5 Ways To Do Audience Research For Better Targeting [2020]

Audience research is a necessity for any business.

Since the foundation of all your marketing strategies is based upon your target audience, conducting research should be the first step.

We understand that not everyone is part of your audience, and there are specific people that you want to reach out to.

Today, we’ll teach you how to do just that.

Are you ready to meet your potential customers?

Let’s begin!

Image via cloudcherry.com

What is Audience Research?

Accurately defining your target market is a characteristic of a good marketer.

That’s because your audience is a key component in all your marketing initiatives—from how you develop a brand marketing strategy to how you sell yourself in the increasingly competitive world of digital marketing.

It is not our goal to target everyone in the market, but rather focus on a specific group that is most interested in what we have to offer.

The better understanding you have of your target audience, the better your ads marketing initiatives, and SEO content are going to be!

This is where audience research comes in.

The ultimate objective is to pinpoint the people who are most likely to purchase your products and services. These people usually belong to a universal demographic or behavioral group.

Now, let’s go over what you can do to figure out who is most likely to be interested in your business.

What Can You Do?

A. Gather data on your current audience

The best way to figure out who wants to do business with you is to study the customers who are already purchasing your products and services.

You must first analyze the traits, personalities, and interests of your existing customers for you to find people who fit the same profile.

Gather whatever information you have on your existing customers so you can track their trends and activity.

A good place to look is the analytics data on your social media.

Some marketers even conduct interviews and surveys to understand the buying behaviors of their audience better.

Here are some data points that you must consider:

1. Demographic : This includes age, race, sex, employment, and other relevant information.

2. Location: Where does your target audience live? Apart from knowing their geographic areas, being able to adjust to their time zones is beneficial. This can help you schedule which hours of the day are most convenient for them. You can also schedule your social content to make sure it shows up on their news feeds.

3. Language: Your customers could be residing anywhere in the world. Not all of them will be speaking in the same language as you.

4. Spending habits: How much money do your current customers usually spend? Are your costs within their price category? Figure out how much they spend and how often they shell out money.

5. Interests: Apart from your business, what other brands do they do business with? What compels them to make a purchase decision?

B. List the questions you want answered

There is always an underlying goal for everything we do.

Setting clear goals will help you stay on track as you continue with your efforts.

For any audience research initiative, you and your team have to collectively agree on a set of questions to guide you in the process.

These questions may be related to your business, or they may be about your audience’s general behaviors, buying decisions, interests, etc.

For example, let’s say you run a small digital marketing agency. Here are a few question samples to help you out:

  • What social platforms is my audience active in?
  • Which platform has the most audience members?
  • What aspect of digital marketing interests my audience the most?
  • In the past, what was my current audience most interested in?
  • What type of content does my audience usually share?

C. Spy on the competition

It’s likely that your customers don’t do business with you exclusively.

They’re also interested in what other brands have to offer, which is why it is crucial that you figure out who engages with the competition.

What are your competitors up to? Knowing their activities can help you target the customers they already have.

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How your competitors run their business will impact your own.

For example, let’s say you run a digital marketing agency and one of your competitors was offering 50 percent off for all marketing packages in December. Naturally, you could see a decrease in your sales for that month.

For this reason, it is extremely important to know everything you could about their offer or offers. You could then consider how to react to the new market conditions.

If you pose as a potential threat to their business, they’re likely to be keeping tabs on you as well.

Here’s a guide from Hootsuite that will teach you how to do competitor research.

And to make things easier for you, here’s a list of competitor analysis tools to spy on the competition.

Remember, keep your friends close and your competitors closer!

D. Create a buyer persona template

Now that you’ve done your research on your existing customer base, it’s time for you to create a buyer persona template.

You may already have a template of your own, but your buyer persona may be subject to some changes. You’ll need to make a few adjustments here and there.

In case the term sounds foreign to you, a buyer persona represents who your ideal customer is.

This is based on the research you have done on real customers, as discussed earlier in this post.

It is supposed to give you a concrete idea of the type of people you are marketing to.

Until you formulate a solid buyer persona, you can’t be sure whether your marketing efforts will be well-received by your real audience.

The sample below is a concrete example of a buyer persona. Here, you can see the customer’s background, demographics, interests, and more.

Take a look at HubSpot’s persona template:

This template titled “Sample Sally,” answers the most important questions: who, what, why, and how.

We found this article from OptinMonster for a more detailed review of buyer personas. I think you’ll find it extremely helpful!

E. Write a brand positioning statement

Now that you’ve researched your audience and created a buyer persona, it’s time to position your brand in the market.

In case it’s unfamiliar, brand positioning is to position yourself in the minds of your customers. It’s a strategy used to gain attention and have people interested in what you have to offer.

A brand positioning statement is a brief description of your product or service, as well as your target market.

It states how your brand can address the current needs of the target market. It proposes value and aligns your marketing efforts with your business.

Here’s an example of a brand positioning statement from Amazon:

Image via buzzfeed.com

“To always be Earth’s mainly customer-centric corporation, wherever consumers can discover and find out something they may desire to purchase online, and activities to suggest its consumers the lowly probable cost.”

Amazon’s brand positioning statement tells the consumers that they are always ready to provide a vaiety of  products to their doorstep.

It informs them that their company is a one-stop online shop, where all their online shopping needs are readily available.

Here are some writing tips for your brand positioning statement:

  • Keep it short and simple (KISS)
  • Make sure it aligns with your business values
  • Include a value proposition
  • Write why customers should patronize you (What makes you different?)

Conclusion

Congratulations, now you know how to conduct audience research!

At this point in time, you can now thoroughly get to know your audience for better targeting initiatives.

Your content will be  on their news feeds in no time!

Thanks for reading this article. If you’ve got more advice up your sleeve, the comments section is always open!

References

Cummings, Harriet (2014 July 14). Marketing Land. How to do audience research that helps focus your content marketing. Retrieved from https://marketingland.com/research-audience-90118

Hart, Meredith (n.d.) HubSpot. Craft a positioning statement with this template and examples. Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/positioning-statement

Newberry, Christina (2018 Oct 31). Hootsuite. How to define your target market: A guide to audience research. Retrieved from https://blog.hootsuite.com/target-market/

Porta, Mandy (n.d). Inc. How to define your target market. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/guides/2010/06/defining-your-target-market.html

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