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Defining Your Target Audience

Defining Your Target Audience

Defining Your Target Audience ShoesOptional

Branding Basics

Defining Your Target Audience

How to identify the ideal customer for your business.

Developing a well-thought-out brand is essential to executing a marketing strategy that works. Your brand becomes the guide for everything else you do. It sets the tone for messaging, design, and so much more. A lot of businesses find themselves with messy marketing that yields inconsistent results simply because they don’t have something to guide them as they go. Your brand creates a framework for you to follow as you market your business. And one of the most important pieces of your brand is understanding who your target audience is. 

Having in-depth knowledge of the people you are trying to help with your product or service has a direct impact on everything in your Marketing RoadMap. It determines the copy you write on your website. It points you in the direction of the kind of content you need to produce. Knowing the details of your target audience also helps you target Google and Facebook Ads so you don’t waste time and money putting ads in front of people who aren’t interested in your business.

Free Customer Avatar Worksheet

Click the button below to download our free customer avatar worksheet. By filling out this worksheet you will get a better idea of who your ideal customer is.

What is Your Target Audience

What is a Target Audience?

Your target audience is the specific group of people most likely to buy your product or service. The people in your target audience all have a pain point that your product or service addresses. They often share similar demographics such as

  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender

If you have several different products or services, you will most likely have a target audience for each one. Your target audience should be as specific as necessary depending on your business. If your business focuses on a very specific niche, you’ll want to make sure you define your audience to fit that niche.

How Do You Define Your Target Audience?

Defining your target audience will take some work. But once you get everything nailed down, it will improve the success of your marketing strategy.

Think About Your Ideal Customer

To define your target audience, start by simply listing the pain points, needs, and problems you address within your business. Make sure these pain points match up to one of your products or services. Take some time to think about the people who will benefit the most from your business. As you do this, start listing the details of the people you want to help. These details will be more or less specific depending on your business.

For example, a career coach may want to focus on people who just graduated from college and are jumping into their careers. You may create a course that helps them prepare for interviews and provides other career advice as they start looking for jobs. The people in this target audience will most likely be in the age range of 22-25. If you want to make things even more specific, you can focus on college students who are going into a specific industry, like education.

The details of your target audience should include more than just basic demographics. You also need to think about their attitudes and behaviors. Think about what is important to them.

Ask questions like:

  • What do they value most?
  • What problems do they have that aren’t being solved?
  • What are some things that impact how they make decisions?
  • What dreams and goals do they have for their life?
  • How does your product or service help them achieve those goals?
  • Do they have any misconceptions about your industry, product, or service?
  • Why would they hesitate about making a purchase?

Do Some Research

Once you have an idea about the problems your business is trying to address and who your ideal customer is, you need to do some research. Research helps you drill down deeper into the details of your target audience. You’ll learn more about the specific demographics of the people who are most likely to buy your product, their attitudes and behaviors, and where they are online.

If you have been in business for a while, you can use your current customer base as a starting point. Comb through the Google Analytics on your website. Look at the people who are interacting the most with you on social media. Pull a list of your customers and segment out the ones who have had the most success. Note the average age range, gender, socio-economic status, and other details that are relevant.

You can also look at your competitors for some idea of who is drawn to your industry. Look at their social media comment sections. What are customers talking about? What are their complaints and satisfactions? Are there any holes that your business can fill?

Another great resource for understanding your target audience includes websites like Reddit or Quora. They will have real content from real people and allow you to see recurring questions and concerns that need answering. We actually use these sites quite often when developing content ideas for our clients. For example, when doing audience research for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, we looked at a Reddit page specifically for people who are dealing with TMJ disorders. As we scanned through the different comments and discussions, we noticed many patients were dealing with the same issues. There were certain frustrations and pain points that their doctors were not addressing. And we were able to take this information and work it into our content plans.

Think About Who Your Target Audience is NOT

It’s just as important to think about who your target audience is not. Your non-target audience is the group of people who you don’t necessarily want to sell to. These are usually the people who are least interested in your product or service. They’re not the ones who you want to spend most of your time and money trying to reach. Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t help them when they need it, but you just know that your business won’t be an ideal fit for them for various reasons.

