Finding Your Audience Online

By Stevie Sleeter, Content & Social Media Manager

Published: May 2, 2016

There are approximately 323,350,997 people in the United States and more than 7 billion in the entire world. And despite this hyper-connected, always-on, highly cluttered world that we live in – your perfect customers are out there somewhere.

Somewhere in the insanely expansive web, your target audience is gathering, chatting, and searching for answers to their questions. Some companies spend all day every day creating great content, but if it never gets in front of the right people it’s a waste.

The Key to Finding Your Customer

As today’s customers begin to expect more tailored communications, leading retailers are shifting their approach from mass communications and segmented communications to individualized communications, where the brand directly interacts with an individual customer – one-to-one.

The majority of today’s one-to-one conversations are managed “human-to-human.” Yet, as technology continues to evolve, automated interactions are popping up more and more across a variety of channels. This makes for a unique convergence between omnichannel marketing and highly personalized communication.

It takes something that is and has been fairly straightforward from a media standpoint – you pick your channels and blast your message – to something much more complex that requires a unique message, to an individual, at strategically determined and various different times.

The key here? Clearly identifying and articulating audience personas and their customer journey.

In the past it was easy. Take a B2C brand like Pampers, for example. Pampers had one main ongoing driver: the need to know about Moms. Well now, it’s abundantly clear that there are different audiences even within that seemingly simple umbrella of Moms. You have millennial moms, tiger moms, helicopter moms, health conscious moms, PTA moms, hipster moms, and stay-at-home dad moms – just to name a few. What’s worse? They all require different messages, via different channels, at different times, speaking directly to them as an individual to perk up and listen.

You need to understand your core audience personas.

Then and only then, can you begin to scour the web and accurately determine where the right audience is congregating. Quite frankly, once you complete the persona development process, this part is easy. You’ll find them in forums, on social media, in closed communities, searching on specific topics, and ultimately turning to your company as a thought leader. The key now, is that you know what your target audience values, where they go for information, and exactly where to look to find them.