Begin to understand Your Audience and Your Marketplace
At the heart of any digital marketing strategy, or even at the heart of any business, is an understanding of your audience and your marketplace. It’s strange that something so vital is so commonly overlooked in the initial phase. A good understanding of how your customers, current and potential, interact with you online can help improve:
- The user experience; How a customer interacts, uses and experiences your website.
- Your content; helping you create relevant and engaging content specifically for your audience.
- Your advertising campaigns; knowing how a potential customer is likely to find your website means you can advertise in the right places and at the right times.
- Your social media interaction and online persona; helping you build stronger connections to your audience and cementing your place as an authority within your industry.
- The marketing funnel; this is catching your audience at the right moment in the buying process and turning a potential customer into a paying customer.
A good understanding of your marketplace and your place within it can help improve:
- Awareness of competition; helping you pitch reasonable prices and provide the best available service or product.
- Awareness of distributors and agents; getting you the best price for raw materials and/or selling to the best businesses.
- Branding; it’s important that your brand fits in to your market while also standing out.
- Your unique selling point; when you know what others are doing, you can see how to be different.
Understanding your audience
A good place to start is with a simple customer persona test (buyer persona test). This will get you to really think about your customers as people, their traits and buying habits and the obstacles they may face along the browsing/buying journey.
A customer persona test will comprise of a series of simple questions that work to build an archetype of a character typical of your audience. Characteristics such as age, gender, profession, budget, global location, industry and so forth make up these characters and help you understand them and their needs.
From here you can start to tailor your website design, your content, your language and your advertising to the people most likely to require your goods and services. This understanding will also start to shape your digital strategy as a whole. You’ll soon have a better understanding of what characteristics make up your audience base and how you can adapt your practices and strategy accordingly to meet their needs.
Understanding your marketplace
Having a good understanding of your marketplace can help you position your business to the best effect within your industry or niche. One way to do this is to conduct a thorough competitor analysis. It’s important to never try and imitate a competitor’s strategy, brand, approach, product or service. But, knowing how others in your industry represent themselves online is the first step towards finding your USP and standing out among your competitors.
In a similar way to the customer persona test mentioned earlier, a competitor analysis uses a series of questions to characterize your competitors. In turn showing their strengths, weaknesses, image and goals.
These questions will look to determine your current and potential competitors, their share of the market, their marketing approach and strategy, online persona, basic objectives and so on. By then performing a similar analysis on your business you can start to see what makes you different from your competitors.
Of course, this is only the first step in developing and implementing an effective marketing strategy. As with anything strategic, a certain amount of trial and analysis must be performed. But an understanding of these simple concepts can build a strong foundation for which an effective and rewarding digital strategy can be built.
Contact us today to take the next step towards a great digital marketing strategy!