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6 Steps to Truly Understand Your Audience

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understand your audience

Do you know your target audience well enough?

To really create content that will resonate with your audience — understanding your audience is very crucial.

It gets better when you can put yourself in your customer’s shoes and create content with empathy that’s tailored towards improving their lives.

In a recent study, 90% of customers find custom content very useful and according to Custom Content Council — 61% of consumers feel happy with it.

 

 

It’s only when you know your audience that you can engage them with your content, and convert them to happy paying customers.

Here are 6 proven steps you can take to truly understand your target audience.

1.  Conduct exclusive market research

This is by far one of the most important steps to understanding your audience.

Whether you are a small business owner or you run a large firm, it’s very important that you conduct a research before you ever start any marketing campaign.

In a recent research by Responsys, 34% of 2,000 US adults surveyed left a brand because they were receiving irrelevant marketing messages from them.

Oops! What a great lost.

This can only happen when a company ignores market research or fail to do it the right way.

I’m sure you don’t want to have the same experience — that’s why I wrote this article to guide you.

Here are the four simple ways to carry out this research:

1).  Use Google Alerts or Social Mention tool

Google Alerts can be a very vital tool in following trends and people in your niche.

You can set alerts for similar products in your niche, follow updates, check out articles written by your competitors, and also check out the comments by your prospects. As you’re aware, mobile  usage has surpassed that of desktop — so you need to study and understand user’s mobile behaviors as well.

You’ll have insights about topics, events, and people that your ideal customers care about. Researching the long-tail keywords that your target audience is using to search for information about your business/product is equally important. Unfortunately, Google Keyword Planner  might not help you here — I like to use Ferzy Keyword Tool or KeywordTool.io

More so, you can also use Mention or Social Mention tools to monitor content and people from social media, forums and other social channels. Yes, you may have to invest in SEO, PPC, or even native ads to be able to reach your target audience, but it begins with a market research.

These services can help you know when a new research has been published about the specific keyword or phrase you are concerned about.

2).  Interview Your Current Customers

Interviewing your current customers can be a great way to get first-hand information about your ideal customers.

It will not only help your customers, but it will allow you to gather case studies and metrics which are integral factors for building your personal brand and gaining traction online.

3).  Study Your Web Analytics

Your web analytics can help you a great deal.

Are you really making use of the data available to you through your web analytics?

Your web analytics can help you answer the following questions:

  • Where did your website visitors come from?

  • What keyword or phrase did they use to find you?

  • How long did they stay on your website?

  • What content format are the most popular?

  • Where are the locations of your audience?

  • Where do they go from your site?

  • What are the patterns of your visitor’s behavior?

  • Are these patterns giving you information about the position your prospects are on your buyer’s journey?

When you are able to get answers to this questions you’ll begin to get a better understanding of your audience.

4).  Use Professional Social Networks

Use professional social networks like Quora and LinkedIn to uncover what groups your potential customers are and what they’re discussing.

Great, you’re on the right track.

So far, we’ve discussed how you can leverage some of the resources that are available to research your target audience. Now let’s put them together to create a customer persona

2.  Create Your Customer Persona

After gathering all the required information about your customer from your research, you need to now create a fictional customer that exhibits all the characteristics.

No matter what you call it, a customer persona or marketing persona, we’re referring to the same thing.

According to Ardath Albee – “A marketing persona is a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience. For content marketing purposes, you need personas to help you deliver content that will be most relevant and useful to your audience.”

I love this definition of buyers persona by Ardath Albee.

Your buyer’s persona can help you provide actionable solutions to the challenges that your audience is facing.

And it should contain core characteristics that answers the following questions:

  • What is the buyer’s role in the company?

  • What type of company does the buyer work for?

  • What level of education has the buyer achieved?

  • What does the buyer like to do for fun?

  • What is the buyer’s gender?

  • What is the buyer’s age?

  • What is the buyer’s household income?

  • How does the buyer define success in the workplace?

  • What are the buyer’s career goals?

Here’s a typical example of how your buyer’s persona should look like:

Source: Single Grain

Once you know all of this, the marketing content you’ll create will be of great value to your target audience — they would feel involved and will stick to your brand.

4.  Monitor Comments And Engagement

As you know, one of the reasons Neil Patel is so successful at blogging is that he interacts with his audience via comments on his posts.

