Knowing your target market is vital for improving customer service, staying competitive, and increasing revenue.
If you’ve launched a business, or work in your organization’s marketing department, you already have at least a basic idea of who your target customers are. These can help you get an even better picture of the market you want to serve.
1. Do keyword research
Keywords and key phrases can help customers find your website, but you must first know the keywords they’re looking for. For example, your website may use the keywords “EMR” and “electronic medical record.” But what if your target audience tends to use “EHR” and “electronic health record” instead?
Tools like SEMrush and Google Keyword Tool can show you how people search for your services and find your website. If you want to rank for a certain keyword or search term, find out which ones get the best traffic and contacts. Pay attention to similar keywords to see how you can diversify and tweak your copy.
2. Talk to sales and support staff
If your company has a separate customer service department, spend some time with its crew. Discuss what customers tend to have in common. Talk about what questions are asked the most, what the most common concerns are, and where there might be knowledge gaps to fill.
3. Regularly check content analytics
Advanced technology gives companies more customer data than ever before. Make sure you’re collecting and analyzing the data appropriately to gain the most valuable insights. Do this regularly, at least quarterly.
Examine data with your team to find out what marketing campaigns, landing pages, blog posts, ads, or sales were the most effective. Consider inbound links, social-media comments and shares, or page views. This will give you more insight into what content, services, or deals your audience wants. Tools like Google Analytics can help you track and interpret this data.
4. Scope out competition
You don’t have to conduct corporate espionage, but checking out the performance of your competitors’ public content is fair game. See what has worked for them, and how you can imitate it in your own style.
Consider what market segments your competitors are pursuing and how they position themselves. Consider their approach and how their audience engages with it.
5. Conduct surveys
When you want to know something, sometimes the direct approach is best. Invite your current customers to participate in a survey or forum with some questions like who they are, how they found your company, and what they most like or dislike about your services.
These surveys may be quantitative, collecting demographic information like age and income level. They may be qualitative, using one-on-one interviews or focus groups to collect information about opinions and feelings.
A more informal version is to just work one-on-one with your existing customers and make an effort to get to know them better. Take note of how they talk, what makes them excited, and what some of their biggest concerns are.
6. Assume nothing
There’s a lot of research ahead of you, and a lot to learn. Stay open to new ideas and be willing to learn new things. If you go into your target market research with too many assumptions and preexisting opinions, you may be more likely to interpret the results in a certain way, or overlook valuable details.
Need great content for your target market?
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