In the content marketing world, you are often told to “go where your customers are”.
On the surface it seems easy enough. But many business owners struggle to unpack what it really means, and have even less of an idea on how to go about putting it into practice.
In this post I’ll run through three steps involved in making this work for you.
Know Who Your Ideal Customers Are
It’s not possible to go where your customers are unless you know who it is you are looking for. This step is a critical piece of research underpinning your business planning, so undertaking it will not be a wasted effort.
Now, please note that this step instructs you to identify your ideal customers, not just any customers. Your ideal customers are those who generate the highest proportion of your revenue, are likely to give you repeat business and referrals, and who are easy and pleasant to deal with. They should also be real customers – i.e. those who have already paid you for products and services and not customers you are guessing at.
Find Out Where They Hang Out
Once you know who your ideal customer is, it’s not so hard to find out where they hang out. The better a picture you have of your customer, the more finely tuned you will be able to make your search for them – on and offline. One idea that may assist you in your targeting efforts is to have your customers complete a quick survey that asks them where they spend their time – both virtually and physically. While most will be reluctant to spend time on your survey, those who do will offer up valuable insight.
In a virtual sense, your survey should ask them which social media sites they use most heavily, any discussion forums they participate in and regular blogs or websites that they visit. In a physical sense, this might mean asking them where they typically spend their weekend, which print or magazine media they frequently buy and what their favourite hobbies are.
All of this information, when collated, should start pointing you toward certain social media channels and other opportunities that will provide a focus for your time and marketing efforts.
Once you know where you should be hanging out to connect with your customers, both on and offline, ensure your presence is active, engaging and helpful rather than predatory, intimidating or off-putting.
Remember, customers don’t like to be “sold to.” You are there primarily to raise your profile, learn more about your customers and build relationships. Look for opportunities to contribute and assist rather than to sell. Selling should come naturally after the relationships are established and not before.
Finding out where your customers are is not all that difficult and after much trial and error, it’s something we here at OwenBolwell have become adept at.
The hard part starts with what you do once you get there. Ultimately, keeping the focus on relationship building will serve you and your business best in the long run and result in a win for your customers as well.
If you don’t know who your ideal customers are, let alone where they hang out, then perhaps it’s time we talked. Drop me an email and let’s get started.
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