7 Key Steps to Understanding Audience

Understanding your audience is the key factor in marketing

When you sell a vegan salad for example, will you offer it to someone who loves hamburger and meatballs? Well, you may do it. However, he will less likely buy it than you ask someone who already chooses a vegan lifestyle, right? That is the importance in understanding the audience.

Finding an ideal audience means that you reach a specific group of people that match your marketing message. Remember that your target market is not everyone.

Not all people want and need your product. Instead of wasting your time to people that do not even glance at your brand, focus on the people who share the same value with you so that you have a crystal clear insight when creating content, choosing a social platform, and communicating with them.

The way you talk to men and women or elders and youngsters is different, right?

Here are 7 effective ways to define and understand your audience

1. Conduct research

If you have already owned a blog or social media, go to their analytics and insights. Find out who is enjoying your content.

For instance, in Instagram Insights, you can get detailed information about your audience related to their gender, locations, and age range. Check your Google Analytics and discover what kind of content they like by looking at the top keywords they are searching for or your top blog post.

Have not you built a website? Do not worry! You can visit Google Trends to get the idea of Google Search’s top search queries in your niche. You can also observe a handful of tools such as American FactFinder to find census and statistical information.

2. Engage your audience personally

After you check the data you have about your audience, confirm it by interviewing your current or previous customers one-on-one.

Spare extra time to become acquainted personally with them and ask what concerns they have about your product and service, what type of content they enjoy the most, or what difficulties appear when it comes to your niche. 

This insight may not be applied into all audiences, but you can conclude and start buiding generalizations after encountering some of your clients.

3. Join a forum with specific niche

Getting to know people that share the same interest with you is incredibly helpful in understanding the audience. To approach them, you need to join either online or offline forums. These people will keep you updated with current trends. Also, the ones who are keen into the topic will participate in giving an honest review of a product that can be useful in improving yours.

Let us say you have a coffee shop. By joining a coffee community in your town, you will encounter people in your niche whether your potential customers or even competitors. Ask them about your coffee. They usually generously share their knowledge, and who knows that you can collaborate with one of them.

4. Analyze your competitors

Now that you have integrated your analysis and joined a forum, it is time to see what your competitors are doing, specifically the ones who have the same target market as you. You can see what types of blogs they use, how they engage with audiences, or what kind of writing style they apply on their website.

You can analyze your competitors by:

  • Surfing the internet with the same keywords you use. For instance, if you have a pizza restaurant in New York, you can specify your search using “best pizza places in New York”. You had better focus on the ones who share the similarity as you such as the price range, restaurant decoration, or even the recipes.
  • Conducting a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) analysis. This competitive analysis may result in finding their strengths and weaknesses so that you can fill the gaps in how you start a blog for business.

5. List your ideal reader

Listing an ideal reader or customer persona is a significant step in conceptualizing your target market. Based on Hubspot, there are 7 questions categorizations you can “ask” to create your ideal reader. Those are their role, company, goals, challenges, watering holes, personal background, and shopping preferences. 

In the role, company, and personal background, dig deep about who they are as a person: age, marital status, skills, field industries where they work, and revenue. In goal challenges, watering holes, and shopping preferences deal with their habits such as shopping schedules, how they enjoy blogs and publications also their aspirations. Do all of these in the hope that you can “help” them with your content.

6. Read your blog comments

Pay attention in the comments in your blog posts to get to know how many people are interested in certain topics, how they respond, and how often they comment. Theoretically, the more people comment, like, or share your post, the better the engagement is.

Analyzing their feedbacks can assist you in establishing the pattern about the topics on your website. That way you can find out what your readers love or which ones do not convince them.

7. Hold a survey

A survey is the most straightforward way of understanding your audience. You ask them questions about particular topics for blog posts or general opinions about your products.

In this digital era, it is easy to publish a survey because you can use tools like SurveyMonkey or YouGov. If you have built your own app, you can utilize it. Furthermore, you can also share the survey with your email marketing list and social media followers.

Do you wonder how people can agree to click and fill the survey? MyValue Kompas Gramedia from Indonesia persuades their surveyees using e-Money or voucher for the lucky ones. You definitely can do it too! After receiving the results, you can quantify and use it as your foundation in developing content.

In understanding the audience, you cannot just assume what people need. You must conduct thorough research using existing data, looking at your competitors, and engaging with your audiences by interviewing or launching a survey.