We like to use the 80/20 rule to help us gain perspective on who our target audience is and isn’t. This rule states that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. In other words, the people who will benefit your business the most only make up 20% of your customer base. In contrast, 80% of the people interacting with your business will only make up 20% of your profits. The top 20% of your customers are your target audience. They are the ones who get the most out of your business and return the favor by making up 80% of your profits. The other 80% of your customer base are not your target market. You will still do some business with them, but they shouldn’t be the main focus of your business.

Think about the types of customers that are the most frustrated with your business. Look at your negative reviews on Google and negative comments on social media. Are there any common factors between people who are dissatisfied with your business? You can also think about people who tend to cause the most headaches for you. Think about customers who tend to demand the most of your attention with little benefit to your business. Again, this doesn’t mean you don’t help them, but they won’t be the focus of your marketing efforts.

Using Target Audience to Create Customer Avatars

Using Your Target Audience to Create Customer Avatars

Once you have the details of your target audience written down, you can use that information to develop customer avatars. A customer avatar is a fictional person that represents the real people within your target audience. Customer avatars represent an even more segmented and detailed understanding of the people you’re trying to help with your business. Avatars help you remember that you are marketing to real, specific people. As you create content and develop your website, you can keep these avatars in mind.

Here are some things you can include when creating your avatar:

  • Name
  • Demographic information
  • Personality information
  • Attitudes and behaviors

With each of these elements, you can drill down into as much detail as you need. For help developing your avatar, download our Customer Avatar Worksheet.

Free Customer Avatar Worksheet

Click the button below to download our free customer avatar worksheet. By filling out this worksheet you will get a better idea of who your ideal customer is.

How to Become a Leading Digital Agency

It’s no secret that the world of business today is extremely competitive. Everyone is looking for a way to make their business more appealing to their customers, and to do that, they need a digital marketing agency to plan a spectacular ad campaign for them. But with so many agencies out there, which one do they use? More importantly, how do you, as a digital agency, bring these businesses to you? Digital marketing is no different from any other business sphere…it’s just as competitive. In order to bring customers to you, you need to make your agency more appealing than your competitors. But how do you accomplish this task? In order to become a leading digital marketing agency, you are going to need the following three things.

Brand or Identity 

In order to become a leading digital marketing agency, you need something that they can identify you with, i.e. a brand or an identity. Customers need to know who you are and what you are about. Otherwise, why should they even give your business the time of day? Customers want to know exactly who they are going to be dealing with. They want to put a face behind the name. The identity of your agency provides them with exactly what they are looking for. If they know you and know what your goals for their company are, they will be more inclined to take their business to you digital agency because they will trust your vision. But you can’t bring in clients on your brand alone, you need to give them information on what the focus of your agency is. To do this, you need a great website.

Website

The Internet is the nucleus of all the information in existence. That’s why it is important to have a piece of territory on this giant terrain. The first place that anyone will look to find information on your business is the Internet. In most cases, what they find is what will be the deciding factor on whether or not they invest their time and resources in you. You want customers to be impressed by what they see. The quality of your agency’s website is a great place to start. But what does a great website look like?

A great website has four components. It must be simple, it must be professional, it must be clean, and it must be clear on what products and services are offered by the company it’s advertising.

Simple

First off – it must be simple. Your website cannot be overly complicated. If it’s too clustered with all of the information about your agency, potential customers won’t be able to understand what your are trying to say and will be turned off by it. But, if your website is designed in a way that gives all of your business’ information its own space, it will be easier for customers to understand what your company is about.

Professional

Next – it must be professional. Your website cannot look like it created by an amateur web designer. Customers want to work with the BEST people that they can. One of the best ways to determine the professionalism of a digital agency is to look at the agency’s website. If your website looks unprofessional, customers will assume that your business is the same way. Your website is often times the first glimpse of you that customers will see. You want it to reflect you. If your website looks professional, and it gives clients a sense of who you are, they will feel more comfortable bringing their business to you, because they will already have a sense of what their website will look like as well. In addition to being professional, the website must also be clean.

