No matter what your niche or marketing style is, there is no question about the fact that you need to be able to determine your target audience.?It allows us to find the right prospects, build a loyal customer base, and increase web traffic.
Basically, if you don?t know your target audience, you will have zero ROI.
But, have you ever wondered how the biggest brains in the industry reach their audience? We have, so we decided to reach out. What tactics and strategies do they use to reach their targets? What tools help them to increase their website performance?
Last week, we had the?opportunity to ask a few of the most influential voices for an expert roundup to answer this simple question:
“What strategy do you use in order to find the most beneficial?target audience for your marketing campaigns?“
Expectations:?While discussing this question in the office prior to sending out messages to influencers we came to the following expectations:
We expected most marketers to use their experience (as well as trial and error) to determine the ideal audiences. Depending on the style of marketing that they pursue, they may deploy different tools to gather analytics data during this trial and error phase and home?in on their audience.
What we found during this roundup is that the processes people deploy are very unique to the marketer and their style of marketing, and that it is a highly personalised endeavour.
Keep reading to see what everyone had to say!
#1. Nathan Gotch
Nathan Gotch is the Chief Executive Officer of Gotch SEO. Inspiring SEOs from all around the world, visit Nathan?s popular SEO blog to learn actionable SEO advice without the fluff.
“I always start with creating an Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA). That means I create a fictitious person. I start with the basics of their name, gender, age, hair color, eye color, and current income. From there, I brainstorm what their interests might be. After that, I write down what their biggest struggle is and what their goals are. Last, I write a brief paragraph explaining what my ICA ‘needs to change’. This process allows you to understand your target audience deeper. Understanding your target audience will help you create more effective content, improve your ability to sell and “connect” with the prospect, and will also help you understand where your prospect ‘lives’ on the Internet.”
Matt is a researcher in the Marketing / SEO industry. He is known for?sharing all his findings with no reservations?on his blog, and also?owns one of the most successful link rental businesses on the web.?
“As an affiliate SEO, most of the time I’m entering niches that are completely new to me. I’m assuming most SEOs are in the same place.
My words of advice… make good friends with your affiliate manager. They have the data and experience to be able to point you in the right direction. Now you’ll be able to design your site for the proper gender, age group, etc.
If you’re working with Amazon Affiliates, unfortunately you don’t get assigned an affiliate manager. In that case I recommend you look at data and data alone. Install analytics and start learning where your visitors are coming from. Run Facebook ads to find out how old they are and their gender.
Of course, in the best case scenario, use both of these techniques. But either way, listen only to data. Don’t assume anything.”
Nick Eubanks is best known in the industry to create seonick.net?a site that was?sold in late?2015. He currently works as a VP of Digital Strategy at Trafficsafetystore.com and also blogs at SEOauv.
Our newest keyword intelligence tool takes heaps of data provided by TermExplorer and slices it all up into opportunity-based sheets. From here we’re able identify the intent, difficulty, and rank potential for terms that are a good match for our campaign.
Once we’ve culled down a representative target list, we use Lumanu to help us identify what kinds of content worked well for that particular topic including language, length, imagery, and even influencers to further research and connect with. One additional secret weapon we have is we do a lot of marketing in a specific set of verticals – and there’s no better way to gain insight into a specific topic audience than to own and manage a website IN the vertical itself. One of my personal recent projects has been managing a growing content network of niche publishers through Rank.Network which has allowed me to gain a lot of insights into what individual audiences are looking for and what resonates with them for links and engagement.”
#4. Sarvesh Srivastava
Sarvesh Shrivastava is a Passionate blogger, Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer from India . He’s a specialist in Adsense and Affiliate Niche Sites creation and writes about creating your own?5 Figure $$ income online.
“The very first thing I do is I try to find the online places where my target audience hangs out, such as Facebook groups, Google Plus communities etc. Then I try to take a note of what they are mostly interested in and how my product could target their interest. Once, all this is done, it becomes a lot easier to target them in the long run and chances of conversion increase multiple folds.
For Affiliate sites, specially Amazon affiliate ones, spying on competitors gives you an edge. With tools like SEMRUSH and Ahrefs, it’s possible to pull out a lot of their data to be?analyzed further in order to know more about the buyer.
Ryan Stewart is a digital marketing consultant and also the owner of Webris,?a web consulting agency specializing in web analytics and SEO.?
“When we get a new client onboard, we send over a list of questions that dig into various parts about their business. We cross walk this with Facebook audience insights, some social media research, and the data from their analytics account. From there we build out detailed audience personas that we use for link outreach and content creation.”
#6. John Rampton?
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John Rampton is a serial entrepreneur and an online influencer. He was named #3 in the top 50 online influencers in the world by Entrepreneur Magazine.?
