Audience Research – How to Find Your Ideal Customers in Five Easy Steps
You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to perform an effective audience research. In fact, long gone are the days when only the big players cared about performing an effective audience analysis.
In today’s highly competitive environment, everyone – from an international corporation to a tech startup has to know who they are marketing to. Knowing who you are talking with, helps you reduce the costs of your advertising and increases conversion rates. And the best is, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on the whole process!
1- Start with Brainstorming
The first thing you should do is take a piece of paper and just start writing down everything that comes to your mind about your potential customers. Who they are (demographics data – age, gender, marital status, age), interests and hobbies, goals, concerns, pain points, fears and personality traits.
Naturally, what you write at this stage is pure guessing – especially if you are about to launch a new product, and have no available data to compare your findings with. But you can always compare them with someone else.
2- Ask Others to Chime in
Find two – three more people and ask them for their opinion. This could be your coworkers, people from a different department (if you work in a corporation), or just your friends from a coworking space (if you’re a freelancer). Or, if you work with us, an experienced team of digital marketers.
Of course, if you ask your friends or coworkers, they don’t necessarily have to write the whole “biography” of your potential customer. Instead, ask them about their opinions on your own findings. For example, what they think about the potential interests and pain points of your customers. Why it’s worth asking others? Sometimes, it’s hard to come up with all the ideas yourself – that’s why it’s worth discussing them with others, before you even look at the actual data.
3- Get Data from Your Current Visitors
Note: If you don’t have any data yet and can’t reach out to your potential customers in any way, you can skip this step and go straight to #4.
If you’re already receiving traffic to your website, the first place you should head to is your Google Analytics dashboard. It can provide you with all the fundamental demographics information about your visitors – such as their age, gender, location, language and interest. What’s great is that you can often look at both general and more in-depth details. For example, you can check visitors from different countries, as well as region or even cities.
But Google Analytics is not the only tool that has so much valuable information. For example, if you own a Facebook page, you can easily learn about the more in-depth demographics details, such as their relationship status, education level, and income (in the KSA).
On top of that, you can also compare this data with the Facebook general audience, which gives you an understanding of how your potential customers compared to the rest of the population.
In case Facebook doesn’t give you some of the data that you would like, if you are active on Twitter, you can get a similar set of valuable info – such as the said interests or income:
Interestingly, you can even get details about their audience wireless carriers. While at first glance it may seem excessive, if you are an affiliate advertiser, sometimes the knowledge of a wireless carrier is necessary if you want to promote some of the available offers.
But Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools require you to have an already established audience. What if you just started generating traffic, and would like to understand who your visitors are? Luckily, some of the more specialized tools are able to give you information about each separate person that comes to your website.t
For example, if you offer B2B services, you could use tools such as Albacross which shows you which company your website visitors are coming from. This makes it possible to respond to them with your offer even if they didn’t send you any message, increasing your chance of closing the deal.
The use of all the mentioned tools requires you to have existing audience or website traffic. But what if you are just a startup which doesn’t even have a website yet, and would like to understand who to target? In this case, you will need to do more manual research.
4- Go to Online Communities and Websites Where Your Customers Hang out
What’s the best way of learning your audience? Meet them where they usually spend their time. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should go to bars or industry events (although the latter may be a good idea). Thanks to the Internet, all you need to do is look for the websites where people are talking about your niche. Such as the front page of the Internet – Reddit:
Naturally, you can also go to other online forums and sites where you can interact with users, such as Quora – a site with millions of questions, many of which relate to your business.
The place where you go will also depend on the information that you are looking for. For example, if you want to find the exact pain points that your potential customers are looking for in a product, it’s worth doing some review mining.
Simply speaking, you need to go to a website such as Amazon, which has thousands of reviews of different products and read what your customers liked and didn’t like about the products they bought, and what problems those products helped them solve.
And what if you need information you can’t find in any of the analytics tools or that isn’t freely available on any of popular online sites? In this case, you will need to create surveys and ask your audience specific questions. One of the tools which you can use to do that is SurveyMonkey – which comes with market research survey templates:
How to find the people who will answer those surveys? It’s easy. If you already have any social media profiles, just ask your followers to answer a short survey. If you don’t, look for Facebook groups in your niche or join a conversation Reddit. The Internet is huge, and as long as you’re honest about what you need, most people will be happy to help you out.
5- Build a Persona
Now that you have all the data, it’s time to put it together in a so-called buyer persona, which represents your ideal customer. A persona should include answers to all the core information that can help you better tailor your communication to your users, such as:
- Basic demographic data
- Interests and hobbies
- Primary and secondary pain points (solved by your product)
- Primary and secondary values (including the UVP of your product)
- Primary and secondary objections (that could force them to quit before making a purchase)
Naturally, nothing stops you from including additional information in your persona, such as where your audience hangs out online or specific details important for your sales process, such as their eating habits. The goal is to adjust the gathered data so that it helps you market your product in the best way possible.
And if all of the above sounds complicated, we have great news – you don’t have to do any of that. At least as long as you work together with us – check out our services and see how we can help you boost your business!