Running a thriving business is about a lot more than just having the best prices or quality, because there’s a big difference between what you offer and how people view it. From a sales perspective,perception is reality, and there are two keys to achieving a positive perception: having the right kind of message, and reaching the most relevant people.
By optimising your target market, you can ensure that your marketing budget is cost-effective, bring in strong leads more consistently, and convert visitors at a higher rate. But how do you go about achieving these key components?
In this article, we’re going to consider what you need to do to optimise your target market, ultimately granting you a hyper-relevant audience with an excellent chance of viewing your products or services favourably.
Create buyer personas
A buyer persona is a hypothetical “average” person fitting a particular segment of your audience. For instance, you might have “Middle-aged man” and “Young female student” buyer personas if those groups are relevant to your products or services. The idea is to attach everything from hopes and dreams to habits and disposable income to each persona, really fleshing out the profiles.
Every great marketing campaign begins with the creation of buyer personas for a great reason — they’re exceptionally powerful, informing the entirety of the content creation process. At every step along the way, you can stop and think about how your buyer personas would perceive your products or services, and adjust your work accordingly. If your personas don’t have a lot of disposable income, for instance, you should be stressing affordability in your marketing — they’re not going to be too interested in luxury items.
To get a head start in creating your buyer personas, you can use these handy templates from Hubspot. If you haven’t yet given much thought to the individual personalities that make up your target market, you’ll find them an excellent time-saver.
Carry out segmented email marketing
With your buyer personas figured out, you can use that information to fuel some powerful segmented email marketing. Email in particular is the best medium for this for various reasons: it’s consistently popular, highly customisable, and extremely easy to automate using modern software — you’ll find that email marketing software such as Moosend is perfect for this task, allowing you to start with a template and tweak it for the different kinds of recipient.
If you have an online store, then you’ll likely have a lot of relevant information to use for some interesting automation (doing things like setting cart abandonment emails to send at the right times), as well as the ability to pull the data directly from the CMS into your email software.
If you just have a standard business site without enough information on your existing customer base to support that kind of segmentation (perhaps you know names and email addresses but haven’t been recording much else), then change your business procedures to collect more in future. You can try sending out a survey to collect more info, but you’re unlikely to get a sufficient response unless you heavily incentivise it (which may not be worth it).
Use social proof (influencers if possible)
The power of social proof in buying habits is undeniable. Rather than making decisions in isolation, we are greatly swayed by the opinions of others, particularly people we know or have some kind of association with. Accordingly, once you’ve narrowed down your target market, one effective tactic is to focus on super-relevant social proof — particularly from influencers.
In any given group, the influencers are the people that other group members look to for advice, inspiration, and recommendations. Their opinions are incredibly valuable, so if you can win over an influencer in your target market, you can quickly win over a large chunk of the market through their brand advocacy alone.
At a minimum, your marketing materials and product/service pages should contain some prominent social proof in the form of reviews and/or testimonials from happy customers. This will significantly boost the positivity towards your brand. Going beyond that, look through social media channels to find the people with large numbers of followers who often review and passionately discuss products and services in your field, then reach out to them. Quite often, the simple offer of a free trial is enough to get them talking about you.
Focus on customer experience
In the long run, what will get you the most buzz in your target market is simply providing really great products and services in a way that makes your customers happy. Impress them enough, and they’ll start recommending you to anyone who’ll listen, giving you an invaluable source of traffic without any additional effort on your part.
So once you’ve confirmed that you’re reaching the right people and getting your message right, just be sure to take a long-term approach with your support. You’ll be glad you did.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to spreading the word about startups and small businesses of all shapes and sizes. Visit the blog for the latest marketing insights from top experts and inspiring entrepreneurial stories. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.