Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or business. This week, our question comes from a fan who entered to win a Fire 7 Tablet from Pangea. Today, we will answer the following question: “how do I engage my target audience?”
Understand first, then engage your target audience
Your target audience is made up of people who are most likely to buy your products or services. Having a clear picture of your target audience is critical. You need to structure your business around your target audience. You must understand what they care about, what they want, and how they behave.
The easiest way to understand your target audience? Talk to them. Seriously! Having real conversations can be a huge eye-opener if you spend your days working in an office isolated from others.
But let’s say you already have a target audience. Let’s say you have a business and you can at least roughly describe who they are and what they like. How do you understand them on a deeper level?
First, research the people who are actively engaging with your website. Actively products and channels that are converting. Then find what’s not working and tweak it or stop doing it.
Looking for a technical solution to help you get started? Google Analytics is a free and fantastic tool that allows you to track data for your website. This is one of the most helpful tools for small businesses to use. Its whole reason for existing is to help you track and measure the most important data from your website.
Where do I engage my target audience?
Engaging your audience can be done through a number of different ways and through a number of different channels. You can have face-to-face conversations and phone calls. But since we focus more on digital marketing, we’ll approach the question from that angle.
Some online channels where you can engage your audience include Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Knowing which channels serve which purposes helps you to understand which platform(s) are best for your business.
Facebook is the biggest social media platform in the world. More than one billion people are on the site. Facebook Pages and Groups are great ways for your small business to engage with your audience. On both, you can share content, and interact with your audience through comments, posts, live videos, or even contests.
Instagram is also a very popular social media platform. Sharing content through photos and videos is its primary function. Now you can live-stream and post stories that all your followers can more easily view. You can do this all with an Instagram Business Profile, which provides you with insightful analytics about who is engaging with you and other data on your page.
Twitter is another fantastic site to engage with your audience. Similar to Facebook, you can tweet out posts, pictures, videos, or whatever you are wanting to share. Lots of businesses have taken to engaging with their audience in a comedic manner. Companies such as Wendy’s and Taco Bell have been some of the biggest names to do so.
Interacting with your audience on these channels is different for everyone. After all, not all target audiences want or expect the same things. What’s really important is to research your audience and find out where they hang out online. Then become a part of the community!
How can data help me engage my target audience?
Engaging with your audience means putting people first. Even still, data and careful analysis can help you gain insight into how your audience really thinks. It’s not always what you expect!
For example, Google Analytics, which we mentioned earlier, provides information about your website and its visitors. You can figure out which pages people read and how they find you. You can also pay attention to how long users stay and which pages they exit on. Properly read, this data will tell you what people want to see and what they don’t want to see.
Different tools serve different purposes – some let you monitor your website traffic and others your email campaign performance or social media activity. A lot of data can be tracked and measured, there are some points that can’t be quantified. When you look at the percentage of emails being opened or the bounce rate of your website, don’t forget the human touch.
Ask yourself simple questions when you review your data. Do people seem like they genuinely care? Is your business growing or shrinking? Are new visitors or social media followers relevant to your business? Beginning analysis with simple questions makes finding meaningful answers much easier!
Once you know what you’re looking for, data can help you engage your audience by showing you which content works. You can remove pages from your website that don’t work and make more pages like the ones that do. On Twitter, you can make tweets that are more likely to be retweeted; on Instagram, you can make posts that are more likely to be liked.
Data analysis can also help you find obvious problems. If you run a pizzeria in New York City, you don’t need to be paying for traffic from Denver. In this sense, data analysis can be a huge life-saver.
Other ways of engaging your target audience
Always consider the channels where your target market hangs out. Does your audience like 15-second videos on TikTok? Do they prefer informative email campaigns, blog posts, or social media? Or, alternatively, do the same people look for different content on different media? No matter what the answers to these questions, you must know that pushing your content on the wrong platform won’t work. If you don’t appeal to your target audience, you will not generate leads or sales.
In last week’s post, we talked about how Facebook and Instagram for Business were exceptional tools to use for digital marketing. Social media is one of the best and most efficient ways of engaging with your target audience. Eighty-three percent of people say that they discover new products or services on Instagram.
Social media doesn’t just mean Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, though. Don’t be afraid to look for super-specific sites like LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Reddit. Try to find influential sites that are super-specific to your niche.
Additionally, blogging is another great way of engaging with your target audience. That’s part of why we do it! If you are passionate about your business, or the services that your business provides, consider starting a blog and writing about it.
Blogging allows you to delve deeper into topics you might not be able to spend lengths discussing over social media. You can answer questions or discuss your business without the restrictions imposed by other people’s websites. In fact, we consider long-form content like this to be one of the cornerstones of target audience engagement.
Successfully engaging your target audience is tough to master. Good engagement requires an ongoing process of listening to others, looking at the data, and finding the right places to talk to people. By trial and error, step by step, you can craft experiences that people really want.