Regardless of whether your company is B2B or B2C, your marketing strategy should be based on who your target market is.
Content marketing and social media strategies only work when they are deeply researched and written with a specific, thoroughly personalized buyer persona in mind. You should define your target audience before designing a marketing campaign or, in some cases, even before designing your product.
We’ve all heard of the Buyer Persona. Even though your customers are a group of people, we’re going to define your target as a single person.
The Content Marketing Institute defines a Buyer Persona as:
“A marketing persona is a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience. For content marketing purposes, you need personas to help you deliver content that will be most relevant and useful to your audience.”
Create 3-5 different personas, including their demographic information (age, occupation, income, race, gender, etc.). Then list their likes, dislikes, worries, leisure activities and achievements.
But isn’t it easier said than done. How can you access this information? Maybe you have no idea what kind of person your target customer is. How are you really supposed to know what your average consumer likes to do in her free time? Are you sure you know their true pain points and what they’re complaining about IRL? If you’ve never talked to them and you don’t know WHO exactly uses your product, any Buyer Persona could very well be just a shot in the dark.
Luckily, it’s possible to figure out tons of information about your buyers online.
Use Google Analytics and social media insights
Google Analytics and social media insights is the best way to identify your target customer base in terms of demographics. All you need to do is enable the demographic and interest reports in Google Analytics.
With these, you can access:
- Affinity categories that take into consideration user lifestyles
- Other categories that expand on affinity categories and are based on the content users consume
That’s already a lot of information! Using Google Analytics, you can already start designing the personas of your potential customers. But is that enough? To touch on their real pain points, you also need to know how they’re talking and what they’re complaining about. Another place they may be hanging out are message boards.
Message board and forums
Modern message board — like Reddit or sector-specific forums — are a great way to see all your customers asking questions, complaining, and trying to resolve issues in your sector. This is a raw, direct source for market research.
Since you’re reading this article, we assume you don’t know what message boards your customers hang out on. Well, let’s say you sell luxury watches. All you need to do is Google “luxury watch message board”. Look what I’ve found:
Here, YOUR customers (if you’re that luxury watch brand), are talking about their deepest complaints and pain points. This is a content gold mine.
Do you know your customers?
Are you out of touch with your customers or do you understand them because you’ve been in their shoes?
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