As a young, wide-eyed college graduate I was hired to run the social media strategy for an independent insurance agency. Thankfully, it was successful and the company saw drastic online growth. But, the greatest growth came when I understood my audience.
As a twenty-something male, my interests were pretty narrowed and didn't step far outside of sports. The problem was that middle-aged mothers were both our largest audience and they weren't nearly as excited as I was to analyze the teams in the BCS National Championship Game... weird, I know.
Your Brand's Success Requires a Plan of Attack
The best plan starts with the right questions. Here are three sets of questions to help you identify your target audience and energize your efforts:
1. Who Are Your Favorite Customers? And, What Do They Have In Common?
When a customer becomes a raving fan -- capture them and learn everything about them!
Make every effort to understand that customer and what was done to “win” his or her favor.
- What was unique about your favorite customers' experience?
- What is unique about them and how they were acquired?
- What hesitations did they experience in the moment of purchase and how did they overcome them?
When identifying your target audience, start with your current clients and look for trends in your favorite and most profitable accounts: income, marital status, position, means of acquisition, and other notable demographics.
If you can interview your clients, don't only talk to those that are happy, sometimes the best learnings will come from the customers you lost.
2. What Problem You Are Solving Now? And, What Problems Are You Going To Solve In The Future?
The first question may be obvious, but the second one is essential to your brand's ongoing success.
- Where will your target audience be when they recognize they have a need for your company?
- When do they feel most stressed and impacted by those problems?
- Where do they turn to find a solution to their problems?
Specifically, think through the pains your target audience will experience and not as much the day-to-day details but the process of discovering a solution. By focusing on where friction exists, you can better understand where your target market most longs for your product.
Find a way to be present when they need you most.
3. How Does Your Audience Want To Hear Your Message? Are You Making Assumptions Based on Your Experiences?
Don't let your own personal experiences guide you to believing you understand your target market. Conduct research. Discover your network's opinions. Interview your target audience.
You are thinking like "you" when you need to think like "your audience."
The right question is: 'How do I get my content in front of the right people?'
Joe Chernov, VP of Content at Hubspot
Now it’s time for the fun part – execution. Is your audience more inclined to read, search, post, or attend?
- Where does your audience live?
- How do they want to hear your message?
- Where are they already listening?
Focus on one or two channels and master them before spreading your message across the masses of options and accepting a large amount of waste and inefficiencies.
The Most Important Quality to Reaching Your Target Audience Is Relationship
Of all relationships your company develops, how you interact with your target audience is arguably the most important.
Online advertising is a growingly convenient solution but is it the end-all answer to building relationships. If used the right way, social advertising and online marketing can be extremely effective, but in a digital world how can you stand out from the noise?
In today’s world, the most important thing to a client is a sense of "knowing" a brand.
Huddle believes and has found success in creating tangible interactions between brands and their target audience. Relationships are the key to influencing your target market.