Although having successful and effective digital strategy relies hugely on defining your target audience, many a startup have troubles coming up with a fruitful plan for handling their digital marketing. In fact, Enterpreneur.com says that up to 51% of marketers stated that strategy issues prevented them from achieving their digital marketing goals. So, what are they have been doing wrong?
It appears that one of the main problems was successfully defining their target audience, which is why all the other digital marketing efforts these firms made were indeed in vain. Any entrepreneur must understand the needs of their customers, as well as be aware of the perceptions they have of his or her company, startup, website, blog, or any other means of doing business. Defining your target audience is a key to making a successful digital strategy, while it also requires using the right technology and keeping track of your efforts by properly utilizing the metrics.
Asking the Right Questions
The first step is to identify the goals you want to achieve so you can then begin working on your digital marketing strategy. In order to achieve this, you need to first ask these 3 simple but vital questions:
- Am I trying to reach new customers?
- Am I looking to gain insight into my current customer base?
- Am I launching a new product or service?
Once you realize what your overall goal is, you are ready to begin working on figuring out who are those people you want to reach so you don’t end up shooting in the dark. Susan Chritton in her book Personal Branding For Dummies really nicely summed up why defining target audience should be crucial to coming up with an effective digital strategy:
One of the biggest mistakes that budding personal branders make is trying to appeal to everyone. Think about the game of darts: You have to aim in order to hit the board. (If you let your darts go without aiming them, you probably won’t be very popular.) If you hit the board, you score. And if your aim is very good and you hit the bull’s eye, even better!
A few Simple Steps toward defining your Target Audience
First, you will want to determine what exactly you are offering that is new, fresh and exciting. This should be the starting point in defining the target market for your product, content, service, etc. Once you figure out what you X-Factor is (or are), you are ready to calculate who is most likely to benefit from your product.
Secondly, make sure you are able to paint a picture of your ideal customer. You can even make a list of all the different types of customers that would be interested in what you have to offer. When you are happy with your list, you can also try grouping them by their physical location, market sectors, and all the other factors that can influence their interest:
- What do they do for a living?
- What is their income?
- How much time do they spend online?
- Are they fans of social networks?
- Are they male of female?
- Are they married? (Yes, even the most private questions can be rather helpful. Who knows, maybe you even end up finding your significant other through this research…:D)
What Else is There?
The title of our final section is the name of an awesome song from one Norwegian band, but is also a crucial question you need to ask so you will have the much-needed insight in where exactly your business will fit. Once you have painted the picture of your perfect customer, you might want to take a closer look at the markets these people are checking out on a daily basis, while also determining what you can uniquely offer to this person. Only then will you have a product and a consumer that match perfectly.
Once you define your target audience and come up with a perfect product for them, you might want to see how you can boost your search visibility by simple competitor analysis.