I think he replies almost every comment and in the process, he understands how his audience thinks and will most likely find new content idea during the conversation.

You can also do the same and hopefully, you’ll be able to understand your client well enough.

5.  Look at Your Competitors

Look at successful brands that share similar goals as yours. Look at what they’re doing. Evaluate their content marketing strategy, try to find out what they do differently, find out why they are using some terms consistently.

Truth is, a brand might not fully understand what they’re really doing, but a careful study will reveal to you what works and what doesn’t.

6.  Learn from third-party resources

You can also leverage on the research done by other marketers with respect to your target audience. Study them very well and extract the necessary data.

Learn from case studies and psychological analysis conducted by more advanced marketers in your industry. For example, if you’re a digital marketer you can learn a lot from Moz, Content Marketing Institute, QuickSprout, and other credible digital marketing blogs.

Stay away from assumptions. Why?

Because, often times, your assumptions about your customer could be wrong. Yes, it’s acceptable to make intelligent guesses, however, that shouldn’t inform your decision making process.

Michael Chibuzor is an entrepreneur, a freelance writer and the founder and CEO of Content Marketing Up. If you want to grow your blog, drive targeted traffic and make more money, hire Michael to write for you.

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Advanced Blogging Tip: Have a Poor Link Memory

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I create oodles of content daily. One tip to being prolific is to have a poor link memory. I forget what I published content-wise and link-wise to keep publishing content frequently. Do you know how most bloggers publish one blog post, include a link to a product and/or service, and keep checking the post again and again, to see how the link performs as far as clicks and conversions and sales and profits and money? I never do that. I have no time and energy to check how my links perform because I have a terrible link memory. I am always on to the next piece of content to create and the next link to place and the next person to help because I have a poor link memory. I forget links. This works perfectly for me; makes me super duper prolific.

Most bloggers attach to and cling to particular business links. What happens if you attach to a link? You give attention and energy to checking the link again and again instead of creating more content from a generous, prolific energy. How can you appear to be all over your niche if you check links regularly throughout the day and if you are not creating helpful, new pieces of content? You cannot be super successful if you are not prolific and you cannot be super prolific unless you have a poor link memory. Be generous, abundant and detached by forgetting links you place in posts; especially links pointing to business opportunities.

I link to my blogging course quite a bit but never get attached to any one link or blog post or guest post through which I link to it. Why? I have more fish to fry. I have more content to create and more bloggers to bond with and more folks to help and more bloggers to connect with and heck, after converting 50 more of my eBooks to paperback, I will have over 200 products about on Amazon, under the Blogging From Paradise umbrella. That is a lot of products to promote! We need to have a poor link memory to forget the prior link we promoted so we can move forward and promote more links, more content and greater blogging success. Envision yourself having an abundant mindset. What happens if you do not feel like anything seems short, scarce or running out? Being prolific is what happens. Being generous is easier if you are not burdened by any link to promote, to review and to assess regularly. I am not opposed to scanning metrics if doing so feels good and relaxing but most bloggers never take the time to assess their genuine feelings when it comes to how they feel promoting links.

I do. I am ruthless in assessing, observing, embracing and moving along my energies because watching your energy is the key to blogging success. Blogging from abundance, relaxation and trust leads to success while blogging from fear, scarcity, tension and anxiety leads to failure.

Which road do you prefer to take?

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How to Get Over the Fear Nobody Will Buy Your Product

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Ship. Publish.

Promote the heck out of the product. Unearth fears. Feel fears. See fears come true. Release fears. Sell your product. More and more folks buy your product only if you face, feel and release fears aligned with the product. If you hold the fears ya ain’t selling the product. Even if you publish a blogging product – like my blogging course – and sell it for a little bit you will not generate big sales until you fail enough to finally feel fears triggered by failure. Feeling fears clears fears which clears resistance which helps you inspire more people to buy the product.

Getting over this fear is messy. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete loser? Nope. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete fraud, or huckster, or embarrassed or ashamed? Nope. You hate trying so hard and then, no freaking people buy the course you promoted 10,000 times but doing so and feeling fears triggered simply makes it easy to promote the product, because feeling and getting over the fear makes you promote the product like you breathe. Being in that space, plenty of people see the product and more folks buy the product.

