Attracting and engaging your audience is crucial to any marketing strategy. The more completely you can understand your audience, the more effective your marketing campaigns will be. Thus, it’s essential to take steps to know your audience as completely as possible — who they are, where they are and what they want.
How you and your team interacts with your audience will make or break your brand. Customers seek out products and services that resonate with their values and interests, and if your campaigns are missing the mark, they’re unlikely to stick around for more.
Becoming more acquainted with your audience, from casual browsers to avid admirers, is as much an art as it is a science. Let’s take a look at several ways you can discover who is consuming your content and how to better connect with them.
1. Evaluate Your Analytics
Initially, take a look at who is already engaging with your brand. In the digital age, nearly any content that is published online simultaneously collects user data during its lifespan on the internet that are easily viewable through features built into the platform. Data regarding content saves, view counts, comments and share numbers are typically accompanied by demographic information.
You likely already have access to several pools of relevant data to examine, but it wouldn’t hurt to do some extra investigation. Whether you initiate a focus group or build an online qualitative research team, deep dives into your current following can provide insight into who is currently connecting with your content.
2. Conduct Market Research
Your audience has several options to choose from within your market, so users interested in your brand are probably checking out your competitors, too. This audience overlap may seem like a clear detriment to your brand, but it can be used to your advantage.
Viewing and analyzing the content of your competitors can reveal what is working for them and what isn’t, providing valuable insight into what users are looking for with other brands. Visible analytics such as likes or comments on their content will tell you what works for your target audience, too.
Pay extra attention to any particular word phrasing, brand voice, audience interaction and visual choices. What works for them may not work for you, but knowing what your audience is looking for can help point your marketing strategies in the right direction.
3. Examine Successes
What worked for you once before may not work exactly the same again, but looking back at content, products or services that were successful for your brand is another way to discover what is working and what isn’t.
Maybe a customer service interaction garnered your company a great review on yelp, or perhaps an interesting anecdote was more widely shared across several platforms. Whatever the content, it resonated with your target demographic, and you can look to its components to analyze the impact it had on your audience.
4. Identify Your Target
A common practice in marketing strategies across all fields and niches is to generate a target buyer persona. Your audience consists of people from many walks of life, but they all have several things in common, things that drive them to seek out your brand to fill a need or desire for what you have to offer.
By creating a buyer persona, you can identify core traits in a sample member of your audience, as well as flesh out details about their interests, habits and behaviors. With this persona in mind, your marketing strategy will know better how to connect with and reach your audience using content that is reliable, fulfilling and appealing for your target demographic.
5. Make Personal Connections
To truly understand your audience, it’s important to interact with users directly. One on one time with your consumers goes a long way to establish rapport between your brand and its users. Pay attention to the way they speak, their word choice and the topics they choose to discuss, both within your brand’s scope and outside of it.
Getting to know individual members of your audience doesn’t just improve the experience for a singular person, but a positive experience with your brand is very likely to be shared with others in their social circle.
Positive, personal communication from you to your users creates a reciprocal flow of information, and the more you connect with your customers, the more insight you will have into how they operate and what they’re looking for.
6. Ask the Audience
When in doubt, ask them yourself. Send out simple surveys about what content your audience is currently enjoying and what they’d like to see more of with your brand.
Quick questions can be included as calls to action on your social media posts, while larger surveys can be easily sent out via robo-texts or email lists already in your system.
Surveys are most effective when incentivized, so if possible, offer a reward or discount code for their participation.
Once you’re better acquainted with your audience, you can more effectively shape your marketing strategy to build up your bottom line and make authentic connections with your consumers.