If you’ve been keeping up with the Optemyz blog, you’ve probably noticed a trend.
There’s a singular piece of advice that’s so crucial to online marketing success that it made an appearance in each of the following posts:
- How to Create Dangerously Effective Content
- How to Avoid These 7 Devastating Facebook Advertising Mistakes
- How to Strategically Segment Your Email Marketing List
This one piece of advice probably appeared in other posts too, and there’s no doubt that you’ll read about it again in future posts.
Yes, it’s that important.
So, what do content marketing, Facebook advertising, and email marketing all have in common?
Each marketing strategy—dare we say just about any marketing strategy—requires you to have a deep understanding of your target audience.
In our content marketing post, we advise you to understand exactly who you’re creating content for. Makes sense, right? The kind of blog post or article you’d publish for a 45 year old male divorcee would be very different than what you’d write for a 22 year old female college student (at least it should be!).
In our Facebook advertising mistakes post, the first mistake we mentioned was about an advertiser not doing enough research on their target demographic.
When we discussed how to segment your email marketing list, we talked about how important it is to understand the demographic breakdown of your subscribers and how you could personalize future marketing messages for those specific groups. In other words, knowing your audience.
…Why would social media marketing be any different?
If your social media strategy hasn’t been panning out so far, the culprit could simply be that you aren’t communicating effectively with your target audience.
Let’s discuss a few ways to determine who that is and how you can connect with them on a deeply personal level that helps you build brand loyalty and expand your business.
Getting to Know Your Target Audience: Permission to Stereotype
You’ve probably had it jammed into your head for most of your life that stereotyping is bad. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and all that.
Don’t get us wrong here. In your interpersonal life, stereotyping is bad. It can cut you off from opportunities or great experiences that you might have enjoyed if it weren’t for ignorant or ill-fated preconceived notions.
Having said that, there’s one group of people that absolutely adore stereotypes.
And you know what? That’s not a bad thing either. When done correctly, it actually leads to increased customer satisfaction and less annoyance at marketing materials, because those materials are being presented to the largest group that’s statistically likely to be interested in them.
Know Where Your Target Audience Gathers
For example, let’s say you’re selling a product called The Destroyer Monster 4×4 Off-Road Truck Grill. Statistically speaking, you’re more likely to reach your target audience through targeted Facebook ads, by participating in relevant discussion forums, or direct marketing to groups interested in offroading and devastating cute bunnies in their path.
A platform like Pinterest, which is predominantly female, may not be the optimal platform.
Could there be a bad-ass woman out there that loves muddin’? Absolutely. And there are. This whole example is grotesquely stereotypical. But statistically speaking, a company is more likely to have a positive return on investment by performing their outreach elsewhere.
To better connect with your audience through social media, know where they congregate and use the right language to reach them.
Once You Know Where They Are, Engage With Them
As the saying goes, social media is social.
Interact with your target audience and provide them with interesting, shareable content that makes them want to sing your praises to their friends and followers. This is easier said than done, because you need to really “get to know” your target audience to pull it off. But when you do, the results are well worth it.
Consistency is also incredibly important. Participating in social networking regularly shows your target audience that you’re there, you’re involved, and that they can reach out to you if they want.
How to Gather Data About Your Target Audience
Entrepreneurs tend to love what they do. They stand behind the products and services they provide so strongly that if you were to ask them who would benefit from what they do, the answer is often a resounding “Everyone!”
This, of course, is pretty silly. In the vast majority of cases, a product or service is going to predominantly appeal to a certain group of people. This is what we call a “target audience.”
Even if you think you have a pretty good idea of who that is, it never hurts to know more—at best, you learn something new. At worst, you confirm your suspicions and can reconsider how to better reach that group.
A few great ways to get to know your target audience include:
- Conducting surveys
- Observing past behaviors of customers
- Compiling demographic data (e.g., age, gender, location, and so on)
- Creating a customer “avatar,” a fictional person meant to represent your ideal customer
- Using the tools at your disposal, such as Google Trends or Alexa
- Evaluating and analyzing your competition
- Interviewing customers
- Monitoring social media, blogs, and news outlets
These ideas are the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Getting to know your target audience won’t just benefit your social media marketing, it’ll benefit your entire business.
We’re Pretty Much Great Matchmakers
In a nutshell, nearly all social media strategies have these three things in common:
- A solid understanding of target audience
- Encouraging engagement
If you’d like to learn more about your target audience, the team here at Optemyz would be happy to set up a date for you with them at a 4-star restaurant, candlelight included.
Well, not really, but we can help you examine and revise your social media marketing strategy to better understand and connect with your target audience. If you’ve been struggling and can’t quite seem to make heads or tails of your unique situation, reach out to us today so we can figure it out together.