It is intuitive to want to advertise on mediums with which you are familiar. You know how they work and how people interact with them. Focusing only on the platforms you know well, however, can quickly lead to wasted money if you fail to meet your overall advertising goals. To create a more effective marketing plan, make sure you are researching where your audience is, then spending your money there.
Researching Your Audience
To create a more effective marketing plan and a greater return on your investment, you must start with audience research. Get to know your target audience so that you will know--not guess--whether they have similar preferences as yours. Even if you are a member of your target audience and perfectly fit your ideal buyer persona, you cannot make marketing decisions based on a sample size of one. Instead, try some of these common research techniques.
Conduct primary research.
Get to know your target audience. Look for broad information that will help inform your future research and marketing efforts.
Take a look at qualitative information.
Qualitative information is data that you cannot necessarily quantify numerically. Listen to your target audience. Get a feel for what they have to say and what they need from your business.
Interview your target audience.
Ask direct questions that will provide you with a better idea of precisely what they need from you. Put together focus groups or social media groups where you can get information directly from members of your target audience. Consider forms and surveys to provide you with further data.
Use social media to your advantage.
Social media analytics can tell you more about who visits your page, who interacts with your page, and what those individuals have in common. Social media analytics can also offer insights concerning what type of content elicits a response from your target audience.
Developing Your Target Personas
Audience research, including surveys and social media analytics, can help you develop target personas that reflect the varied members of your target group. Target personas are the specific personas you use to inform your marketing. They may contain a great deal of information about the people you most want to reach with your ads.
Include as few assumptions as possible in your target personas. Instead, back up those assumptions with solid research as you get to know your target audience and their needs. The better you know your target audience and the more developed your target personas, the better you can target your marketing efforts.
Keep in mind that your target audience may adapt at any moment, and their preferences may change, too. If you do not regularly research your target audience, you may fail to adapt as your audience does--and that can cause you to miss out on opportunities to connect.
Your research can help reveal who’s really a member of your target audience and help you customize your messaging. By working with a media partner, you can learn more about your target audience and align your ad spend with your marketing goals.