Most reputable digital marketing agencies no longer resort to paid lists, as they’re ineffective at best and spammy at worst. Instead, they have to build their target market or audience from scratch. While this can seem like an impossible task, there are a variety of handy techniques marketers utilize.
Follow the steps below to plan, research, and find your target audience.
Step 1: Create Buyer Personas
An essential part of your target market research should be building ideal buyer personas. These are fictionalized customer personas that allow you to understand your customers’ decisions and habits better.
Your buyer personas should be detailed enough to convey the image of an actual customer you’d service. Write in the first person, as if the customer is telling you about themselves. Give the customer’s name, workplace, family background, economic status, pain points, etc. If done correctly, these personas can help you predict what decisions potential customers will make next.
Step 2: Target the Right Platforms
Before crafting a targeted ad, you’ll need to know which platforms to use. Your strategy for gaining a target audience will vary depending on the which you choose. Look at the audience each platform attracts and target the ones that are relevant to your desired audience.
Keep in mind that the most popular advertising platform for B2C companies is currently Facebook, with 96% of companies choosing it as their primary platform. LinkedIn is the most popular choice for B2B.
Step 3: Utilize Free Tools
There are plenty of great, free SEO tools online that allow you to examine your audience’s search habits. These tools work well to determine what interests your audience and can hold their attention. You can use this knowledge later when crafting your ad campaigns.
Google Keyword Planner has always been popular, allowing you access to Google’s massive store of data. Find out what your audience is searching for precisely, and deliver it right back to them through the inclusion of relevant keywords.
Step 4: Create a Lookalike Audience
To create a lookalike audience, you’ll first need to identify a list of ideal customers, which you will input into Facebook. The best way to do this is by compiling a list of any current customers. If you don’t have existing customers, go back to the buyer personas you created.
Next, Facebook’s algorithm will look through its billions of users to find those with similar characteristics, a.k.a your lookalike audience. With a lookalike audience, you can test and determine exactly which qualities your ads will need to intrigue your ideal target market.
Step 5: Develop a Super Audience
Once you’ve tested and developed the perfect lookalike audience, you can take it a step further by specifying and testing even more complex and layering interests. These steps will weed out the unsure or apathetic, leaving you with an eager “super audience.”
A super audience not only has the potential for high conversion but also offers a chance for future loyal advocates.
Once you’ve done your target market research and located your super audience, it’s time to experiment with your first ad campaign. Start with a small batch, around 10% of the list. If the first round goes well, send out the remainder. And remember–don’t commit a digital marketing taboo. It’s easier than ever to develop your target audience.