An effective digital marketing strategy starts with target audience research. Usually, this involves creating audience personas. But these personas need to be more than just figments of your marketing department’s imagination. Target audience personas should be grounded in reality, and based on real data.
Ultimately, personas help you understand your audience’s pain points, wants and fears. That way, you can create social media posts, ads, website content and more that appeals to them, addresses their struggles and meets their needs.
So if you don’t know enough about your audience to create comprehensive personas, you need to do your research. Keep reading for tips on conducting data-driven target audience research that gets results.
5 ways to conduct target audience research
1. Check out social media analytics
If your brand is on social media, you’re already collecting tons of data on your audience. Look at the analytics tools on platforms like Twitter and Instagram for interesting insights on your audience’s behaviour. Use this data to start understanding their needs, challenges, interests and more.
And Google obviously knows everything about everyone – so consider Google Analytics’ audiences report your new best friend.
2. Try social listening tools
Set up social listening tools in your social media management platform of choice (like Sprout Social). You’ll find out what users have to say about your brand – even when they don’t tag you in their posts. To get as much info as possible, you can also monitor relevant keywords and hashtags. It’s a great way to get to know your audience and their opinions.
3. Conduct a survey
Surveys have always been a go-to resource for marketers – and for good reason. After all, if you want to know what your audience thinks, why not ask them directly? In lieu of a formal survey, Instagram Story polls can also be a fun and free way to get to know your audience. Just keep in mind that with all polls, the more respondents, the better. Making major marketing decisions based on just a handful of responses might not be the best move.
4. Join relevant groups
Another super-interesting way to get intel on your audience? Join Facebook groups you think they would love. Relevant subreddits and other forums work too. Once you’re in, keep an eye on conversations to see if you can pick up on common threads. It won’t be long until you gain an understanding of potential audience member’s concerns and questions. Use what you learn to fuel your strategy!
5. Hire an agency
Collecting data on your audience is one thing, but using that data to make smart marketing decisions is a whole other beast. The easiest and most effective way to truly understand your target audience is to hire a team of experts. They’ll help with the research and put the collected data to good use – and your business will reap the rewards.
Need help creating a digital strategy tailored to your target audience? Reach out to our team! We’re here to help your digital marketing efforts take off.