media - pay attention to comments from people who identify themselves as customers.
Janet Attard, Business Know-How
The best way to find your business's target audience is by doing live interviews with your customers, with customers who have left you fora competitor and with prospects who did not pick you. We recommend ideally 5-10 existing customer interviews and 5-10 non-customer interviews taking no more than 15 minutes time each. Ask these questions:
- What was the reason you searched for this solution?
- How did you do your research?
- What were the key buying criteria you considered when looking for a solution?
- What other competitors did you examine?
- What ultimately made you choose xyz company?
These questions will reveal to you the real reason why your companygets picked and doesn't get picked and your target buyer persona or even new target buyer segments will be revealed to you.
Rebecca Gonzalez, Orange Marketing Inc
Businesses should immerse themselves in communities, both online and off, with the intent of being a contributing member. By engaging in actual discussion, one can distill many very specific pain points and potential solutions for products to target. If you aren't genuinely interested in a community's discussions, find a member of your team that is. If no one in your organization is interested in that audience you'd likely be better served by focusing on a different target audience. In a buzzword, this is providing open-ended discussion where new interests, uses, and perceptions can be discovered, re-enforced, or eliminated as potential campaign goals.
Zack West, Novomotus
By far the best sales tip that most sales people have no idea exists is the use of databases (that are widely available to the public) to research customers and create models of ideal customers for their organization. These database companies spend all of their time researching and compiling information on the 30 million businesses in America. This information includes names of leadership at the company, SIC codes, annual spends and all of that organizations competitors in any geographical radius.
Databases such as Reference USA and A to Z database are paid subscription services but are almost always available as a research tool for free at your local library. Imagine a sales person being able to look at their best customers, create profiles of them and then using those profile find all similar companies in their area.
Chris Czarnik, Career Research Group