Reaching Your Target Audience
You’ve done it. You’ve created your own online business and have products or services to sell. Your website is up and running and easy to navigate, full of pictures of your products accompanied by detailed, engaging product descriptions. You’ve also checked that your shopping cart works. Yet, that might not be enough.
In today’s digital world, it`s necessary to define your strategy for business growth. You have to reach your target audience quickly or your website, along with your products, becomes lost in the sea of SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). So, how do you do that?
First, you must determine your audience, getting to know what moves them towards an eventual purchase. Second, you need to determine what they value. Finally, you have to figure out how to guide them through your channels towards that final purchase. Here are some tactics you can use to do this.
It all starts with gathering business data about your customers. Without data, it’s hard to make concrete decisions. First of all, make sure you gather good analytics on all of your channels and take advantage of all the free advertising you can. Start by signing up for Google Analytics and Google My Business: the first will help you get information about how people use your site, while the second is an easy advertising win.
If you’re using social media channels, such as Facebook, they should also have some form of analytics that you can use to determine how visitors are responding to your marketing.
These tools will provide you with vital insight about your customers, giving you a glimpse into their psychological profile and what they find important and interesting. This can be of immense value when trying to target a particular audience, or even defining the audience you want to reach. It will also tell you what audience you’re reaching right now. The answers may surprise you!
SEO and Content Matter – A Lot
If you’re attempting to sell something that might appeal to a broad market, like for example an easy-to-use digital camera, you may be able to utilize generic keywords, tags, and language. However, content matters: a Millennial photography novice is more apt to feel at ease with less formal content that makes use of a more casual tone than a professional photographer in their forties or fifties and well-versed in film photography.
Put the above tools to work for you to find the content markers your audience is using. Identify keywords used by existing customers in your positive reviews, especially when they are frequently used. Study the search queries people are using to find your site and see what pops up. Integrating these words into your ads and content can help you to identify and draw your target audience. What you thought were the keywords that worked best with your audience might get a huge revision after seeing how people are actually finding you.
Matching keywords with the different stages of purchase your customers are in will also be helpful. Keywords tend to fall into three categories:
- Informational – Contacts aren’t quite sure what they’re searching for yet and use more generic terms. Tagging these to land on a page full of informative, engaging content can help move them to the next stage.
- Navigational – They know what they want and are looking for a specific topic or item. They might be looking for a specific brand or simply a specified product, but might not be ready to purchase. Repeat customers looking to make additional purchases often use navigational terms.
- Transactional – They know what they want, and more importantly, they are ready to purchase. These kinds of keywords are used to locate a specific item for purchase, i.e.: buy a digital camera.
One great tool to help you make the most of SEO and content is BuzzSumo. This nifty little application will help you seek out (and utilize) what content works best on social media. By inputting specific keywords, BuzzSumo will take you to the most popular content related to that keyword on the interwebs.
Scope Out the Competition
While some might consider this slightly underhanded, it can be invaluable. If what you’re offering isn’t unique, but just improved or tweaked with your original spin, you can utilize social media to your advantage and visit your competitors’ pages. Studying what they post on social media and what content they have may help inform what you could offer to bring in your target audience. Take a look at what was successful for them as well as what failed.
Just don’t copy them word for word! Take what they have done and make it your own. As long as the competitor information you use is publicly available, it’s fair game.
Use PPC Campaigns
If you have the budget, purchasing Facebook ads and Google AdWords ads are great ways to reach a diverse audience beyond what your current keywords are drawing organically. They can be a good investment if the ads you create convert well and the price of your offerings is high enough to offset the investment. So plan your PPC strategy well before investing your money.
Assuming that you’ve already developed engaging content about your products, these steps can help you not only identify your target audience, but keep them engaged and purchasing your product.
Chris Hickman is the Founder and CEO at Adficient with 15 years of experience in search marketing and conversion optimization. Since 2006, he founded GetBackonGoogle.com, helping businesses and websites suspended in Adwords to Get Back on Google.