How to Define Your Online Audience

define your online audience

Understanding your online audience is an important step in reaching marketing success. To be successful though, you need to know your online audience. Good content means knowing how to target your content properly for your online audience. This post will teach the steps to define your online audience.

Why Is It Important to Define Your Online Audience?

Great content can gain a massive online following. However, there is no guarantee that it is the audience for your brand. Defining your audience means being able to tailor content that can show your brand as an authority in your industry.

Your marketing strategy stems from getting to know your online audience. When you keep them in mind, you know how to develop your products or services through to using the marketing channels for promotions and offers.

How to Define Your Online Audience in 6 Steps

1. Survey Your Customers

If you’re not sure how your audience uses your products or services, why not ask them? Surveys are helpful in getting to know your online audience. The average survey is 13 questions long, according to SurveyMonkey. Keep in mind that your audience leads busy lives, so make sure your survey questions are effective and to the point. Your questions can be a mix of multiple-choice and true-or-false questions. Allow for a few fill-in-the-blank questions to gain more insight into your online audience. 

By asking thoughtful questions, you can create your buyer personas and develop your website, products, landing page, and content that truly connect with your audience. To start, you can use Google Survey or Typeform.

2. Interact with Your Audience

Pay attention to your audience on social media and on your website’s comment sections. The compliments, stories, and criticisms can give you valuable insights into your target audience’s wants and needs. Be open to answering questions and concerns posted on your social media. Post questions on how your audience uses your products. It might surprise you at some creative ways your audience uses them. Every comment is important to improve your marketing.

3. Review Your Data Analytics

Another way to learn more about your audience is through your website and social media. They have far more data on your audience, even if some are not customers yet. They can help you better understand how your audience interacts with your online presence. You can use social media analytics tools to learn more about your online audience, the devices they use, and other social media accounts they follow online.

4. Turn Pain Points into Solutions

After speaking with your audience and conducting a survey, review your audience’s pain points and frustrations. Discover more of your audience’s major problems and turn them into solutions. If you are in the cloud storage industry with a collaboration tool, you may find that your audience is frustrated with the inability to search for documents in the chat rooms. You can turn that into a solution by offering a better way to search. Keep an ongoing list of frustrations and solutions as your business grows.

5. Check Out Your Competition

Imitation is not flattery with comparing your business to your competitors. Look at their websites and messaging and see what is not working out. That way, you can develop a strategy for giving your audience what they want. 

Seeing what your competitors are up to can help you answer some important questions: Are your competitors going after the same audience as you are? Are they reaching customers you never considered? How are they positioning themselves?

You may not get all the details, but keeping tabs on your competitor will help you further define your online audience. Hootsuite has a definitive guide to conducting a competitive analysis on social media.

6. Outline Your Target Market Statement

Now that you have gathered all your audience and competitor insights, you need to distill them into a single target market statement. This is not the same as a brand positioning statement, although it is similar. A target market statement incorporates the behaviors and demographics of your target market. 

For example, here’s an example Nike positioning statement created by Hubspot. Pay attention to the first sentence:

“For athletes in need of high-quality, fashionable athletic wear, Nike provides customers with top-performing sports apparel and shoes made of the highest quality materials. Its products are the most advanced in the athletic apparel industry because of Nike’s commitment to innovation and investment in the latest technologies.”

Nike is not targeting everyone. In fact, they are targeting people who are: 

  1. Athletes
  2. Want fashionable sports apparel and shoes
  3. Need their apparel and shoes to work well when playing sports

Nike can target their ads and steer their overall marketing efforts, which is clear in the rest of their statement. If you have many products or services, try to tailor a target market statement to each of them or their respective category.

Revise Your Target Market Statement Often

Remember to review your statement to ensure your marketing is still relevant to your audience. Your audience changes over time, so stay current with emerging technologies and trends as your products and services develop.

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