9 Ways To Laser Target Your Ideal Customer
Your customers are your lifeline. They’ll probably do just fine without you. But without them, you’re toast. That’s why it’s important to treat them better than anyone else on the planet, including your mother. While you can’t exactly take your entire target market out to dinner, what you can do is get to know them. You’ll figure out the type of content they like, their values, where they go online, and who influences them. This will enable you to define your ideal customer and provide them with content that they enjoy and will want to share. All of this relationship building will result in loyal customers and brand advocates. All you have to do is put in the effort.
Here are 9 of the best ways to most effectively get to know your online target audience.
1. Establish Your Foundation With Google Analytics
Start off by using Google Analytics to understand your target market’s queries and demographics. You’ll begin to get a general idea of the type of person who visits and converts on your website, with data on location, gender, device used, browser used, and even a basic overview of their interests.
2. Practice Social Listening To Get To Know Your Audience Better
Looking at data can only get you so far. To really get to know your audience, you’ll need to listen to the way that your fans talk about you, to you, and to each other on social media. Identify the tone, character, language and purpose of the voice they use on social networks, and find out which platforms they are on. You’ll want to be on them too. Observe their other interests, those who influence them and what they are passionate about. Identify what types of language and replies they respond positively to, and which ones they respond negatively to. You can use tools like Hootsuite to make this process easier for Twitter, and Traackr and Buzzsumo to identify online influencers that can impact your business.
3. Talk To The Team
After you’ve gained a general idea about what your audience looks like by analyzing online data and interactions, it’s time to speak to the people who talk with them on a daily basis. Gather your customer-facing teams together, such as sales, customer service and development. Discuss the data you all have on your customers and your interactions with them to give you a better idea about who they are and their various opinions about your company, product, service, industry, and beyond.
4. Get Up Close And Personal With Your Target Market
Now that you have a decent idea about who your customers are based on analyzing them from a distance, it’s time to get close and personal. Set up interviews with your customers to understand their questions, problems, interests, and relationship to you and your product or service. Ask them about the following topics: age, family, marital status, income, company, job, location, education, goals they hope to achieve with a product or service like yours, challenges they encounter with products or services like yours, values, and fears.
Also, ask them about their current experience with your brand and products or services. If interviews aren’t practical for you, you can also create free surveys using SurveyMonkey. However, interviews tend to result in more honest and detailed answers.
5. Build A Cast of Characters To Put A Face To Your Audience
Craft customer personas to identify exactly who your customers are and create content that better meets their needs. Personas will allow you to focus all of your content efforts on characters to optimize the way you assist, entertain or educate your target market, based on each persona’s objectives and challenges. You should create four to six personas that represent your audience. Each persona should include the following information: name, picture, age, marital status, job, role, company, income, ethnicity, current location, education, hobbies, publications regularly read, communication preference, social platforms used, primary goal they hope to achieve with a product or service like yours, primary challenge they encounter with products or services like yours, common objections, and any other details that are important to your specific industry.
Utilize all of the data you collected through interviews, surveys, discussions with your team, social media listening, and Google Analytics, along with Nielsen’s free MyBestSegments tool, to build these local personas. Hubspot offers a great customizable buyer persona template to make your personas look pretty.
6. Map Your Personas To Your Customer Journey
In order to create content that more accurately answers specific customer needs, you should create a customer journey map for each persona. The customer journey will map out the process your customers go through and the steps they take during their interaction with your brand, product and/or service. This map can be based on user flow data on your website, survey answers, user testing feedback, interview transcripts, and customer service emails or support transcripts. List out the needs, questions and goals of each persona at different points in their customer journey. After you’ve created the customer journey map with all of this information, you can craft more efficient content that helps users through their journey, making them much more likely to convert and improving your relationship with them.
7. Craft Your Brand Voice On Social Media
Carefully take note of your audience’s voice on social media and use a similar voice in the content you produce. At this point, you’ve hopefully already practiced social listening to determine the type of voice your target market uses on social media. Next, you need to adopt a similar voice to that of your audience in order to create a brand personality that resonates with and compels your audience. Buffer has a great article describing how to find your voice on social media.
8. Keep The Conversation Going
The only way to keep a relationship going strong is to make time to communicate. Make sure to interact with and listen to your target market everyday on social media. Try to answer every question they have to the best of your ability on social media. If that’s too much to handle, answer the most pressing ones along with all direct messages, and join in on discussions every once in awhile. Use Hootsuite to keep track of Twitter mentions and your followers’ discussions. Though it’s not free, Crowdbooster is another great tool that helps you keep an eye on new followers, remind you that you need to respond to followers, and identify which of your followers are big social influencers.
9. Reach Out To New Types of People
Start thinking about targeting a new market segment. Though you’ll never be done optimizing your marketing campaigns for your current target market, you should eventually consider targeting a new market segment by brainstorming how a different demographic could benefit from using your product or service. You might just find a better target market than the one you have now.
Without knowing your audience, you can’t possibly create content that they will enjoy. Though this is only the first step in your online marketing strategy, it’s a pivotal one. Keep an eye out for more installments of the NeverEnding Guide to Supercharging Your Inbound Marketing Efforts.