“I personally use a tool called?Searchmetrics?to help me figure out exactly where I should go after with a campaign. It helps me break down exactly where the visitors are coming from, how many there are and how to take advantage of that traffic.”
#7. Shama Hyder
Shama Hyder is founder and CEO of the award-winning?Marketing Zen Group,?an integrated web marketing and digital PR firm. She is also a highly acclaimed keynote speaker,?bestselling author, and a regular media correspondent. Her latest book, Momentum: How to Propel Your Marketing and Transform Your Brand in the Digital Age is now available on Amazon and across bookstores:?http://amzn.to/1sqMmZs
“To find the right target audience, you must answer a series of questions to properly identify who your target audience is. What problem is your solution the answer to (can be product, service, etc.)? Who is currently suffering from this problem? From here you may find yourself with one large group as your target audience, or divided groups with similar interests (multiple target audiences). In the case of multiple target audiences, you’ll need to tailor your marketing towards what each audience really cares about, so you can resonate with them on a more intimate level – who doesn’t love when a company just ‘gets them’?”
Since 2003, Chris Makara has developed a broad digital marketing background with a focus on SEO, Social Media, and Analytics. He is the founder of Bulkly, a social media automation tool for individuals and small businesses.
“Hands-down, the best way to find the correct target audience for marketing campaigns is through Facebook Ads. Facebook has so much data on all of their users, you can get very granular with your requirements and know that your ad dollars are only going to be spent on the ones who fit your ideal criteria.”
Sean Si is the VP of Growth and Marketing for Webranger – a Security-as-a-Service company that provides businesses with on-demand IT security resources. He is a motivational speaker in the morning and an SEO and analytics guy at night.
“We already have a reachable audience that regularly reads our blog. We are more concerned about what they would like to read. So for that, we use Qeryz to know what our audience desires to read. We ask them a simple question such as: “What would you like to read on our blog?” And we either ask them to answer through free-form text or through multiple choice.”
#10. Michael Pozdnev
Michael Pozdnev is a dreamer and a pro in SEO with 16 years of experience who wants to become your best friend.
“Researching your target audience can be the initial step for any business or blogger. My strategy is an analyzing the audience of your competitors. Analysis of their content, backlinks, main sources of traffic, social shares, and comments. For this I use this set of tools:
#11. David LeonHardt
David Leonhardt runs The Happy Guy Marketing, a freelance writer and promotions agency.
“I base my marketing on social media; my ?correct target audience? is mostly amplifiers ? people who can extend the reach of my message.? These would be influencers and experts in a niche, people with an audience of their own. I would much rather reach out through bloggers, for example, and harness their relationship with their readers and followers, than aim directly at buyers.”
#12. Fervil Von Tripoli
Fervil Von Tripoli is an SEO consultant and is an active blogger.
“Usually it all starts with introspection and brainstorming to understand the niche/market. I could start my ideas on my competitor’s target keywords. I use the competitors’ domains and place their URLs in keyword planner to observe the pattern and what keywords they are trying to penetrate and rank in Google. More detailed approach about my processes in audience targeting and hunting for the best SEO keywords.”
Imran Uddin is the founder of All Tech Buzz, All Tech Media Pvt. Ltd, All India Roundup and several other popular websites. He builds online businesses that receive millions of visitors every month.?
“As of now I am making use of Social Media to drive targeted visitors to our sites. To do this we either do paid campaigns or share on relevant pages on Facebook.
Organic traffic is always the best when coming to targeted traffic. But, ranking on Google and maintaining it for a long period of time is something that’s uncertain. But, however, we also focus on Search Engine Optimization and make sure it gets automated, so that we don’t have to track our keywords or build links every day. We focus on organic rankings and come up with strategies that can help us getting links organically.”
#14. Tim Bourquin
Tim Bourquin a successful entrepreneur and co-founder of AfterOffers.
“If you have an email list, the fastest way I know to target a similar the audience is to upload that email list to Facebook as a custom audience and then create a Lookalike audience to target as well. Facebook Insights also offers a terrific way to find people to target who are similar to your email subscribers – or even better – similar to your email list of buyers.
Facebook insights is also a massive tool for finding audiences you can then target on other platforms, such as Twitter, Google, and Bing.
One tip: just because the audience for your product is, for example Skydivers, doesn’t mean you can target “skydivers” as an interesting topic and be done. Usually, interested topics alone are too broad.? Be sure to add age, occupations, and other data points to your audience to narrow it even more.? The more targeted your audience, the better response you’ll have to your marketing campaigns.”
#15. Emil Dayan
Emil is a seasoned Facebook marketer who mostly works on in-house projects. He recently launched his own watch brand and consults large agencies and businesses.
