As a marketing professional and entrepreneur, I understand the value of targeted marketing. The practice of targeted marketing allows you to concentrate your resources, which in turn, allow you to save time and money. A big part of being able to do targeted marketing is developing effective customer profiles or buyer personas. Who are you impacting with your messages? Who is your audience? Who is buying your products and services? These are all important questions for an entrepreneur to understand.
I want to first, emphasize the fact that these questions can not be automated. Creating a customer profile is a very human process. This means you have to understand people.
No computer program or algorithm can do this. Now, there are tools that can help you analyze who is reading or viewing your content. However, actually understanding the audience is up to you.
I want to acknowledge that creating a customer profile is hard. The only way to do this is to get out there and start selling. By selling, I don’t just mean your product or service. I also mean your message. Who is out there paying attention to your message? Who keeps coming back? Use online tools to help you analyze who those people are and then tailor your content bit by bit to see how your audience changes.
Test different content–this has been specially helpful for me. When I first started to blog, I did not understand truly how powerful this medium really is. I had spent years in corporate America towing the company line. I was not allowed to speak. I had no voice. As an entrepreneur, my voice is all I have. Believe it or not, I had to learn to use it. I encourage you to use your voice and start creating content online to share with your audience. This is specially vital if you are just starting out.
Another powerful medium is video. It really lets you connect with your audience and humanizes you. Now, it is not easy to do video for most people. It took me a while to get used to the idea of being on camera. However, its one of the best things that I have done. The best advice I can give you is to PRACTICE. Get used to your voice and your mannerisms—they are all that make you SPECIAL! Do get feedback from a trusted source and relax!
The great thing about video is that services out there, like YouTube, give you some really accurate statistics about who your audience is. This type of statistics (along with stats from other sources, like your blog) can let you paint a fairly accurate picture of your target market–the people who are listening. Use demographic info, such as age, gender, and geography to start your customer profiles. The most interesting aspect of creating a customer profile is determining your target audiences belief system. I use different blog topics to determine what content really resonates with my audience. When my traffic numbers spike on my blog (or video post) I know that topic is something my audience cares about. This lets me paint a fairly accurate picture of their beliefs and lets me tailor my content and products to match that belief system.
What do you think about target marketing and customer profiles? What techniques do you use?
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