February 2, 2012

Understanding who your audience really is, and how they use the internet to engage with your business, is one of the cornerstones of any successful marketing effort. In fact, it could be said to be the first, and most important, step that you should take when designing a new marketing campaign.

Know What Your Target Audience is Doing Online

This sounds self-evident, but its actually a difficult thing to perfect. For instance, how does your target audience get around the internet, and how do they find the information that they’re looking for? If they typically follow links from social media to find new content, then you would not be well-advised to put a lot of time and energy into SEO and Search Engine Marketing. On the other hand, if they typically use Google and other search engines to navigate the web, then your SEO efforts will be much more rewarded.

Additionally, think about how your target audience spends their time on the internet. When a new potential sales lead comes upon your site, will they have been using the internet for work, for pleasure, or for education? This gives you insight into their behavior, and allows you to tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.

Look at the Competition

While this is a timeless piece of advice, and you should always know exactly what your competition is up to anyway, its particularly relevant to developing a better understanding of your target audience. In particular, look at the internet marketing efforts of your competitors. Look at their Facebook fan pages, follow them on twitter, and read their blogs. Check out how their audience is engaging with them, and what people are saying about them. Not only will this key you into some industry best practices that you may be missing, but it will also help you avoid the missteps and failings that your competitors are undoubtedly making.

Knowing your audience is to the first step in a successful marketing campaign. Keep these tips in mind to make sure that you know your audience as well as you can.



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