Clean

Thirdly – it must be clean. What does being a “clean” website mean? The term “clean” is referring to the design of the website. Your website has to be visually appealing. But how does one go about making their website design alluring to customers? One way is to utilize a color scheme.

Color Scheme

You want the colors that you choose for your website to look good together. You cannot just randomly choose colors and throw them onto your pages. One thing to remember is that you don’t want loud and obnoxious colors. Instead, try to go with a blend of some subtle, darker colors along with lighter tones. Clients look at your website to be able to get an idea of what their website might look like, so you want them to be impressed by yours.

Line Spacing

Another way to add to the quality of the design is through the line spacing on your pages. The information about your company should not be clustered together, but the lines should not seem like they are hundreds of miles apart either. Make sure that there is enough space to differentiate the lines. But not so much that you have to scroll down the page just to get from one line to the next.

Images

Other ways to make your design clean include adding large images to your pages and putting borders around the them. You want images of things that will reflect your company’s identity. If you are wondering how to go about finding these images, there are many online sources that offer downloadable images that are either free or very inexpensive. You also want the images to have borders around them so that they don’t completely blend into the page. One way to create borders is to use white space.

White Space

One last tip to making your design as appealing as possible is to add white space throughout your pages. Adding white space will break up the color scheme that you have chosen. If you put white space around important points or pictures you want clients to see, it will help them stand out more.

While the design of your website is a huge part of drawing customers to your agency, it is not the largest part.

Clear

Finally – it must be clear. Clients want to come to your website and know exactly what they are getting. In order to know what they are getting, your website must clearly state what your agency is about. It must contain all of the information about your company that is pertinent to your clients. As previously stated, your clients are going to come to your website for information about you first. Your want your website to entice them to you, and for that to happen, you need to tell them as much about your business as possible. Clients need to know what services you would offer them. For example, you could list what you include in your ad campaigns. Customers can look at this and determine if they want to use your agency. The more specific you are, the more people will know about you.

Now that customers have seen your website and know a lot about you, they have decided to bring their business to you. But what do you do now that they have come?

Relationships

In order to be successful in working with your clients, you need to develop relationships with them. They need to know that your care about their business as much as they do. They are relying on you to bring customers to them. In a way, the future of their company rests on your shoulders. It’s understandable if they are a little nervous. It’s hard to relinquish control of something of this magnitude of importance to someone that they barely know. This is why relationships are important. Customers will be more relaxed if they know you. They will feel like their company is in good hands. All of your customers need to feel this way. An important thing to remember is that you need to continue the relationships with your previous clients, as well as grow the relationship with your new clients.

Contact Us

At ShoesOptional, we are committed to giving our clients the very best we have to offer. If you are interested in learning more about how to become a leading digital agency, or if you want us to design a great website for you, feel free to email us at info@shoesoptional.com or call at (864) 688-9262.

Top 5 Things Your Digital Marketing Agency Should Provide

Every business owner wants to find the best way to get their product out to the public. To do that, they need a good marketing campaign. However, marketing can be a difficult field to navigate, and with the advent of the Internet, it has changed a lot. That’s why it’s best to find an agency that is well versed in the newest forms of marketing. In today’s time, a digital marketing agency is the way to go. But you don’t just want to jump in and do business with the first digital agency that you find. You need to make sure that they are going to provide you with the following five items.

Relationship Building

When looking for a digital marketing agency, it is important to find one that will build a relationship with you. You want someone who is going to value your business as much as you do. After all, your business is your life. It’s important that the one who is advertising your company actually cares about your company. If they care, they are more likely to do everything they can to bolster you organization. You want an agency who is going to appreciate your business enough to get to know you. You have a vision for your company that you want others to know about. If the one who is supposed to tell potential customers about your vision doesn’t care about it themselves, they’re not worth your time. Not only do you want someone who is going to value you and your business, but you want great customer service from them as well.

