By Sarah Saker
As an online business, you are bound to face competition. Your goal should be to develop a strategy for honing in on your target audience. Offering potential customers something of value that is relevant to their needs is key to building a successful online business. Learning more about your target audience will allow you to focus on how to best package your product with messaging and promotional tools.
1. Identify Your Target Market
While you may want to believe that your product or service appeals to everyone, this simply isn’t going to be the case. Anything you sell will appeal to a specific audience. The key to jumpstarting your campaign is to identify those most likely to buy your product. You can than move forward by developing a marketing strategy that reaches out to this key demographic.
The first thing you should do is to pinpoint what needs your product or service fulfills. This will give you insight into the type of customer you will attract. For example if you sell cosmetic products, you can assume that women will make up the majority of your customer base. If it is a product such as wrinkle cream, you can determine what age range it will appeal to. When you know how the product will be priced, you can narrow your audience further to income level. This analysis will allow you to arrive at a more focused target market.
When you create a website for your business, you will be able to learn even more about your audience. Tools such as Google Analytics can give you an idea of the age, gender, and geographic location of your audience. You can then make adjustments to ensure you hone in on your key demographic.
2. Create a Message that speaks to your (very specific) Audience
After identifying your audience, place yourself in their shoes when devising a message to fit their needs. Think about the questions that might arise pertaining to your product. Express the benefits that customers will experience after buying your product. You want to effectively communicate value to the customer in order to gain a following and develop a high level of engagement.
Use creative ways to get your messaging across. For example, showcase your product in a short video depicting how it can be used. Build infographics and display images that are relevant to your product. Leave room for users to comment and feature testimonials. You want customers to see that you carry out your promises. Make sure to promptly respond to any customer questions to show you care about their needs and will address them. It’s important to develop a personal relationship with customers online since you don’t have a physical location to engage in face to face conversation.
To help boost your site’s SEO ranking, implement keywords throughout your pages. You want users to be led to your site when using search engines. Use Google AdWords to compile a list of keywords. Implement them throughout your content and in your domain name. Make sure your domain name is short and memorable. It should express what your company represents so it can be easily recalled and revisited.
3. Choose the Best Channels for Communication
The next step in effectively reaching your audience is determining which channels to utilize to communicate your message. Google Analytics will come in handy when it comes to figuring out where to feature your content. It can show you which sites are leading users to your page and which pages are the most successful. You don’t have to be present on every social media site, but try to have a profile on at least two or three platforms. If the idea of managing multiple pages seems daunting, use Hootsuite to post and schedule content across all your pages at once. It will also enable you to monitor your brand by sending you notifications when it is mentioned. You can then become part of the conversation and respond to any negative feedback before it spreads without your knowledge.
You should also use tools such as BuzzSumo which allow you to get insight into what is most appealing to your niche. It will help you uncover what is trending around your topic and content you should share with your customers. This will also help you target influencers in your industry. You can then reach out to them to offer guest postings to spread the word about your product. Influencer outreach is one of the quickest ways to attain more followers.
4. Make your Site Mobile Friendly
As you develop your website, you want to make sure it is mobile friendly. Consumers are constantly connected to their mobile devices while on the go. You want to make sure they have access 24/7 to your site. Don’t have two separate sites for mobile and desktops. Google will penalize your sites for duplicated content which will make it harder for you to appear in searches. Instead, implement a responsive design. This will make your site easier to view on multiple devices. Sites designed this way will be able to detect the device being used and automatically adjust for optimal layout.
When creating content, make sure the fount size is at least 14px and that buttons are large. You don’t want users to have to zoom in to read content. Allow users the option of viewing the desktop version of the site on their mobile devices. Some customers prefer to see to see the full site and you don’t want to limit their experience. Google provides a mobile-friendly test tool which will enable you to paste in your URL to see if your site is optimized for multiple devices.
5. Measure, Adjust, Repeat.
After a month or two of seeking to target your audience, test whether your efforts are effective. Determine which channels are gaining the most response. Using tools like Google Analytics, find out what content and pages are the most popular among your audience. You can then implement your most successful tactics on pages that are receiving less traction. Take a closer look at the background of your customers. You may be surprised to find that your audience doesn’t reflect the demographic you set out to target. This is not a problem. It just means you may have to adjust certain elements of your messaging to better fit your customer base. Be adaptable and open to change in order to achieve the best results.
About the author:
Sarah Saker is a business coach and freelance writer that specializes in helping SMBs setup processes for customer support and predictable growth. When not writing or coaching, Sarah can be found on her (small but growing!) family farm. Connect with Sarah on about.me for coaching or writing help.