How to find your audience is an essential step to ensuring you create a successful communications or marketing campaign.
For all your communications and marketing campaigns, you need to make sure you are reaching the right people. This is why a target audience is important.
At Social Web Tactics, we take several steps to make sure we build the right audience or refine the audience you have started to identify.
1. Review Customer Data
Existing customer data, including sales reports, are an important starting point. We like to review and analyze past performance and to build some profiles of your customers. We examine things such as: which customers have been with your organization the longest, what are the largest deals (as well as which companies have cost your firm too much money), and who has been willing to provide the best customer testimonials.
In many cases, we will interview sales / business development team members to hear their perspectives, including what prospects discuss with them. Interviews are an excellent way to get insights that often do not show-up in sales reports or get noted in Salesforce records or other places. An additional step is to conduct interviews with customers to get their insights into why they bought products / services, and what pros and cons they experienced in their relationship.
2. Research Competitors
There are many sources for marketplace data that can be used to build a target audience. We look at competitors and the published deals they have won, because they are a great resource. When you know the buyers of competitor services or solutions, you can start to build a buyer profile and target audience.
3. Website Analytics
Website analytics and Google Search Console data can help add insights into who your target audience is as well as help paint a picture on how effective your messaging is at the present time. We review analytics and search data as part of every engagement.
4. Keyword / Search Data
We also use keyword and online search data as part of our process of building a target audience. Search engines are our answer engines. We go to them to find information about things we need. Identifying what people are looking for is a helpful way to finding who is doing the looking.
5. LinkedIn Audiences
LinkedIn audience profiles provide a good sounding board for creating an audience profile. LinkedIn advertising allows us to target, test, and the hone the target audience based on performance of a campaign.
6. Survey or Market Research
Surveys or market research, either done directly from an organization or using third-party media focused on specific industries, are very effective ways of building a target audience. In both cases, you get audience information. We have extensive experience creating survey questions and market research questions, as well as building online assessment tools.
7. Outline Customer Benefits vs Product / Solution Features
Another step in finding your target audience is to approach the search from what benefits a customer is expected to received as opposed to the features of the product / solution you offer. Ask, "What type of company would benefit the most?" and from there, you could ask, "What role in that organization would benefit the most?" This may not provide a complete answer, but it will start to shed light on who your audience is - and give you a profile to do more research to validate your theory.