Great Customer Service

With relationship building comes great customer service. It’s only natural that you would expect one with the other. The two go hand-in-hand. Now, this doesn’t mean calling at all hours of the day-and night-to update you on the status of your website (that would be incredibly creepy). Instead, it means providing you with regular updates on the success of the ad campaign, approaching you with any new ways of advertising, and listening to any ideas that you might have or want to implement. Remember, it’s your company, the agencies are here for YOUR benefit. With a relationship and great customer service in place, it’s time for agencies to tackle the third objective.

Expand Your Base

Digital marketing agencies are responsible for generating interest in your product or business from potential customers. As such, you need someone who will exhaust all options. Someone who is so committed to your success that they are willing to do whatever it takes to draw customers to you. But what does total commitment look like? One thing it involves is regular updates to your social media pages.

Social Media Management 

A large part of effective digital outreach is through social media. With the influence of the internet in everything today, social media has become one of the best ways to market products. Almost all companies today have Twitter and Facebook pages. Many of them have Instagram pages as well. Social media marketing is a major area that any digital agency should focus on. Because sites like Twitter are very popular, they make excellent ways to generate consumer intake to your business. In order to continue to bring clients to you, social media pages have to be updated regularly, which is where digital agencies come in. Digital agencies will monitor your pages and post updates to them. While social media management is an important area for digital marketing agencies to cover, there is one other that is just as significant to the growth of your company.

Reputation Management 

When it comes to business, people typically like to know what they are getting into. That’s why the reputation of your company is so important. When customers look up your business online, they will want to see reviews of your service or product. They want to know what others think about you. You may be thinking, “How do I handle what other people will think about me?” Believe it or not, a digital agency can help with that too. Their job in this process is to sort the good reviews from the bad to make sure that the good reviews will appear first. All you have to do is continue to provide the same great service or product that you have been.

How Shoesoptional Can Help

At Shoesoptional, the most important person is YOU. You know where you want your company to go, we simply provide the tools needed to get you there. We will provide you with all that you need to accomplish your goals. But we’re always open to any ideas that you have as well. Remember, it’s all about you! If you have any questions about a digital agency, or are looking to hire one, feel free to contact us at info@shoesoptional.com or (864) 688-9262.

Hidden Cost of Free

The Hidden Cost of Free

Let’s be honest, everyone likes free stuff, especially in today’s world. It seems like everywhere we turn we are constantly bombarded with advertisements for free products or services. Free this or free that-it feels like almost everything is somehow free! But the question is…are these things really free? In terms of money, maybe. But when you really look at the big picture, you discover that nothing is ever truly free. The thing advertisers don’t tell customers about is the hidden cost of free.

What Is It?

What is the hidden cost of free? Really the question should be: what are the hidden COSTS of free, because there are a few. The biggest hidden cost is time. For instance, many website design companies offer free, do it yourself services. You don’t have to pay any money to them (which is always a plus), but there is one part that those “free” web design companies tend to leave out. Those do it yourself companies typically don’t tell you that it will cost you you’re time. Yes, money wise, it is free, but you are giving of your time to create your own website. Most people don’t like to spend large amounts of money on something like a website. So when someone tells you that something is not going to cost you anything, people tend to typically jump at that opportunity without thinking about other areas that might be affected. To a small business owner, not only is money valuable, but time is as well. There are only so many hours in a day. Small business owners have many tasks that they need to accomplish, but it always seems as if there is never enough time.

How ShoesOptional Can Help

At ShoesOptional, we understand how important time is to small business owners. We know that with everything else you have on your plate, the last thing you want to worry about is creating a website. That’s why we want to tackle that part of your “To Do List” for you. While we may not be free in terms of money, we definitely will help you free up some more of your time. If you have any questions about creating a website or are looking for someone to build a domain for you, contact us at info@shoesoptional.com or call us at (864) 688-9262.

 

You Decide What’s Inside

You Decide What’s Inside

I’ve recently had lunch at Chipotle. I glanced at the top of my receipt to find the following:

“You decide what’s inside.”

Many of us don’t realize the God-given ability to chose what goes inside. This includes things we consume both with our mouths and our souls. So again I ask. What will you decide in 2014.