“The first thing you should look at when taking on a new project is of course, the potential, and if there’s a (profitable) market.
To do so, there’s a few beasts out there with incredible amount of data – and lucky for you they don’t mind sharing.?One of my personal favourites is Facebook – as it’s very quick and perfect for finding customers that’s not actively looking – and you have the ability to find an untapped market.?The very best way to narrow down your audience is literally by trial and error. Start off with what you already know about your target audience. Any specific age range? Gender? Location?
Set up your first campaign with these settings. Spend some money. If no leads/sales are generated (very common, broad audience – don’t worry), have a look at the CTR and bounce rate. Anything that stands out? CTR on male is twice as high as females? Age 28-34 stays on the landing page 18% longer? Great.
Move on and take the data that you gathered and narrow the campaign further. Start trying interests, behaviour, relationship status – etc etc etc. Before you know it, you have your target audience completely pinpointed. All that’s left for you now is to rake in the money.”
#16. Patrick Babakhanian
Patrick is the owner at Serpchampion, a well known premium Domain broker and SEO company.?
“What I mainly do to find the right target audience is, I reverse-engineer what my competition did and attempt to do it way better.?So it starts with analyzing your top 5 competitors in Google and on social media.We can use two tools for this, which is SEMrush (love this tool) and also a tool that gets overlooked a lot, which is SimilarWeb.
So SEMrush gives you a lot of search engine data, and it could be SEO or PPC. It shows you for what keywords your competition is ranking for, where they are getting their traffic from and so on.
Once the data in front of you, export all of the data into a file and dig deeper on how you can target those keywords via PPC or SEO.
SimilarWeb.com brings you a few steps further.?I do recommend purchasing the premium version since you’re unlocking all of the features, plus your data will not be limited.
What similarweb.com does is it gives you data on demographics, audience interests, traffic sources (big one), organic keywords and related sites of your competition.
That’s super valuable information right there, so you don’t have to re-invent the wheel here.?The biggest shortcut in business and life is, model what the top competitors or your mentors are doing, and reverse engineer that and preferably do it better.”
#17. Nemanja Mirkovic
Nemanja is the owner at LeadsFox, a wildly successful turnkey affiliate site business that creates complete websites that rank.
“When starting a new product/service, or a campaign for an existing one, I like to talk to a certain number of “ideal” customers.
I start off with simple questions like “Who are you / What do you do / Where are you from?” ?followed by a series of other questions and most importantly “What needs, challenges, and frustrations do they have with current products?”. This helps me understand how to steer the product or a service toward solving those problems and frustrations instead of just focusing on the benefits.”
Abass is a specialist and industry expert from Mauritania, and he teaches digital marketing tactics to a large amount of people.?
“Before doing anything I sit down with a piece of paper and write down as much as I can about the niche. I also use niche forums, Google and Instagram to do my research. In my niches it usually helps to create a mix of Funny and Targeted Ads to reach the Audience.”
Dino is a lead generation consultant & founder of Dynamik Internet Marketing Inc. -www.Dynamikinternetmarketing.com. He also ?runs a video blog to help aspiring entrepreneurs learn SEO at Dynamik 365.
“Our first step is to identify the top 3 competitors in a target niche. Next, we use FB audience insights to uncover demographics about this market. We look to see if these major players are selling or promoting any Amazon products. If so, we go to Amazon, take note of the product brand, and examine “related” Amazon products to learn more about the desired & lesser known products that serve this target market. Finally we look for “list posts” in this niche. We already know the major competitors but now we are interested in the smaller players on this list. For example, “top 20 professional tennis players” if we are looking into the Tennis niche. The average person might know the top 2 best players but only the super fan will know the players at spot #19 & #20. We take these lesser known players names, head back to FB audience insights, and uncover the demographics of the super fan.”
Anil is a professional blogger from India and regularly blogs?at?BloggersPassion.
“Instead of using tools, it’s a smart way to brainstorm your own passion, skills and needs in the market. Find out what your competitors are doing. Find out what you can do to fill out the gap in your market. Spying on your competitors is another important factor that helps you find the right market for you.
SEMrush is an incredible tool that helps you spy on your competitors really easily. It also helps you increase your search traffic, find profitable keywords, fix your site issues and many more.”
As you reach the end of this insightful post, maybe you feel enlightened? Or maybe you are scratching your head, trying to piece together everyone?s varying responses? Originally, we thought were going to include our insights as well when it comes to our strategies for target audiences, but we have been inspired!
Sure, we anticipated that the experts would use trial and error to determine their target audiences, but as you can see each person has their own personal strategy for success, making us realise?so do we!