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If you’re a marketing manager with a small staff and an even smaller marketing budget, it can be a challenge to determine where to spend your budget, let alone who you should be marketing to.  One of the biggest reasons that marketing managers’ campaigns end up failing is that they’re not targeting their highly curated content to the correct audience. It goes without saying that without allocating enough time to identifying your true audience, your marketing campaign will underperform, thus it’s important to spend adequate time determining who you want to reach.  

This means more than simply discovering the right age group, gender, and income bracket – it also means finding out about past purchasing habits, discovering pain points, if they are budget conscious, determining potential interests, and more. In this outline, we’ll help you with tips that help you hone in on the right people allowing you to maximize your return on investment.

 

Why it matters to identify your audience 

In marketing, if you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one. When your message is kept so generic that it can apply to everyone, that means it doesn’t really address any one person’s specific needs or pain points, and as a result, no one person is going to be connected to your message and feel compelled to take action. Audience identification importance simply cannot be stressed enough, and that means you need to discover who those individuals are that are most likely to purchase from you.

finding your ideal customer woman in coffee shop

How to identify your audience

Create a buyer persona or customer avatar. This essentially is a hypothetical individual who could be interested in your products or services. If you’ve already been in business for a while, a good place to start building out your customer avatar is to use an existing one as an example. You already know your customers are people who are going to be most likely going to buy from you because they already have! 

Get specific here and write out as much information as you can about the customer you have in mind. What pain point are you solving for them? How did this customer find you initially? How long were they a lead before they converted into a customer? How old are they? Where are they from? What social platforms do they use? Do they email or pick up the phone to communicate the most with your company? Get as detailed here as you can, even giving some thought as to where they like to go to eat and what kind of music they probably listen to.
If you haven’t been in business that long, or can’t think of a customer to use as an example, call someone up who would fit into your customer avatar and ask them the above questions! 

Creating customer avatars or buyer personas is a great starting point for building out an ideal customer but be sure to use a big enough data set. We also recommend building out multiple buyer personas as you’ll likely have varied customers. When you build out multiple buyer personas, you can craft messaging and experiences tailored to those types of people which will improve your ability to execute successful campaigns.

 

Where to find your audience online

At first glance, you might think that finding your audience online is a bit like finding a grain of rice in a snowstorm – but there are methods you can use to clear away much of that snow. One tool that can be very helpful is called Google Alerts, which might be very useful in helping you find your online target audience. If you’ve never heard of Google Alerts, it’s a content change and detection service created by Google. It’s pretty easy to use and is super helpful for identifying search trends, new posts, articles or research that match user searches. To get started, you would establish one or more alerts for your industry or your products, and these notifications would be sent to you whenever anyone online is sharing or discussing information related to these specified alerts. This would then provide you with the opportunity to reach out to these individuals and establish or deepen your relationship with them. Or even give you great insights into the websites and blogs you should be following in your industry. You can get started here.

Another useful tool you can use to help find your audience online is Google Analytics. All you have to do is look under your menu for Audience and you’ll be able to see the demographics including age, gender, geography, and even interests about those who have visited your website. 

If you have run any paid ads, your Google Ads manager will provide much of the same information, displaying how any given ad performs across different ages and genders, so you can have an understanding of where your true online audience lies.

We also recommend polling your current customers which can be a great way to really tap into your audience. Not only will you get some great information you can use, but you will also be engaging with your customers on a personal level, which is always a good thing and a way for your customers to feel valued. You may also have accumulated your own customer data through your CRM system or by other means, and these sources should be utilized as well so that you can have the most thorough possible understanding of your online audience.

 

How you can customize your message on every platform 

Regardless of the particular channel, you happen to be using, you should always customize the message for that specific platform, and make your message as personal as possible. If you take the lazy approach and use the same message across all channels, you’ll be ignoring the strengths and nuances of each of those channels, and you’ll lose some of the effectiveness you might have gained.

So how do you customize your message? Let’s take email for an example. If you’re sending out an email broadcast, you’ll have a great opportunity to customize and personalize the message for each individual recipient. Depending on the platform you’re using and data you’ve collected, you can customize the name, job title, company name as well as any other relevant information to what you’re promoting. Now, if you’re promoting the same message via Facebook, you’re going to need separate messaging as you won’t have the ability to target down to a name or company level. Think through the platform, the targeting abilities available as well as the standard use of the platform to help craft the right message. 

buyer persona email Social media channels should also be treated differently. There is an entirely different audience on LinkedIn, as opposed to the audience which spends significant time on Facebook, and that means your message should be altered to fit these two different segments of your audience. LinkedIn is easily a more professional audience and as such, should be treated so with the type of messaging and offers you’re promoting. Facebook, on the other hand, allows you to be more playful. Treating each social channel towards its dedicated purpose allows you to build a better connection with your audience. This helps them stay more engaged with your brand and products while increasing the likelihood they will make a purchase from you at some point in the future. 

 As you continue to hone in your marketing campaigns, make sure you focus your efforts on narrowing down your reach to your true target audience, and then whenever possible, customize your message for individuals or groups of individuals. When a person feels like a message is issued strictly for them, it sounds much more personal which helps people connect with your brand. 

If you’re struggling to hone in on your audience or build buyer personas, get in touch with us. As a full-service agency with over 13 years of experience, we can help you get organized and dive deep to discover your ideal buyer persona.