6 crucial reasons to know your audience inside out and proven ways to do it
You're marketing in an uber-competitive online space. But, if this isn't a good enough of a reason to know your audience inside out, we have six others.
You poured hours and hours of your time and a lot of resources into creating a great marketing strategy in the hope that it will attract, engage, and drive sales. Then, for some reason, it falls flat. You're now wondering what happened and what went wrong. More often than not, the problem lies in not knowing your audience inside out.
As a brand, you want to reach the right people. You don't want to waste money, time, and energy on promoting your products/ services to people who wouldn't want or buy your product. Yet, this is a frequent mistake made by businesses. Data suggests that about 76% of marketers fail to use behavioral data to target their prospects online with relevant advertisements. For this reason, it is no surprise that 51% of consumers believe that brands send too much content that is irrelevant for them. Plus, 56% of consumers believe that businesses need to gain a deeper understanding of their needs.
Now, getting to know your audience to have an inside-out approach in your marketing is a complex, multi-step process. This article explores the reasons why knowing your audience matters and how to do it.
Why research your audience first?
Social media engagement, conversion rates, user experience, and keywords. All these words have one thing in common: they are all related to attracting, engaging, and converting your target audience into buying customers. In other words, your audience matters more than all these marketing efforts you're making.
Think about it: if you don't know who your audience is, then you don't know which marketing strategy to use, which channel to use, and what type of content to use to reach out to your prospects. So, here are six reasons why your marketing efforts should first start with people, not words:
Save money, time, and effort
One of the strongest reasons why you should play to win when it comes to tailoring your marketing for your audience is the fact that it saves you a lot of resources. More precisely:
Money: Spending huge amounts of money on promoting social media posts, sending bulk texts, publishing articles, and showing ads to people is a complete waste of money if your efforts aren't suitable to engage the right people. In contrast, by knowing your audience inside out, you can tailor your marketing strategies, whether they are online or offline, to ensure that they will attract, engage, and sell. This will mean no money wasted.
Time: Promoting a brand is no short-term task, and it definitely takes a lot of time. You have to decide on a strategy, create content, implement your ideas, test them, and then do a lot of continuous maintenance work. Now, imagine what you would feel like to invest this time only to find out that it was all for nothing because you failed to understand your audience. That's wasted time that you could have used more efficiently if you had started with finding out who you are promoting to.
Effort: Building a marketing strategy takes a lot of effort as well. You create the content, edit it, schedule it, post or send it, and so on. If your effort focuses on the wrong ideas because you don't know your target audience inside out, this is another resource you're wasting.
Be one step ahead of your industry rivals
Standing out of the crowd is becoming harder and harder in today's super-competitive business ecosystem. But, knowing your audience inside out and reaching out to people in a way your competitors don't might be your winning ticket to be noticed in a sea of similar businesses.
Think about it: you'll deliver the right message to the right people, in the right way, using the right channel, even at the right time. There's no way this would not make your business be one step ahead of its competitors.
Don't draw prospects away with irrelevant content
Whether you're using online marketing strategies, like social media or email, or offline marketing tools like SMS marketing, TV ads, or flyers, if your content isn't eye-catching and relevant, prospects will not want to see it again.
All marketers agree that "content is king" these days. Yet, with more and more brands penetrating the online business ecosystem, quality is becoming the new "king."
Today, consumers are bombarded with content, be it audio, video, or written. And, more often than not, they find it irrelevant, dull, or too "salesly." Your marketing efforts should be focused on making your audience have a different opinion than that about your content.
Now, to create relevant content and keep your prospect engaged, you obviously need to know what exactly "relevant" means to your audience. Everything from the tone they prefer, the language, their interests, and their buying behaviors are essential details that you should keep in mind when creating your content.
Audience engagement matters at the end of the day
Google Analytics says that you're getting hundreds or thousands of visitors on your website every month. Yet, you don't see those numbers in your sales. If this scenario sounds familiar, rethink your marketing efforts, only that keep the audience in mind this time.
In other words, more important than visitors are visitors who actually engage with your brand and turn into paying customers.
Audiences show loyalty
Unlike the average Internet user that ends up on your website because Google recommended them to surf on it, audiences are searching specifically for your website and keep coming back to your brand. And, this doesn't just apply to digital marketing channels. Say, for example, you're using an SMS marketing campaign, if your text messages end up to the average mobile owner who has shown no interest in your brand or product/ service, that's not an audience you're reaching out to. And, at the end of the day, you shouldn't expect the receiver to show any loyalty to your brand.
