Know Your Target Audience: Connecting Meaningfully with Your Customers

In the flood of businesses, companies, and brands, it can be difficult to connect with customers.

How is best to make them aware of you, before hopefully turning them into loyal and returning clients?

There might be days when you wonder: does this campaign even make sense, or is it just white noise in the vast, deep, and dark internet space?

Your campaign could be white noise, but only if it doesn't reach the right people. Knowing your target audience and most importantly knowing your own company will help you stand out against your competitors and be seen by the (potential) customers who really matter.

Know your own Brand

This might sound very straightforward and almost not worth mentioning. Me? Of course I know who I am. Of course I know my company. But always consider the fact that your audience doesn't know you at first. It is therefore important to ask yourself: what do I want people to see of this brand? How do I want to present myself? And then you start asking more questions: what kind of brand voice to go for? Friendly, tongue-in-cheek, serious? You might be all of these things at once, but your brand needs a clear direction and you need to know where you want it to be placed. It is worth sitting down and developing a clear image for you and employees to promote.

Be Consistent

So, you actually sat down and created an official company image. Great! Now it's important to follow the guidelines you have laid out for your brand. You want your customers now to have a clear image of you and what you do. If you start sending mixed messages (for example, you want to be serious, but start putting up memes on your social media channels), people will get confused. If you want to break the rules, be consistent (Casual Fridays?), but before you can break the rules, you need to establish yourself. And for that you need to be relentlessly consistent.

Be Genuine

There are so many potential topics and so many interesting stories to write about and turn into content for your social media channels or to support your new campaign. But don't make the mistake of thinking that everything is automatically relevant to your audience, just because it might be a hot topic in general. Of course many topics can be made relevant, but be genuine about it and don't try to twist it to your ends. For example, Yorkshire Day could be a great event to focus a whole marketing campaign on if you are a local business in the area. However, for businesses with only vague ties to Yorkshire, it may only be worth a Twitter mention.

Make it Personal

Everyone likes to be personally involved. If you can animate your customers to feel personally engaged, you are on to a winner. Interacting on social media is one large factor. Not only posting, but engaging will do the trick. Also prize draws, questions or actual "meet-and-greet" events are received very well. Your audience will engage with your brand on a personal level and that alone will make them look upon your business more favourably. If they can also match a face to your or the company's name, that will also help them connect to you and what you do.

Do the Research

Yes, the "boring" data research is actually not so very boring after all and can provide valuable insights into who your target audience actually is. Be it website stats, competitor analysis or empirical data, you will know best precisely which methods suit your business. It is very unlikely that you will say "our target audience is everyone". If you do, there are at least a few factors that should be taken into consideration before continuing, be it age, location, job or online profile. So, depending on those different factors, you will then be able to make informed decisions as to how to engage with your customers and present your company in the best light on the different relevant channels.

Some say any publicity is good publicity, but it is actually best to keep it relevant to the people you want to reach. So, instead of wasting your budget on PPC spend or rushing into a campaign that doesn't even reach the right people, make sure you take your time to find out who you are, how you want to present yourself, and who exactly you want to reach out to and which marketing channels are most suited to your potential customers. The time invested will be worth it in the long run.