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One of the biggest mistakes made in marketing is that companies do not take the time to understand who their audience is. For example, when you utilize aggressive marketing services (social media ads, emails, banner ads and so forth), who is receiving them? Are you sending them to someone specific or just a random group? What sources are you relying on to target or develop an audience? Are you reaching the right people, are you reaching them on the right platforms and are you utilizing the right type of content?
It’s difficult to make a blanket statement about what to do because every business is different. A restaurant cannot expect to market themselves the same was that an insurance company will. However, there are ways to identify who the best people are to target with a certain ad, on certain platforms. If a restaurant is offering a senior citizen discount, advertising on Instagram probably wouldn’t be the best idea. However, if the same restaurant was running a promotion on 2-for-1 drinks during happy hour, Instagram would be a great place to run the ad.
Everyone Is Different
Again, it’s important to understand that every business and consumer is different. You cannot have a one-size-fits-all strategy because it will be doomed to fail. The best way to start marketing is to look at people who are most likely to purchase your goods or services and understand how to reach them.
Identifying Your Audience
There’s one reliable way of identifying your target audience and that’s to analyze your existing data. By taking your current customer list, people who have bought from you before, we can analyze those records and compare them to our own, identifying important things like their average age, gender, income, interests, where they live, where they work, what their credit score is, who they vote for, if they have children, if they are married and more. This is the best and most effective way to identify who you should target.
Where Do They Shop?
Once you have an ideal audience in mind, your next step is to identify the platforms they would use to shop for your services and products. For example, someone may purchase tickets to a concert or a new dress from Facebook, but they are not going to buy their car insurance from there.
Google, Amazon, eBay and Facebook generate a large portion of online sales. However, you have to understand where people buy the goods and services you are providing before you decide where to place and advertise on.
Where Do They Go For Information?
If consumers are unlikely to buy from you via Facebook, does that mean you shouldn’t be on there? No, in fact this is another mistake company make and waste thousands of dollars a year on. The best way to utilize a platform is to understand how consumers use it in relation to your business. Using the example of an insurance company again, you may not sell any plans via social media, but it’s a great platform to educate people on the advantages of having insurance, how to best utilize it, how to get better deals, what the coverages actually cover and more. People use social media for information the same as they originally did news sites or search engines. Blogs are a great way to build interest in your business and educate people.
Utilizing The Different Platforms
Now that you have a better understand of creating an audience and reaching them or being found on the right platforms, here’s how to bring it all together. Start with educating them on your brand and why they should buy from you. The best platforms for these include social media, email and programmatic advertising with the use of video. This will generate cost-effective traffic, but you cannot expect sales to occur immediately. This is the time for you to focus on your brand and creating a connection with the consumer.
Next, whether they are researching you or simply looking for your products and services, you need to have a strong presence on Google. This is not only the top search engine in the world, but it’s also where people go for information before making a purchase. If they like what they see when they research you, the chances of them buying from you go up considerably.
Now that you have a better understanding of how the process works, you see why it’s so important to understand your audience. Identifying the right people to reach with your ads increases your chances of building a connection with them and eventually leads to more sales. You cannot skip the steps of marketing. It takes time and a strong strategy to generate long-term results.