If you had to pick one goal for your business this year, what would it be? I can think of a few. But there’s one goal that a lot of business owners will have in common: to make a profit.
It’s a subject people either love or hate to talk about – but money is one of the main things that keeps your business running. It pays the bills and lets you live the life you want.
So where does the money come from? And more importantly, how do you make sure that the money keeps on rolling in?
The problems arise when you’re not sure if you understand your audience, and you don’t know who they are. You’re unsure about who would be interested in your product or service, and you don’t know what platforms you can reach them on.
It’s doesn’t all have to be a guessing game. There are actually more ways than you know for you to get to grips with your ideal customer and help your business grow in 2016.
Install & Analyse Google Analytics
If you don’t have Google Analytics installed for your website, you’re missing out on some seriously useful data. Honestly. Nothing else gives you a detailed insight into your audience like this does.
I’m talking about your current audience here, because that’s who you need to look at. You need to figure out where you’re at right now to be able to grow. There’s no point putting loads of selling tactics and social media strategies in place if you’re not actively targeting the right people. Google Analytics tells you everything that you need to know.
You want to head to your Dashboard and click on “Audience” in the left hand menu. Then go to “Demographics” and “Overview”.
This page will tell you the age and gender of your current audience.
But you can go even deeper than that.
You want to know you’re targeting the right people who are interested in what services and products your business offers. So how about looking at what interests your audience has?
Just go to “Interests” and “Overview”.
This lets you see exactly who you’re targeting. You can see if your current audience has the same interests as what your business offers.
If there’s a difference, this is where you can identify it. Thankfully, you can fix it too.
- Write content specifically about your services. If you’ve got a blog, you want to make sure you’re writing about what your business offers. If you’re a digital marketing company, you want to create content about the digital marketing services you offer and how these can help your audience. If you’re a photographer, you want to share your portfolio alongside tips and tricks. Consider what people want to know when they’re looking for a business like yours. Your content can lead them right to it.
- Or, you can also incorporate more of what your audience is interested in. Let’s say there’s a topic you don’t write about that your audience enjoys. Why not start creating content for it? That way, you’re doing both them and your business a favour.
Interaction is one of the things that turn visitors into customers.
Many people are saying that commenting is dead and no one does it anymore. But that’s not actually true. You’ve just got to ask for it.
Think about it. People who comment on your blog posts and other content are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. They are your biggest fans. So start asking them questions, and I mean real questions. Think about what you want to know and ask them.
Remember, there’s also a difference in how you ask questions. If you said, “Are you going to try out this new scheduling tool?” – this only requires a yes or no answer. That is what’s called a closed question. You want to make sure you’re asking open-ended questions. Questions that leave room for your readers to provide more information in their answer. Here are some examples:
- What’s the biggest thing you can take away from this post?
- How have you conducted your research in the past?
- What’s your biggest tip on this topic?
There are so many possibilities.
But this isn’t just restricted to comments. It works on social media too. Follow the right people and reach out. Ask questions and answer them. Keep up the conversation. You’ll be surprised how many ideas you get and how much you learn.
Run a Survey
A survey is something you should carry out every single year. You’re not a mind reader. You don’t know what your audience wants and what products they need right now. The best way to find that out is by asking them.
Feedback is one of the things that can benefit your business the most. Your readers and customers are like your cheerleaders. They’re there to share your products or services, sign up to your mailing list and tell everyone how great you are. These are the people who are going to be able to help you grow your business right now.
This is useful for finding out so much information about your audience. Age, gender, what they do for a living, what their interests are – but you can also find out what they’re struggling with and what their problems are. This is crucial information to help you develop your products and services so they’re directly suited to your customers.
Discover things about them that you didn’t know before. Ask them for honest feedback. You won’t get valuable information like this anywhere else. It’s a real insight.
Look at Your Competitors
In business, we all know how important it is to keep up to date with what our competitors are doing. But have you ever thought about analysing their audiences?
If you know of a business that’s similar to yours, findout about who their customers are. Head to their Twitter profile and click on their followers – then make notes and even follow people that you think are suited to what you have to offer.
Look on their website and social channels as a customer. Think about what they’re doing to get their customers to hit that purchase or subscribe button. Look at their blog. What ideas can you get? How can you make your content bigger, better and more valuable than theirs?
Don’t worry, you’re not copying here. That’s not your purpose. You’re simply just analysing another area of your competitor. You’re seeing if they’re doing it right, so you can do it better.
If you don’t know who you’re marketing your business to, you’ll always miss something. Stay one step ahead and really get to know your ideal customer. That way, you’ll see results every time.