Honing In On Your Target Audience

Creating engaging content and finding ways to get it to your audience is one thing, but two questions immediately come to mind: "Who the heck are they and where are they actively engaging?"

The internet is a seemingly endless void, so finding your audience is no easy task. Luckily, we have included some tips and tricks to simplify your journey to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before… In all seriousness, we have the know how to help you find your audience!

Researching your audience is key and will provide you with a wealth of information that you can use to better your business, blog, and website. Which topics are they most interested in? What social media platforms do they frequent, and how do they use the internet on a day-to-day basis? Once you know who your target audience is, finding the answers to these questions is very straightforward. By utilizing the tools below, you can discover their habits and interests. This will allow you to tailor your posts directly to them!

Use Social Media: Social Media has become our favorite secret weapon. Using the analytics tools provided by sites like Twitter and Facebook will give you a clear picture of how your content is faring with your audience, but what it won’t tell you is the way that they interact with other people’s content. As luck (or clever innovation) would have it, there are tools for that as well!

Use Twitter Advanced Search to seek out specific keywords, phrases, or hashtags. You can even narrow the search to a specific location, or find Tweets that are either negative or positive. On places like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, you can find groups that are filled with people not only interested in, but actively engaging in your particular niche. Or take Google+ for example, where you can “discover communities” that are devoted to topics geared toward your own Google+ activity. If you’re using Google+ to share your blog posts, then the communities that are listed for you are specifically based on that activity. This provides you with instant access to your target audience and a direct link to their most-viewed topics and discussions.

Frequent Comment Sections: Checking in on what conversations are happening around other businesses in your market by being active in reviewing their comments, threads, and online conversations offers you insight into what type of content your audience is actively engaging with. You can not only learn from the criticisms of the commenters, but find out which posts yield the most engagement and positive response, then utilize similar posts for your own site!

Are you not sure where to find blogs or websites within your same niche? Sites like BuzzSumo, Ninja Outreach, or I am on demand are powerful search engines that utilize specific keywords or topics of interest to find out exactly what content is being discussed on social media, and where that content is coming from. There’s also a great App for iPhone and Android called Perch, which collects posts from Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Google+, Instagram, Foursquare, Groupon, and LivingSocial about your business and your competition. Perch will even alert you when new activity happens, giving you instant access to what people are thinking and how they're engaging with you and your competitors.

By using any of the tools above, you can stay in tune with your audience. In doing this, you'll be able to keep up with their specific interests, then become the go-to site that provides them with the information they’re already actively seeking and engaging with online. That sure beats adding a few hashtags, crossing your fingers, and hoping to reach the masses, right? Shooting in the dark online is one thing, but creating content designed to hit the bullseye is the most effective way to find success.