By Christopher Smith, account manager, Sha-Izwe Communications

Part 1 of 5

Researching your Audience

In this five-part series on developing an online marketing strategy we focus on how a well defined strategy can help point your digital marketing efforts in the right direction with purpose and confidence – and not simply focus on boosted posts or clicks-to-website.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to try to create exposure or leads/enquiries for your business through marketing. In today’s environment there are so many options: social media, digital adverts, Google search and public relations, amongst others – and within each of those are many different boxes to tick such as Facebook, Instagram Twitter …and so on. 

Researching your audience is a good place to start. It gives you insight into answering all the Whys. Why are we communicating this particular message to this group, and why is it important to them? Learning about your audience in detail helps steer your efforts in the right direction, for both sales and marketing teams.

The Rapid Fire Method

We use a table that helps brainstorm and place, in groups, your target audiences. If you have a carpet cleaning business you may want it segmented by: parents, dog owners and new homeowners – all in different categories. The rapid-fire method helps with the segmentation and assists to define your targeted messaging.

Rapid fire asks the questions for you to define: what are their concerns, how can you help them and what text will be appropriate for them.

For example, new mothers may be concerned about maintaining the health of their children in the household. Carpet cleaning can help by clearing possible bugs from the carpet.

rapid fire

Download our template here

Free tools to start with

Google Analytics

Google Analytics offers great insights into your web users. It can provide the male/female split, age, interests, location, most consumed content etc. Use this data to complement and support your messaging.

Facebook Insights

On your Facebook page, you can look at your top content and the demographic who are most interested and who engage with your content. This is again helpful for complementing your messaging and developing more content to enable people to like and share.

Facebook Audience Research

Facebook Business Manager has a tool called Audience Research. It is handy for understanding the interests, job titles and activities of your audience.

For example, it may show their favourite radio station, newspaper, a fast food outlet etc. We use this tool to confirm whether we are targeting the correct audience. For example, if you are selling retirement homes and your audience listens to Yfm, reads People magazine and eats out at Burger King, it may not be the correct audience to address.

Once you have done the research, you will have a clearer understanding of where to point your marketing efforts and where to focus. You may find that Pinterest is where you are getting most of your website traffic and you should, therefore, focus your efforts and advertise there. Gone are the days of guessing. The question is: Which tools are you using to research your audience and do they work for you?

Related Tags : Online Marketing Agency Johannesburg