When developing your marketing plan, getting to know your audience is one of the first and most critical steps. Why is that step so important? When you truly know your audience, you ensure that the goods and services constantly resonate with them. As a result, this can boost your reputation, conversions, and customer loyalty.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of getting to know your audience and how it can help you turn more leads into customers. It will also help you understand how to improve your customer retention.
Before understanding why it’s important to know your audience, you need to know the process of developing a marketing plan.
Understanding your audience is very important, and when you grasp this, it’s easier to reach your marketing goals. There ends up being less worry on why leads are not converting. Defining and understanding your target audience is a vital step that many businesses mistakenly miss. First, let’s understand the steps in developing a marketing plan. Depending on the article you’re reading or the individual you’re asking, the process can be as general as possible or very detailed. Typically, the following steps are taken in developing a strategic marketing plan.
Conduct a Situation Analysis
You should have a decent understanding of your current situation before getting started. Performing a SWOT analysis of your company will help you better understand your standing. You will also be able to analyze your competitors and determine any gaps in their approach that you can target.
Know your audience
This is the critical step in question. Defining your target audience based on demographics and other parameters will give you a more successful campaign. That’s because when you really know your audience, you understand their wants and needs, creating more conversions and retention.
Write SMART Goals
Determining goals allows you to actively work toward your company’s success. If you don’t know what your goals are, there is no way to measure your success and ROI. SMART goals are those that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Once you determine your goals, you can map out specific actions to help you achieve them.
Analyze Your Tactics
Once your goals are set, you must determine what actions you must take to achieve them. Not only that, but you must determine what channels to utilize. For example, if your goal is to increase Facebook followers by 20% in a 3 month period, you may want to get creative in your Facebook marketing strategy. If you wanted to increase the amount of email subscribers for your business, you would want to create compelling and engaging content.
Set Your Budget
Every marketing plan needs a budget. You would need an appropriate budget for reaching each of your goals. Some tactics may be costly and time consuming, such as paid advertising or how much time you are willing to commit to social media.
Think of the entire process as a puzzle. ‘Know your audience’ can be considered a piece to this puzzle. Without it, the puzzle is incomplete, and this can negatively affect your marketing campaign’s success.
Why it’s important to know your audience
We’ve already talked about how knowing your audience is a vital step in developing a marketing plan. Now, we will talk more about why it is so important.
When you know your audience, you understand their problems.
Your audience has wants and needs that need to be addressed. If they feel like your business and its products or services meet their needs, they are way more likely to convert into paying customers. For example, I wanted a cleaning tool that vacuumed and mopped my floor at the same time. So, I bought the Bissell Crosswave, which met my needs.
When you know your audience’s problems, you know how to market your brand.
You are able to develop marketing strategies tailored around the needs of your target audience and send a message that resonates with them. By understanding their obstacles, you have a better understanding of how to overcome them.
When you know your audience, you can create better products and services.
Sometimes, it’s not that you need to find a new target audience, but you need to simply tweak what you offer to better suit your existing audience. The wants and needs of your target audience may change down the road. It’s important that you remain adaptable, so you can maintain your audience and build customer retention.
When you know your audience, you know exactly what language to use.
Understanding your audience allows you to get in their minds and get a feel for what they are thinking. You will be able to understand the terms and phrases commonly used to describe their problems. This allows you to form meaningful relationships with an audience that feels like you truly understand them.
When you are talking to everyone, you aren’t talking to anyone.
What does this mean exactly? Well, this is the importance of defining a target audience. When you market too broadly to send a message to everyone, that message doesn’t actually resonate with anyone. When you try to create a message that is somewhat relevant to everyone to target as many people as possible, that message isn’t specific enough to actually really relate to their needs. However, you don’t want to be too specific. Consumers sometimes may not even be searching for your product or service, but you still want it to be relevant enough to encourage them to learn more about it.
Buyer personas may benefit your marketing campaign.
To know your audience, you may want to consider creating buyer personas. Buyer personas are semi-fictional entities that describe your ideal target audiences. You can create buyer personas by including demographic and psychographic details. They help you understand what your customers may be thinking, the problems they face, and how they make decisions. Buyer personas ensure that all your marketing efforts are tailored to your audience’s needs. Our friends at Dimepiece LA exemplify this well by displaying engaging examples of their target consumers’ style on their website!
How to get to know your audience
Now that we have talked about why knowing your audience is important, we will discuss how to go about it. Getting to know your audience isn’t as easy as it seems. Many companies present themselves by only talking about what they do or the products they offer. However, the most successful companies out there present themselves in a way that describes their customers’ problems and how they are going to solve them. The customer journey starts with them having a want, need, or a problem they intend to fix. Customers naturally gravitate toward products and services that will address their wants and needs. This builds loyalty and trust, and the best way to do this is by simply explaining that you understand their needs and address them.
So, how do you start? There are many ways to get to know your audience better.
Conduct research in advance.
You will want to conduct market research and understand the demographics and psychographics of your audience. Don’t just look at the factors that you automatically thought were relevant. Consider branching out a tad to related niches and interests from similar areas. You want to have enough information to have a solid understanding of the type of audience that will benefit from what you offer. You can take a look at social media analytics or Google Analytics to start.
Take a look at competitors.
You will want to analyze your competitors and as much of their marketing strategy as you can. This will help you understand how their branding efforts and the messaging they use to reach the same target audience. Are there gaps in their strategy? Are they effectively addressing the needs of their audience? If not, how can you make your marketing strategy better?
Create buyer personas.
We’ve talked about what buyer personas are and how they can help. Using them is a tried and true marketing tactic that takes any marketing campaign to the next level. You will create your target audience and conceptualize them, forming ideas on how you will direct messages toward them.
Communicate with your audience personally.
The easiest and most effective way to know your audience is to form relationships with them. Social media management allows for two-way communication that allows you to learn about your audience and vice versa. What are their personalities like? How do they express themselves and their concerns? When you get to know your audience in a meaningful way, you will start to see that certain characteristics or wants and needs overlap.
Pay attention to comments and engagements.
What type of content is your audience engaging with the most? What do their comments consist of? Generally, the most engagements you get with your social media strategy, the better your strategy is going as long as the majority are positive engagements. Understanding how your audience responds will help you learn more about your audience and the type of messaging you should use.
This is perhaps the most straightforward way to learn more about your audience. Simply asking them questions can give you the answers you’re looking for. Anything you want to learn about your audience you can turn into a question, create a survey, and submit to followers and email subscribers. You can use a tool like SurveyMonkey to ask your audience questions. Conducting surveys can sometimes be a little troubling since not everyone is so willing to take time to answer questions from a brand. Offering incentives could make it a little easier.
Create your marketing strategy around your target audience.
Missing out on knowing your audience can have a negative impact on your marketing strategy. If you tailor your marketing efforts around what you know about your target audience, it will only benefit you. You will be directing your marketing messages to people who are relevant to your business. There are many steps in developing a strategic marketing plan, and getting to know your audience is only one step. However, it is a very important step that no business should miss out on.
If you find yourself stuck in your marketing efforts, contact us to get started with your marketing consultation.