I promoted my blogging course to the tune of 8,000 page views before someone bought it. 8000 page views was nothing. I had to clear fear-resistance during the 8,000 page views to show the world how fun, freeing and inspired this course was. Fear cleared, more people bought it at 10 times the initial price versus the initial cheapy price. Raising the price ten fold? Yep; another fear for me to conquer. But I did it, and far more people bought it at $350 than at $36. See how funny fear works? You fear something, refuse to feel the fear, and struggle. But feeling the fear and doing it anyway leads to increasing success. Buy the course for a fun, entertaining, inspired blogging guide. Tis the season for celebration and joy and love and fun, helpful blogging courses.

I have no tips for nudging into fear save meditating and doing yoga frequently. Following each habit expands your awareness which helps you become intimately aware of your fears, so you can feel fears and release fears. Feels rough but this is part of the blogging journey if you want to get over the fear of selling your stuff. Hey; do you want to hurt people, mislead people or lie to people with your blogging product? No? Then just sell the thing already. Ship it. Publish it. Fear is so insidious. Fear makes you do what you do not want to do, if you trust fear. Fear causes you to tune into an alternate, illusory universe, where nothing is true and everything is lies, smoke and mirrors. Do you really want to take that road? I did not think so.

All I can do is be a cheerleader. You need to be the athlete on the court, not the fan on the sidelines. Get on the court. Publish your product. Promote your product. You will eventually face, feel and release all the fears you need to release to become a successful blogger and to sell your product successfully, too. Get in the game. People will buy your product when you get clear on it.

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Pro Blogging Tip: Release Expectations

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Ouch.

Am I asking you to be a Blogging Buddha? Nope. Not really. No one save enlightened beings completely releases expectations but us mere mortals clinging some to a worldly life can largely release expectations, to become successful and to enjoy the blogging journey. 10 minutes ago, I checked my email. I received a few. I clearly make it difficult to get in touch with me through email because I want to give most attention and energy to building a passive income empire. Every second I spend in email, I could be spending creating content and building connections. Knowing this, it feels good to receive few emails because it helps me scale and move forward from an abundant energy.

Unfortunately, most bloggers have heavy expectations when it comes to receiving email. Bloggers expect a chock filled inbox, with all types of clients, Paypal payments and sponsored post deals. What happens if you get 3 emails daily, all responses to comments? Your expectations not being met levels you, depressing you, making you sad, sapping your energy. If you expect some sweet outcome and reality is not delivering you the outcome to fulfill the expectation, you eventually lose your blogging motivation and quit. Or you make the massive mistake of quitting after seeing your expectations fall short, then, you begin blogging again, quit again after expectations are unfulfilled, and you suffer through this vicious cycle until you fail and quit for good.

Release expectations. Begin blogging with an intent to live your dreams but let go the anchor of expectation because either you feel hopeless after not getting what you expected or you feel average when expectations line up or you feel super high and excited after exceeding expectations, leading to an imminent crash after your emotions settle down. Expectations are anchors, pulling you down, holding you back, preventing meteoric blogging growth. I expect little to nothing blogging-wise because my day is about having fun helping people to blog successfully. I cannot go wrong whether I sell a copy of my blogging course or not because I have no expectations; I just promote the course in a seeming billion places (coming soon) and leave things at that.

If anything, allow a little part of yourself to desire some expectation but make it tiny. Why? If the expectation does not come true quickly, you will keep blogging from an energetic, relaxed, abundant vibe, positioning yourself to succeed. Harboring wee expectations means you remain unstirred if the expectations do not manifest; no crushed, hopeless feeling. Meanwhile, most bloggers with grand, wild expectations often slam into tons of resistance because no spectacular dream comes through and manifest overnight. Living your dream life through blogging requires years and thousands upon thousands of hours of generous service.

Blog for an absolute love of blogging. Be passionate about the blogging process. Release largely on outcomes because weighing yourself down with expectations slows you down. Imagine desiring big blogging bucks only to see an empty inbox for the next 3 months? 90 plus days, zero dollars. After the 90th day, most bloggers quit blogging for good, because they came up so short on their expectations, being frustrated, disgusted, and tired of wasting their time.

Fall in love with the process – not outcomes – to fuel yourself for your blogging journey.

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