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Communicating with your target audience – How to get it right

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As a business owner, communication is the key to reaching your target customers and selling more of your products or services. Whereas once there were relatively few forms of communication, now there are hundreds, and it can be difficult to know which channels to use to maximize your success. So how do you communicate with your target audience and how can you make sure you’re getting it right so that you can grow your business?

Who is your target audience?

It may seem obvious but before you can begin communicating effectively with your target audience, you must first know who they are. This often seems simple, and yet many businesses fail to accurately research their target audiences before they begin their marketing campaigns. To get to know your target audience here are a few tips:

  1. Look at your current customers
    Unless you have yet to start trading the chances are that your target audience is actually closer than you think, because they’re already buying from you. Conduct some research on your current client base, what interests do they have in common? How old are they? Where are they from? Why are they choosing to buy from you? The chances are that if these people are buying from you then customers like them will want to too.
  2. Check out your competition
    Don’t be afraid to check out your competition to see who they are targeting. Look at their current audiences on social media – who appears to be buying their products or services? Don’t assume that you need to replicate who they are targeting, this research could, in fact, lead you to find a niche that is currently untargeted.
  3. Analyze your product or service
    Finally, don’t forget to look at what it is you are trying to sell. What are the pain-points that you are trying to solve, which people have these pain points, and how can you group them together?

By using a combination of the above three techniques you should start to get a good feel for who your target audience is, now it’s time to get to know them.

Get to know your target audience

Now that you know who your target audience is, it’s time to get to know them like the back of your hand. What do they like to do on weekends? Where do they shop? How much do they earn? What are their wants and fears? The more information that you can gather about your target audience the better, as this is what will enable you to make well-researched decisions as to how and where you choose to communicate with them. When getting to know your target audience, it always helps to speak with them in person, let them tell you what they want, not the other way around as this helps to eliminate you putting words into their mouths.

Focus on your target audience’s needs

All too often companies waste valuable money and effort trying to sell their target audience what they think they need, without actually asking them what they need first. Don’t assume that what you have interpreted to be their needs actually are their needs, and also don’t take the opinions of one person to be the opinions of your entire audience. Try to sit down with as many people in your target audience as possible to gain a representative sample of their needs and then use this in your communications.

Find the right communications channels

When it comes to communication, one channel definitely doesn’t fit all, and many businesses waste huge potions of their marketing budgets trying to communicate with their audience via the wrong channels. To avoid this mistake, be sure to research where your target audience spends their time and how they like to be communicated with. What social media channels do they use if any at all? Do they read emails? Do they respond best to visual media? Do they listen to the radio, read magazines or watch television? The answers to these questions will largely determine where you need to focus your marketing budget. For example, if your target audience is most receptive to verbal communication, spends a lot of time on their phone but doesn’t tend to answer unknown numbers, then you may wish to consider using ringless voicemail drops as a means to get a message through to them.

There are now over 120 content delivery and marketing channels by which to communicate with your target audience, here are just 12 to consider:

  1. Facebook
    Although Facebook is now often touted as a ‘dying’ social media platform it still has more than 2.45 billion monthly active users with 30% of them being between the age bracket of 25-34. Although the platform is no longer so popular with the younger generation it still has a loyal following and can be very successful as a form of mobile advertising.
  2. LinkedIn
    LinkedIn remains the place to target business professionals and is one of the most highly used channels by B2B marketers. The platform now has more than 500 million members with 40% of them using the platform on a daily basis. For B2B marketers looking to get in front of decision-makers, LinkedIn remains the platform to use.
  3. Twitter
    Twitter still proves to be a divisive platform, but for brands who ‘get’ how to use it the rewards can be plentiful. The platform currently has more than 145 million monetizable users with 44% of them being 18-24-year-olds. Unlike other platforms aimed at young people, Twitter users are often found to be more educated.
  4. Instagram
    Instagram has taken off in recent years and its advertising potential is huge. The platform sees more than 1billion users log in each month and 63% of them log in at least once per day. The Instagram stories feature has only helped the platform’s advertising reach and now more than 75.3% of US businesses have an account on the platform. 
  5. TikTok
    TikTok is now the most highly downloaded social platform by Generation-Z with more than 1.5 billion users, 60% of them within the 16-24-year-old age bracket. As a relatively new network just 4% of marketers are using the platform leaving it wide open for the taking. The platform specializes in short video content and for companies who can create viral content, it is a cheap and easy way to reach a large young audience.
  6. Email
    Contrary to what people may believe email is still a huge global marketing opportunity and it only seems to be growing. In terms of return on investment, email is still a strong deliverer making on average $42 for every $1 spent.
  7. Podcasts
    Although podcasting is nothing new, the rise of smartphones and streaming sites has given this communications channel a huge resurgence. On average the annual income of podcast listeners is $10,000 above the national average and more than 65% of podcasts listeners can recall an advert they heard the day before making podcasts a huge untapped opportunity.
  8. Magazines
    The number of magazine readers has stayed largely consistent over the years with many publications now offering digital versions of their content to supply digital demand. For niche products, the special interest category of the magazine has seen the most growth in recent years.
  9. TV advertising
    The television remains a huge part of many people’s lives and still presents a potentially profitable advertising opportunity. Fast-forwarding and recording have made it easier for consumers to bypass advertisements and so money is best spent on prime slots. 
  10. Billboards
    71% of Americans consciously look at billboard advertising making it a great way to get in front of target consumers who spend a lot of time driving. Billboard advertising is often most effective for local businesses such as restaurants.
  11. Exhibitions
    For both B2B and B2B consumers shows and exhibitions provide a chance to speak with a brand face to face, this is especially helpful for companies who do not have a physical store.
  12. PPC
    If you know what your target customer is searching for then Pay Per Click advertising now dominates the top search results and provides an easy way to increase web traffic.

Create an engaging message

On average a person will see over 5000 advertisement messages a day, this huge volume of advertisement information is making people numb to traditional advertising techniques and it now takes a very special message to stand out from the crowd to make them pay attention. Don’t waste budget promoting unappealing, boring advertising, focus on creating innovative, new and exciting content that will pique the interest of your audience and will stand out next to your competitors. Small details such as the font, colors, images or call to action can all affect the success of your advert so do be sure to conduct A/B testing on a number of variations to see which ones work before you spend a huge proportion of your advertising budget.

Getting it right

When it comes to effective communication with a target audience 90% of the task is understanding who you are speaking to. With this information, it should be relatively easy to create value-adding content and to place this where it will be most effective

About Business Woman Media

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