In contrast, if you succeed at building an audience by understanding its needs, wants, and preferences and then delivering solutions to them, your business will see many loyal paying customers coming back again and again.
You can engage people emotionally
What you want with your marketing is for people to genuinely connect with your brand, not just go through with some clicks and purchase your products. At least, that's what you should want if you want them to keep coming back.
In today's busy business environment, consumers are bombarded with impersonal approaches from brands. But that's not what they want anymore. They no longer just want to see your latest offers and how you brag about your product being the best. They want to connect with the brands they shop with by sharing the brand's values, mission and feel connected with its purpose on the market.
This is where emotional connections shine. But, to create them, you need to know your audience well. You should find out more about your prospect's concerns, worries, problems, but also about the things they value and are ready to stand for. From there, you can tailor your marketing strategies to resonate with all these emotions your audience is sharing.
Ways to know your audience better
Now you know why knowing everything about your target audience matters. But, the question remains, "how do I learn my audience inside out?". Don't worry! We have a few tips on how you can get to know your audience better to be able to create marketing strategies that engage and sell.
Review all data and analytics available
Depending on what type of marketing strategies you want to implement, you need to gain and review all the data available. For example, if you're going to make your website more user-friendly, you'll have to look at all the data gathered and stored so far about how your visitors have interacted with your website. Look at stats like how much time they spent on the site, where they looked for the buttons, what was the step in your sales funnel that made them leave and not go further.
If you were to conduct an SMS marketing campaign, you'd have to look to entirely different data. You'd have to use HLR lookup solutions to check if your customer database is still up-to-date, and you won't send texts to invalid numbers. You'd have to look at how many people opened your texts and which texts brought you the best engagement levels. This way, you'll never waste resources on sending texts that will never be read or bring you any real results.
Learn from your competitors
While looking at your competitors to learn more about your audience is an alternative form of market research, it is still a very efficient one. Identify the competitors who share the same target audience as you. Next, look at their brand, voice, marketing strategies used, and how the messaging is tailored to their advertising. But, most importantly, look at how their audience responded to all that.
If they are getting a lot of engagement, they probably understood the audience inside out. And, you can learn from them. Now learn how to do things even better than your industry rivals, and don't forget to add your own uniqueness to your marketing.
See what worked for you in the past
The chances are that some of your marketing tactics worked a lot better than others. You saw some exciting engagement levels, the audience resonated well with the messaging, and you also probably attracted some paying buyers. If that's the case for your business, go through all the steps you took last time when you got great results and learn from there.
By referring to these previous successes, you can identify what's working for your audience the best. Sure, this doesn't mean that you should stick to the exact same strategies you already used. They will only bore your prospects in the long run. What it means is that you can use them as good examples you can work on and improve.
Create a buyer persona
If your business doesn't already have a buyer persona, create one now. The ideal buyer's profile helps you get a deeper understanding of your audience and customers' needs, wants, and preferences. This will also guide you on how to market to your specific audience better.
By creating a buyer persona, you'll learn why your prospects need your product or service, how to convince them of that, and build long-term relationships with them.
Know your audience personally
This can sound like a lot to do, but it can bring you some valuable insights about your audience that may even set you apart from your industry rivals. Meeting your audience in person and engaging in actual face-to-face conversations can open your eyes about things you always thought you understood about your customers and prospects, but you actually never did.
Now, don't get it wrong. You wouldn't have to meet hundreds, or thousands, of people to understand how to market your brand better. Meeting just a small group of people from your audience can be enough for you to hear from your prospects what they actually want from your brand.
How do you meet your audience personally? You can create events and invite people to join. As they arrive at your event, you can get lost in the crowd and invite people to conversations. Another strategy would be to approach your customers as they visit your business location (assuming you have one).
Monitor engagement carefully
Seeing that your posts, emails, or texts are getting engagement is exciting. But it is not enough. To truly understand your audience, you need to take one more step: see what type of engagement you're getting.
So, start paying more attention not only to how many people respond to your work and how often they do it but also to how they are responding. Looking at these metrics will tell you which tactics are working and which messages don't appeal to them.
When you know your audience inside out, you can be sure that your marketing efforts are not in vain and that they truly resonate with the people you reach out to. And, as a result, your brand sees more engagement, conversions, and loyalty.