The most important thing about any business website is who it is created for.  Many sites are built without first fully understanding who the audience is and this often results in high bounce rates and low conversions because visitors do not find what they are expecting if they do visit.  This is because sites are often attracting the wrong people and not reaching their target market who are likely to make a purchase or submit an enquiry.

When we ask the question ‘Who are your ideal customers?’ the answer is often ‘Anyone’ or ‘Everyone’ and this is never the case even if you are a large well-known brand there are always those who will never buy from you.  The difference is that the bigger brands can more easily afford to target everyone anyway.  For smaller businesses, the better tactic is to define a specific niche or set of niches and focus your budget and efforts on those people who are more likely to become customers.

You don’t need to look far

The first place to look is your existing customer base.  Those who are buying from you already are doing so because your product or service is what they need or want.  So the likelihood is that there are others out there with a similar profile who will have the same requirements. Why do they buy from you and what do they have in common with each other? Look at the average age, gender, location, job type and interests of your current and past customers and identify groups with similar attributes.  You can get similar information by looking at the people who buy from your competitors too and also learn a lot from the differences in the two and who your competitors are focussing their efforts on.

Find the pain and relieve it

What are the problems or issues that your product or service solves for people?  What benefits do your customers get from choosing to buy from you?  Once you fully understand these things you can start to create profiles of the people who have those problems and want those benefits.  For example, if you sell jewellery and offer a bespoke gift wrapped service then you might solve the problem of choosing a gift and sending it for busy professionals who struggle to find the time to choose, purchase gift wrap and post a gift to their loved ones.

Where do they hang out?

Which social networks do your customers use? This doesn’t just mean pick the top two or three that you think they prefer or just the sites which you think the majority use. Do some research and find out which social platforms they are active on, search for your keywords and competitors, find groups and communities where conversations are happening that relate to what you do and make sure you have a brand presence wherever you find potential customers may be communicating.  This will also help you to learn about your target audience, understand the sort of questions and conversations they are having and where you have the potential to provide answers and solutions as well as give providing inspiration for blog topics you could write about to attract customers to your website.

Proximity

If location is key to your business and you want to encourage people to visit you and attract those that may already be nearby, proximity listening can also be useful.  Social networks allow you to look for posts from a specific location.  Many users choose to ‘check-in’ when they post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.  You can also use social search tools such as EchoSec to search for social posts within a geographical area which gives you a great idea of users who are already engaging with the environment near your business.  Another way to find nearby users could be to look for people who are engaging online with other businesses who are close to you such as the same street or postcode.

Related Interests

Finally, you need to look for trends that are related to your product or service.  What other things interest your ideal clients?  Are they likely to be food lovers, moviegoers, sporty, interested in arts or the theatre? These things don’t even have to be related to your own industry but could be related to the occupations or other demographics of your ideal customer.

Now Sharpen Your Focus

Stop trying to please everyone and concentrate your marketing on those people who are more likely to buy from you.  Use specific messages that appeal to their attributes and split your marketing up so that different segments of customers get the right messages for them.

If you would like help with defining your target market contact us now and ask about brainstorming sessions to help with your marketing strategy, we have lots of options available and use different methods with different clients to get the best results.