Best Practices for Targeting Your Audience

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JULY 2017

Whether it’s a whole blog or just a social media presence, any brand or public figure struggles with this important question: how should I build my brand? You ask yourself this: who do you want to read your blog or visit your social media? A potential employer? Someone who holds your same interests? Or maybe someone you would like as a friend?

But everyone with an internet presence needs to have the tools to target an audience, no matter what kind of audience. One of the most important facts that should be known when targeting your audience is: you aim for it! If your technique is good, then you’ll hit the bull’s eye. But how do you get there? The secret is using technique and working on strengthening that technique, like any athlete does with the sport they play.

If you aspire to score a goal rather than shooting out-of-bounds, read these tips for targeting your audience.

Know Your Target Audience

This seems obvious, but it’s true: know your audience. Chances are, you started a website or a company out of your passion or interest. Be fully absorbed in that passion, and be the go-to for everything in that category. Whether it’s music, sports, celebrities, or fashion — these categories have a wide following consisting of others who are like you. Report on the latest drafting of players, post real-time updates on the red carpet, and review the newest album from your favorite band. You know what you want to see with these categories and you know what others want to see. This is a perfect “best practice” when targeting your audience.

Defining the Target Audience for Your Personal Brand

As well as targeting an audience, you should know how to target YOUR audience. This includes knowing what blogs and posts your audience wants to see, what posts are being shared the most, and listening to any feedback from your audience.

To make this process easier, resources such as Socialbakers, BrightEdge, and Google Analytics are used to give you an in-depth analysis of your audience and what posts give the most reaction.

Start Off Free or Cheap

Everything in this modern internet age is usually free, and readily available at your fingertips. If you immediately ask people to pay for your services, you won’t receive a huge reaction. You have to prove yourself before you start reaching out to your audience for compensation.

For those who run a blog, have your blogs available for free. Overtime, offer a podcast or a seminar for a small amount. Tell your audience you will host these services regularly so they can look forward to the services and you can generate regular revenue.

If you run an eCommerce platform with content marketing, give discounts to your first customers. Maybe have a free service where customers can sign up and receive special deals.

And of course, there’s always merchandise.

You have to build your brand first — but once your brand becomes memorable, your followers will be more willing to provide additional revenue for your brand.

Some Techniques Work Best for eCommerce, Some Techniques Work Best for Content Marketing…But Others Work Great for Both!

This one should be obvious: if you ran a blog, you wouldn’t be researching sales funnels. And if you ran an eCommerce website, you wouldn’t care about teenaged YouTube personalities. But there are several marketing techniques that are versatile, and they can help any website or blog.

Here are a few examples:

  • Keywords;
  • SEO/SEM;
  • Advertising/PPC, and
  • Measuring web/social media analytics.

These techniques will not only allow you to better know your audience, you’ll be able to expand that audience.

Some good tools to utilize these techniques are SEMrush for paid and organic keyword search results and Certified Knowledge for creating ads.

Don’t Try and Please Everyone

It’s the old adage that may not ring true: reach out to a wider audience. Follow the trends, see what others are doing. Watch your competitors and find out their secrets.

The internet was created out of innovation. Just about all digital marketing tools were created out of innovation: the idea of a website, a blog, and social media was the creation of those who did what no one else was doing.

There’s nothing wrong with doing what you want to do or defining a niche audience. If anything, using this technique will potentially gain you more followers: you’re being yourself, you’re being unique, and that’s an admirable quality.

Treat Your Followers Like They’re a Friend

It’s easy to be personable with people in the modern age. You can log on Facebook and meet someone from the other side of the world or you can re-connect with your high school friends. So it’s obvious that the followers of your blog or website will want to communicate with you.

When you see messages, requests, emails, etc. coming in, don’t have an ego and ignore them. Respond and talk to your followers. Let them add you on your personal Facebook account. If they have a website that’s similar to yours, follow their brand and suggest collaborating on a future project.

Responding to an email or giving a “thumbs up” on a comment might not seem like a lot, but your followers will remember that. Because of that, they will keep supporting you and your website.

Build a Support Team

You always need a group of people who you know have your support. Whether it’s a social media group, a group chat, or maybe people you know you can always reach out to — this support group will be your rock.

People to add to your support team include friends, family, co-workers, fellow bloggers, your audience, and any other colleagues who will help you work toward your dreams.

It’s all Business

When you start receiving ad revenue from popular sources such as Ad Sense or you start generating revenue from your products, you understand your material needs to be good in order to make money. But generating revenue comes from the amount of people accessing your website. When dollar signs start popping up, you’ll understand the importance of reaching out to your audience and knowing what works for them.

Never Forget Your Influencers

There’s probably a reason why you started your own company or wanted to form a blog. You were probably influenced by someone. An “influencer” is someone or something that holds a person’s interest. Whether that person does exactly what you’re doing or maybe that person is a family member, always admire them. Study what they’re doing, and try to replicate that. But don’t lose yourself in the process: oftentimes, the factor that creates the most innovation is taking influence from someone else while pertaining to your own self.

And who knows, maybe one day you’ll become an influencer.

Building a brand is essential for anyone with a significant online presence. This can be as easy as identifying to those who follow your blog or website, or using complex tools to analyze the reaction from your audience. Regardless of the strategy you use, the most important fact is to connect with your audience. Whether you run an eCommerce website or an entertainment blog, connecting with your audience is the best way to be sure they will always come back to your website. People connect with other people. Give something for people to connect with, and they will always support you.

A more updated version of this article is included in the first issue of our monthly gazette, The Write Agenda. You can read more of the latest trends and tactics in content marketing by ordering your free copy today. Contact us to request it via our contact page or you can receive it together with our latest content tips eBook when you order your professional content from us.

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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