Inbound marketing is all about creating relevant and useful content for your audience.
Creating content without defining your target audience is like wearing a blindfold on the golf course. Even if your form is perfect, it’s going to go off course.
You can’t create suitable content without knowing exactly who your audience is and what their needs are.
That’s why finding your target audience and creating buyer personas is so crucial for the success of any inbound marketing campaign.
If you understand your buyers, you’ll be able to create content that meets their needs and solves their problems. This leads to higher conversion rates and increased customer loyalty.
But how exactly should you go about finding your target audience? Here are 6 tips to help you get started:
1. Ask yourself some basic questions
The goal of these questions is to help you understand and define:
- Why you are creating content
- Who is going to be reading your content
- What sets your content and product/service apart from others
- What types of content you’ll need to create to connect with your audience
What problems does your product/service solve?
Bring yourself back to your mission statement. If it’s not relevant to your mission, it doesn’t belong in your marketing strategy.
Who are your current customers?
There is almost certainly someone in your organisation that has data sets on your customer base. This is the best starting point for defining your target audience.
Who is your competition?
A good marketing strategy is a combination of creativity and reverse engineering. Take some time to compile a list of companies that are leaders in your industry, as well as businesses that are in similar positions as you. What are they doing successfully and where are they falling short?
What are our clients’ common pain points?
This is one of the best ways to find content opportunities. Creating content around FAQs makes it easier for your potential leads to research your company. Solving problems before they have a chance to deter customers will naturally lead to an increase in conversions.
How do we help our customers succeed?
Why should people choose you over any other business? What are your key selling points and value propositions? How can a customer expect their lives to improve once they purchase your product or service?
2. Compile data on your current customers
As we said, this data should exist somewhere in your assets. Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter and your CRM software (HubSpot, Salesforce, etc.) are the best places to start looking. Key data points include:
- Marital Status
- # of Children
- Spending Patterns
Segment your current customers according to the most relevant categories to your business. For example, if you’re selling a B2B service, you’ll obviously place more emphasis on income and occupation than # of children and marital status. Whereas if you’re an e-commerce store selling home goods, the latter may be crucially relevant.
3. Do a competitive landscape
It’s pretty difficult to find data on the people that are interacting with your competition. However, it’s very easy to get an idea of how your competitors are positioning themselves in the landscape. You’ll also be able to see the types of content that people are interacting with and what’s lying dormant on their social accounts and website.
While you’re doing this you’ll also see what types of content are ranking on page 1 for your industries main keywords, which should give you a shortlist of content you need to create to catch up.
4. Conduct customer surveys
Customer surveys are a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of what your customers and subscribers are thinking, how they’re using your product and whether or not you need to make any changes to your services. This is another great source of content ideas. If a couple people have the same questions or common issues, there’s a good chance others are experiencing the same thing.
5. Create buyer personas
Now that you have your data organised, you can come up with your buyer personas. Buyer personas are detailed fictional representations of your customers. They are based on your research, data and personal experience with your customer base. They assign a name, demographics and behaviour patterns to your audience members and define their common pain points as well as your goals for each group.
For a step-by-step guide on how to create buyer personas, complete with free templates download our free guide “How to Create Buyer Personas.”
6. Test your findings
Once you have your target audience defined and outlined into buyer personas, it’s time to start creating content tailored specifically for their needs. Creating a full-fledged content marketing strategy will take a significant amount of time and energy. Be sure to analyse the results of all of your efforts, from social media posts to blogs to paid ads. Each piece of content will provide valuable insights that will help you increase the efficacy of your marketing efforts.
And speaking of marketing efforts, is your email marketing up-to-date? If you’re unsure, schedule a free, no-obligation email marketing evaluation with Sam and Bianca. Contact us here