Are you wasting precious marketing dollars on the wrong audience?
For many small business owners, the answer is unfortunately yes. Without the proper data and insight, you could be spending a ton of effort, money and time on marketing tactics that are reaching too broad of an audience. A huge mistake many small business owners make is trying to be everything to everyone. I am even guilty of this myself (I talked about my marketing mistakes in a previous article here) Creating marketing campaigns that are pushed out to the public with little to no segmentation is a big mistake and a waste of money. When you have a deep understanding of your ideal client, you can speak directly to them within the tone and content of your marketing. You can also segment your marketing tactics so that you are targeting the right audience that is most likely to purchase from you. To identify your ideal client for better marketing strategies you should be using data from your email list, social media channels, market research and even interviews or polls. In this article we’ll walk you through what you should do now to help identify your ideal client and start creating marketing strategies focused on the right audience!
4 Ways To Help Identify Your Ideal Client
Your email list is an important tool for your business for so many reasons! One way to find out more about your ideal client and your target audience is to dive into who is on your email list and how they are engaging with your content. Look into the data on your open rates, clicks and unsubscribes. For businesses that target other businesses, If you can’t tell from their email address what type of business they are, you can Google their email address to find out what company they are associated with. Make a list of the types of businesses that are subscribed to your content and which contacts are interacting in different ways. Of that list, identify who you best can serve!
For B2C businesses, your email list also can serve as a tool to learn more about your audience. While you may not know much about your subscribers from just their email, you can use tools built into your email platform to connect with them on social media and check out their profiles, find out their location and even demographic information. You can also send out a poll or a quick questionnaire through Google Forms or Survey Monkey asking more about them.
Your social media following and engagement can give you a ton of insight on your ideal client. With a regular posting strategy you gain a ton of benefits! First off, you can get your services, offers and promotions out there to your following and generate more interest and business. On top of that you can use built-in reporting tools on social media platforms to gain crucial insight into your following.
Facebook & Instagram Insights
Using the “insights” tools on both Facebook and Instagram will allow you to learn critical information to aid in your marketing strategies and the definition of your ideal client. Find out ideal posting times, which content gets the most engagement, and who is liking/sharing your content. Build your “buyer persona” profile with an understanding of your following with insight such as age group, gender, location and more. This demographic information is available to you through the Insights reporting tool and will be even more robust if you are doing any paid promotions or advertising.
Posting Strategies to Help Identify Your Ideal Client Profile
You can also use your social media channels to ask questions of your followers and learn about their preferences. Using Polls on your Facebook posts or Instagram stories you can ask about content ideas, promotions, offers – such as, “would you rather have ____ or _____” and get real answers from your engaged followers. You can even poll followers with questions to learn about what they do for work, where they are located in the world, how they would like to consume offers…etc.
Buyer Persona Interviews
The absolute best way to find out who your ideal client is for your business, is to talk with your ideal client! Take advantage of your current client base and learn about their wants and needs directly from them. These “interviews” can be 5 minutes or 50 minutes, depending on your industry and the questions you are looking to answer. In our experience, this the best way to go about a buyer persona interview:
Choose 5 of your “ideal clients” – these are current or past paying/paid clients that if you wish you could clone a million times over. Make a list of why these people are ideal. This could be things like budget, location, how you worked together, needs. Then set up a time to chat with them about and ask…
- What problem did you have and what made you look for my business?
- How did you find us?
- What were your first impressions?
- Did you talk to other businesses before deciding to work with us? What questions did you ask them?
- What made you choose us over those other businesses?
- How would you describe our services to friends?
- What did you like most about working with us?
- What did you like least?
- What social media channels are you a part of? What do you check regularly?
- What’s your “go-to” site for looking at reviews about businesses?
(if you want to dive deeper on Buyer Persona interviews and research – check out this free guide!)
Maybe you are just getting started and do not have a ton of insights from social media, have a small email list and do not have any “ideal clients” currently or in the past. That’s ok! If this is the case, market research is a great way for you to learn about your ideal client.
Take a look at your competitors, or other businesses like yours. Choose examples that fit your vision and goals. Then dive into their marketing materials and make notes on what they are doing. Here’s a quick list of what you should look at when doing your research:
- Social Media
- What are they posting? What is the tone? Is it unique content or shared? Do they include visual images or just text? Are they asking questions?
- What is the typical engagement on their posts? Types of comments, shares, likes…click through people who have commented/shared/liked and look at their profiles to find out more about them.
- What content do they regularly update? Do they have a blog or a resources page?
- What do they have on their website for “call to actions” or opt ins? What wording do they use?
- How do they explain their services?
- What do they ask on their forms for contacting, subscribing..etc.
- What is the overall message? Tone? Value propositions?
- Email marketing
- Get on their email list! Check out what they send, how often they send it
Conclusion & Key Takeaways
- Identifying your ideal client profiles will help you create better marketing strategies that will target the best fit client for your business.
- You should have an idea of your ideal client based on current business or the vision for your company
- Use your email list to learn about your clients location, demographics, and content likes/dislikes
- Use social media to ask questions and review reporting insights about your following
- Use buyer persona interviews of current or past real life ideal clients to really dive into their profile and learn how you can best attract more clients like them.
- Market research is a way you can learn, especially if you are just starting out!
- Your ideal client profile will continually evolve as you learn more and grow as a business. Be open to new information that you may not have thought about in the past or considered!