Just putting your product or service out there and hoping the right people see it is just a waste of your time and money. There are really two big problems in skipping doing thorough audience research:
There are different ways to approach this.
In this case, we’ll assume you don’t already have an audience or lots of profitable customers. But if you do, you should definitely focus on getting a deeper understanding of your most profitable customers.
Here is what to do if you start from scratch - which you also might want to do if you were in the market for a while and haven’t gotten big results yet.
Your target market analysis aims at clarifying where you want to focus your online (and offline) ad campaigns.
As part of the analysis, you will create a target market segmentation because you will most likely have more than one type of potential customer that could benefit from your product or service. If your business is still in the build and testing phase, you'll want to focus on just one segment, to begin with.
Analyse your audience by answering the who, what, when, where, why and how questions:
Really diving into this in real conversations, tapping into existing online conversations and working with real customers 1:1, will help you identify the small differences that have a significant impact on what you should offer to whom, how and where.
Personally, I learned this way, there is a big difference in mindset when it comes to motive (for acquiring digital marketing services) if my customer is a solopreneur occasionally using freelancers or if the entrepreneur use the title director about themselves and are looking to build a ‘real’ company with an office and 5 employees.
The first group wants to LEARN HOW so they can replicate the processes themselves. The second group wants to outsource and just have the job done. Both groups are mid-40's, educated, female business owners - but their mindset, motivation and goals are completely different.
After researching and you have an idea of who your audience might be, let’s dig deeper and find out where can you find the actual audiences without making any false assumptions and randomly target people.
At an overall level, you need to keep in mind that your thinking on this, and your understanding of who your audience is, will develop over time.
What you need now, is to start experimenting without too much risk. You need to figure out how to FIND your audience now that you understand well who they are.
Let me share one of my favourite ways of targeting your best audience: those who already showed interest in you and your services and those who look like them.
This strategy takes a little longer and you need the patience to have enough data but in return, you’ll have a much better foundation for your advertising campaigns. You can say that with this strategy, we are borrowing a little from the more data-based approach your bigger competitors are able to take.
The Data-First Strategy has three parts:
You’ll want to set up a system to capture the information about who visited your pages on Facebook and your website. Here is a short explanation. You can also check out the more detailed training on this inside the Personal Brand Business Academy.
How to capture data about who visited your website
Sign up for a Facebook Business Manager account, install a pixel on your website and then create an Ads Account inside your FB Biz Manager. Go to the Custom Conversions section and define ‘buckets’ to capture visitors to your website or specific pages on your website.
How to capture data about who visited your Facebook page
Now, head over to the Audiences section and define ‘buckets’ to capture visitors to your Facebook pages. You cannot set up to many but pick the most relevant options for now.
Just doing these two things, you are already ahead of most of your competition. This will make you able to target people who are in the ‘buckets’ or to ask Facebook to find people with the same characteristics and behaviour as the people in your buckets.
Have a free PDF or something else you can mention in a soft way here and there when appropriate
Obviously, you can also run ads to attract more people to this, but that would, of course, be more cost-effective once you have a little more certainty who should be your target audiences. One approach is, however, to invest a little money in ads to a broad audience. A bit like throwing spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks. If you can afford its a shortcut worth considering.
But there are cheaper and even free options (you pay with your time instead):
These are just a few ideas I’ve found useful. Stay true to your brand and be a little scrappy. Get into real conversations and bring people to your pages - one by one if you have to.
Now you have visitors and followers, you’ve opened up new opportunities for yourself.
Here are a few of them:
This strategy is all about building an audience first and then learn how you can best serve them. I love this approach because sales and marketing is all about emotions, trust and connection between human beings.
If they love how you helped them outside your business, they will love how you can help them inside your business.
Start with serving. Then see who follow and focus the majority of your attention on them. Let Facebook find more who look like them to grow your business.
What do you think?