Before we get down to developing a marketing plan for our clients, we always ask them one thing: who’s your ideal client?
It should be simple, right? Who is your product or service meant for? But what’s meant to be an easy question is often the most difficult.
Think about like a game of darts: you have to aim to hit the target, right? But if you throw a dart without aiming, you’ll probably lose. But if your aim is true, you’ll win every time.
Defining your audience isn’t much different. It’s all about describing your ideal client, so you know who you’re targeting. In this blog, we’ll cover the basics of defining your audience so you can hit that marketing bullseye every time.
The Who, What, Why, and Where of It All.
Let’s be clear - a target audience can be defined as a group of people to whom you want to sell something. But finding the “who, what, why, and where” of it all is where you’ll really strike gold.
So how do you figure out who your target audience is? Let’s start by creating a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer based on market research and data about your existing customers. If you have data on your current customer base, consider including that information such as demographics, behavior, patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you can get, the better.
If you’re a new business or don’t have access to historical customer data, start from scratch. Does your product or service appeal to a customer of a certain age? Are you limited to a specific geographic area? Or is what you offer specific to a particular type of personality? Remember, be as detailed as you possibly can. This buyer persona will add structure to your audience.
Pro Tip: You don’t have to stick to one buyer persona, especially if you offer multiple products or services. Try building multiple personas based on your current clientele or who you perceive your ideal customer to be.
Here’s a trick to defining your audience: put your listening ears on. Social listening is when you track social media for mentions and conversations related to your brand. Think searching for and saving hashtags that are relevant to your business or industry.
Here’s how you do it:
Step 1: Monitor social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitors, products, and keywords related to your business.
Step 2: Analyze the information for ways to put what you learn into action.
Now let’s break that down.
When you monitor social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitors, products, or services, make sure you’re using relevant keywords. For example, what keywords would we use at Iron City Social? Obviously marketing, social media marketing, branding, advertising, etc. But the point here is to think outside of the box. Yes, you should use the more obvious keywords that apply to your product or service but try using keywords specific to you or your geographic area. Here’s what we would use: Birmingham, DIY Marketer, Marketing Tips, Small Business Tips, BHAM, BHM, etc.
Are you following us here? Be concise but be creative.
When setting up your social listening, make sure to spread a wide night. Just don’t stick to social platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, but try out others like LinkedIn and Twitter. The point here is to not only find out more about your audience but find out where your audience is as well. So don’t be shy, cast a wide net.
One of the most important things about social listening is learning from your competition. Don’t just pay attention to what they say but what they do. How do they interact with their audience? What have they gotten wrong and what are they getting right? The goal here is to learn the hard lessons the easy way. If they have a similar product or service but their content isn’t quite hittin’ - then they’re targeting the wrong audience. On the other hand, if they’re in tune with their audience and getting great engagement - learn from them!
Still having some trouble? We got you. Click this link for a free checklist on how to identify your target audience: https://www.ironcitysocial.com/identifying-target-audience