You may have been building up your audience for the past several months, but an increase in followers or more people paying attention to your brand does not always mean that you have the audience you want to have. In many cases, you may not have the audience you want, and you have to make the switch to attract the people that are really going to matter most.
Step #1: Understand Your Current Audience
Ultimately, you need to have a following that not only appreciates your brand, but is also highly interested in the products or services you offer. In other words, more than anything, you need to be relevant to the people you are reaching.
First understand who your audience is currently by looking at the demographics recorded on Google Analytics.
You can then define the audience you want, and then take steps to make changes.
Step #2: Defining Your Target Audience: What Should You Have in a Following?
Once again, you shouldn’t make it your goal to appeal to everyone. When trying to appeal to everyone, you neglect the uniqueness of your audience and forget what it is that they really want. Consider the following when defining your target audience:
- What is a problem that your product or services can solve? Or in other words, WHO’s problem can your brand be the solution for?
- When you picture the clients and customers that you want coming to your business, where might you find them? Can you survey, call, devise a focus group, or find other ways to connect with your target demographic? Simply listing who that person is can be a huge help in defining your target audience.
- What position makes your brand unique in solving problems for that population? Do you have an angle or a different approach that your competitors do not?
Right now you may have an increasing audience, but how many of them are actually the people who you would define as your ideal customer? Remember, your ultimate goal is going to be targeting a group of people that not only identifies with your brand, but who also will pay to support your business (or influence others to support your business—usually because they have supported your business in the past).
The best way to determine who will actually pay for your services is looking back on who has in the past, but of course if those paying for your services aren’t the audience you envision for growth (hence why you’re reading this article), answer the following questions to begin to construct their demographic:
- What age category (or categories) do they fall in?
- Do men or women (or both) tend to resonate with your products?
- What kind of employment, income ranges, or other socioeconomic criteria can you say about your customer base?
- Where do they live? Are the local or are you targeting a much larger scale?
- What kind of hobbies does your customer base share, and are any of them applicable to your products or services?
The more details you have the more defined your target audience will be, and that will make it easier to “switch over” to the audience that you actually want following your brand.
Note: Testing to Determine Your Target Audience
Asking yourself these questions and making assumptions on what you think you want your target audience to be can often set you on the right path, but we always recommend being completely sure that you’re right about the audience that will help you scale. Google Consumer Surveys are a great way to ask the questions above directly with a pool of people. This will help you validate your thoughts before you move to step 3.
Step #3: Making the Audience Switch
As mentioned above, the first step is to define your target audience. If you are having a difficult time constructing what this audience actually looks like, you can always do a little more research into your industry. Who is the target demographic of other similar brands and businesses? Better yet, who are they targeting?
You may have gained a rather large following of people who are not your target audience—and you do not necessarily need to get rid of them all together (you never know who in that group might come around to needing the products you offer). That being said, if you want to make the audience switch you need to make a conscious effort to target the audience you actually want following you. Here are some tips to make the audience switch happen in your marketing strategy.
- Content Development. Your audience is reading and responding to your content. As such, every piece of content you produce should be heard towards the target customers you want to appeal to. Whether it is a blog post, a YouTube video, a Q&A, or an infographic, make sure that you are keeping your audience in mind when you develop it.
- Targeted Advertisements. There is no denying that digital marketing involves advertising, but that doesn’t mean advertising to just anyone and everyone (that is one of the biggest reasons businesses get caught up in an audience that isn’t targeted). You want to make sure you customize everything, from your reach to your ad copy, photography, and content, to fit the target audience you want to build up.
- Consider Your Customers Above All Else. Part of branding your business is considering who you want to care about your brand, position, and products. In order to switch your audience over to the people who care about what you have to offer, they need to be at the center of every marketing strategy you implement—from the layout of your website to the coupons and specials you offer to boost business.
If you want to switch your audience to a more targeted and refined sample, you need to start implementing client-centered marketing approaches. Putting the ideal customer that you want to target at the center of every marketing decision you make will help you transition from an unruly following to a much more approachable audience. People respond well when they feel like they are being spoken to by your brand’s voice, and this will be the biggest contributor in making the switch and being heard by customers who are more likely to convert.
About Amanda DiSilvestro
Amanda is the Editor in Chief for Plan, Write, GO. She has been writing about all-things digital marketing, both as a ghost writer, guest writer, and blog manager, for over 10 years. Check out her blogging services to learn more! You can connect with Amanda on LinkedIn and Twitter.