How To Find Your Target Audience Online

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Online persona example

One of the things you need to understand early on in your online marketing plan is where your target audience hangs out online. This can vary from industry to industry. Maybe you’re selling to teens, retirees, businesses in the manufacturing industry or maybe businesses that are just starting out.

Whoever your potential customers are, if you are putting your money and efforts into the wrong place you won’t see the results you want from your online marketing.

We’ve created a list of tips and tools to get you started finding your audience.

Competitors

Probably the number one source that most companies miss is their competitors. First thing you should do is check where your biggest competitor is setting up shop. Are they using Facebook, LinkedIn, Paid Search or something else? Next you should look at how they are doing in this space. If they are on Facebook and have tons of engaged followers, you should probably be there too.

Search and Social Monitoring

Use search and social monitoring tools to monitor your brand, industry and competitors.  By monitoring what’s happening on social media and throughout the internet you can see who the most active/affluent people are in your industry and see who’s talking about your products and other products like yours, as well as where they are talking.

Then you can tune your marketing to take advantage of the various networks and hone in people that are already interested in products like yours.

There are plenty of tools out there are a few of your favorites.

  1. Google Alerts – With Google Alerts you can have Google search for your brand and report via email anywhere it finds your brand online. You can set where Google looks, the frequency and the number of results you would like to receive.
  2. Social Mention is a social search engine that searches for social media platforms including blogs. You can choose specific types of content (blogs, Twitter, comments, events and more) or all content and set up notifications for the results.
  3. Use Twitter Search to monitor what’s trending on Twitter.
  4. There are also other pay tools such as, Percolate & Raven

Surveys and Questionnaire’s

Surveys on social networks and blogs can be a great source to attract and engage potential buyers as well as to gain insight into the market.  Use tools like SurveyMonkey to help you set up your surveys.

Industry News and Trends

This one is definitely not a new concept, but keeping up with news and trends in your industry and competitors will help you understand what products your target audience is interested in and where they are spending their time.

Try news aggregators like Netvibes, the FlipBoard App or Currents App. There’s also a flock of others out there.

Create Personas

As you start to get an understanding of where your target audience spends their time online, you should be able to create “personas” of your ideal customers from the data. Create personas for each segment and give them names photos and attributes such as age, gender, social networks, how do they search, etc. If you need some help download our “Personas Template” to get started.

Create Your Online Marketing Campaigns with Your Target Audience in Mind

Now that you have some idea where your audience is you can start creating a marketing strategy that focuses on the right online platforms and speaks to the right people.

This will make your decisions easier for where to advertise. It will help answer questions like: Do we need more likes or followers? You’ll know the answer because you know where “your people hangout.”

Knowing the personas of your potential clients will help you be more in tune with their needs, helping you be more exciting, engaging and hey, maybe even sexy.

So download the Personas Template and get started today!!!

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