How to Find Your Target Audience: Create Content That Connects
When I first started Deals in High Heels, I had no idea what I was doing with it. In fact, I never really considered that people who weren't friends or family would actually READ this. Starting as purely an office fashion blog, I quickly discovered my passion was writing about business.
But still, I was writing in the dark. It took six months before I knew my audience, or even really considered them...
Photos by Nirmit Gire (@nirmitgire) in JBR, Dubai. For today's office look I'm wearing a feminine ruffled dress by Maje, Ted Baker handbag and leather-twist heels by Marks and Spencer.
I guess I learnt the hard and long way; for ages I was trying to please the masses rather than reaching a specific group of people who LOVE what I do. And unfortunately, in today's digital age, EVERYONE seems to have a 'voice' which makes it difficult to stand out.
Therefore, merely creating content isn't good enough like it used to be back in its Heyday. You need to not only create freaking great content, but also the right content so you can strategically reach your target audience. For people to become an advocate for you and refer their friends, your audience needs to find your content useful.
What kind of branding attracts them? What style of messaging do they interact with? What challenges do they face that you can solve? - that's when you add REAL VALUE! For success, no matter what you are marketing, you need to know your target audience better than your own Mum or Spouse...
Building a vision for your core audience can greatly help increase your brand awareness/ sales and therefore, improve your marketing spend. Whether you are a business owner, entrepreneur or blogger;
Here IS my beginner’s guide to creating yours
Google Analytics tracks and reports your site traffic patterns. You can discover your audiences age, gender (surprisingly, I have a 54% male readers- what the heck guys haha!) You can learn what website they were referred from (Instagram, Facebook, Google Adwords campaigns etc) and their behaviour flow (what pages are most popular, where your readers stop and drop off.)
Do research into your social media followers and email subscribers. Directly message them and ask questions - What's their favourite blog post? Why do they like you or your product? Ring or Skype them. Spend time reeeally figuring out what makes them tick.
Facebook and Instagram Insights will give you an idea as to the age range and gender of your followers also (you can find this info by clicking on your post or picture).
For my Instagram and Facebook marketing strategy: Prior to writing a blog post, I get a feel for how popular the potential topic I'm exploring will be. I post a picture, with a caption underneath regarding my personal experience, then finish with a call-to-action (e.g. what's your opinion?)
On social media, pay close attention to how many people respond to your work, how they respond, and how often they respond. The more comments, likes and shares, the better your campaign or idea is. Use this to tailor your voice and how you interact with people - typically, the more personal you make the post, the better!
Consider your competition
What is your Unique Selling Proposition? (develop yours with my prev. USP post here). When you have a business, blog or service, what makes you different from your competition?
If you are yet to launch your service or product; an effective way to find out your audience is to analyse your competition's digital presence. Look at what language they use, their pictures, and their call-to-action (CTAs). This will give you some insight to how to market yours... but better!
Use SurveyMonkey to create and launch a survey to ask your audience questions.
Make personal connections
Attend networking events, MeetUp groups, heck - even consider people on a night out! How does your target market talk to you? When they talk about things with you, what are they are concerned about? What appeals to them, SCARES them, or excites them? More importantly, what’s their most pressing issue, problem, or desire?
To increase your brand awareness and make sales, you need to focus on the benefit your service or product provides - forget the features! In other words, don’t tell me what it does – tell me what it does for me!
Ellen, Bob, Anna and Jill
Wait... who are these people?! It's recommended that you create three to five marketing personas to represent the different groups that make up your audience. Giving them a name and personality helps- you want to know who are, what they value, and the best way to speak to them. Here is the information you should include:
Name of the persona 'Jill'
Job title: Key information about the company they work for (size, type, etc.), details about their position.
Demographics: Their age, gender, salary, location, education and family.
Their primary/ secondary goals: How you will help them achieve them and challenges they face.
Values, common objections you may face in the sales process (read prev. sales post here), targeted elevator pitch (read prev. post for creating your pitch here).
Hobbies, social media platforms they are on, other blogs/ businesses they like.
Personas are used by businesses everywhere to better conceptualise their target demographics, making them more 'real' which helps you speak to them.
Yes, doing all these things will take time. But, by having a proper understanding of your target audience, you are able to better direct your valuable time and marketing budget.
Don't just throw your content at the wall and hope something sticks.
I've been getting a lot of messages around this topic, so I hope you found this post useful guys! AND while we are speaking about target audiences - what type of posts do you like reading on my blog? Your feedback is appreciated!
If you liked this post, you may also like my post on how to build a personal brand.
Until next time,
Briar Prestidge x
*This post contains affiliate links which mean I may receive a commission if you choose to buy something. As usual, I only post things I love.