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[VIDEO] How Will Social Media Influence Business in the Next 5 Years

If you’ve been around for some time as a marketer or an entrepreneur (or both), you know the importance of your audience: knowing it, finding it, talking to it, focusing on it. To expand your audience, you may be tempted to cast a wider net. In marketing, however, targeting everyone is targeting no one. 

To identify your target audience, you have to narrow down your ideal target market. To be even more precise with your marketing, you need to segment your audience into very specific groups.


Identify and understand who your audiences are

It’s a waste of time and money to market to a broad audience.

Have you seen commercials you think were clever but not enough to persuade you to buy? Why? Because they don’t speak or offer any value to you. You are not the right audience to receive those ads.

It’s the same with your marketing. For you, the goal is to bring your product or service offering to the right audience – the audience that would be interested in your offer. To do that effectively, you need to know who that audience is.

You’ve probably read about buyer personas. A persona is a customer profile: who they are, what they do, where they hang out, what they need, and what they want. Buyer personas work because they allow you to get down to the specifics of every segment of your target audience. And knowing the specifics of each segment will help you craft audience-specific messaging that will result in more conversions.

What helps you build your personas?


Conduct market research and talk to people

Learn every aspect of the market and know how your company currently operates from a business standpoint. Through a SWOT analysis, identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in your business.

Each of the four data points gives you insights to fine-tune your message for your target audience. The precision in messaging will help you gain an edge over your competitors.

The data you gather from the demographics, psychographics, behavior, pain points, and industries help you go granular on your buyer persona/s.

Once you have your personas, they become your best source of information. Talk to them. Listen to them. You don’t even have to ask how long they’ve had the problem and how they’d like it to be solved. The answers are probably already online.

If you have other questions, don’t be shy. Ask. Get involved in the community, and participate in the conversation. The insights you gather will help you design the right solutions for your customers.


Study your existing customers

Track your analytics and social media insights

Many business owners still forget or avoid keeping track of their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). We tend to be anxious about the KPIs and neglect the goldmine of data.

Your existing customers’ demographics and buying habits can tell you a lot about what works for them. Track where those leads come from. This way, you’ll know whether it’s your Facebook posts or your email campaigns that are the sources of your revenue.

Know what your target audience likes

How well do you know your target audience? What magazines, pages, topics (these can be people and places, not just actual “topics”) do they follow and engage with on Facebook and Twitter? Knowing this will allow you to target them with high precision as well as come up with well-defined look-alike audiences for additional targeting.

Look-alike audiences are people who share the same preferences or behaviors with your existing customers. Look-alike audiences might just be your next customers – but only if you know where to find them and what to say to them.


Personalize your message to win over your audience

When you understand your target audience, it becomes easy to personalize your content calendar, campaigns, and messaging styles and funnels.

When you personalize, you get results. People don’t even mind ads when they are relevant to their needs and interests.

To succeed in your marketing efforts, craft specific content helpful to your audience.

Plan your digital marketing content for the entire month. For more sources of content, you can repurpose old content, such as videos, and present it as new to the right audience.

Present your message as the solution to their pain points

Start talking about the benefits of your offer right in the headline. Make your audience feel as if today is their lucky day because for once, they have found the solution to their pain points.

Tell a story

An effective message drives your target audience down the funnel. To make your message effective, make it relatable. Use stories that touch, entertain, trigger emotions, and foster trust in your brand.

Use your story to make yourself more likable. If your audience likes you, they’ll be more likely to remember you, trust you, and buy from you.

You can tell a number of stories. For example, tell your audience your origin story, explaining WHY you created your business. Or share with them your goals and experiences.

These personal accounts show people there’s a person or team behind the brand rather than a faceless company they can’t trust. When your audience feels a personal connection to you, they will trust you’ll work to deliver solutions to their pain points.

This need to trust is universal. This includes the B2B space, where clients look at things more rationally and are more accepting of professional language that often lacks the warmth of personal communication.

This doesn’t mean you should remove all personal touches. After all, B2B clients prefer building lasting relationships with their partners.


Final thoughts

To get sales, you need to reach the right audience. To reach the right audience, you need to know who they are, what they like, and what messaging they will respond to.

To get the message right, make it as relevant to your audience as possible. To increase the success of your messaging, personalize it.

Relate to your audience as real people with real problems. Share about yourself to humanize your company, and your audience will see you as a real person.

Show them you understand them and provide good service, and you will earn their trust. When people trust you, they buy from you.

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