To reach your target audience using inbound marketing boils down to content. Here’s inbound marketing, simplified:
You have to present the right content to the right audience via the right medium at the right time.
At the end of the day, you reach your target audience members when you “feed” them the types of content they are seeking either directly on search engines or indirectly by congregating in social media communities.
How do you do that though?
The practical, inbound approved approach to reaching your target audience involves 4 steps:
- Identify your buyer personas
- Find out what their needs and challenges are
- Conduct keyword research
- Create and share content
Here are the basics….
Identify your buyer personas
To get a clear idea of how to reach your target audience, you first need to have a good grip on who they are. If you think your target audience is "everyone" - stop right there! You're being way too general. Research and identify who your ideal customer groups are. This is what we in inbound marketing call buyer persona development.
Generally, you should find out what their demographics and psychographics are. What do they read? What groups do they identify themselves with? Why? What social media websites do they "hang out" in?
Take your time to do research, interview your current customers, find data and insights for your industry and create a set of buyer persona narratives that account for the unique environments these audiences live in.
Be thorough. For example, saying that your target market is parents is not good enough. Parents of teens face different challenges than, say, parents of infants. Busy career-oriented parents have different interests from homeschooling, homemaking parents.
- Read more on How to define your buyer personas
Find out what their needs and challenges are
Identify the unique challenges and interests of your target audience. Speak to current customers, do research online and study your target audience.
Search social media and visit Q&A websites, such as Quora, and search for question that you believe your target customers would be interested in discussing. This will help you brainstorm, as well as understand the language your prospects use.
Let's say you are marketing a homeschool planner app and your mission is to help simplify homeschool life and day-to-day management. You know that homeschool parents have a lot on their plate, from teaching and recordkeeping, to lunches, to play dates. You know that they are struggling with time management and daily parenting challenges.
Conduct keyword research
Jot down a few keyword ideas based on how you think your audiences will search for your content. Next, plug those keywords in Google Keyword Planner to compile a list of long-tail keywords that have the highest search stats (low competition doesn’t hurt either). Don’t forget the value semantics play both for readers and search engines and add related keywords to your list. Prioritize your keywords identifying primary and secondary key phrases that you will use in your content.
Create and share content
When you know who your target audience is, what challenges they are dealing with, and what keywords they are searching for on search engines, you can create the content that they look for and ultimately put it in front of them.
Your content should be relevant and aim to help your target audience overcome their challenges and meet their needs.
Back to the homeschool planner app example, you can create blog posts and articles about day-to-day homeschool management, share them on Facebook and create Pinterest graphics for them, pointing them back to your blog. You can also make a video of your app and guest post on other homeschool sites.
Once you understand who your target audience is, the way to reach and connect with them is by creating and sharing content that is relevant to their needs and challenges.
Of course, reaching your target audience is not enough, turning strangers into customers requires patience and hard work.
Have any more inputs? please let us know in the comments.
If your found this useful, and you're curious to learn more and find out how to create a long lasting inbound marketing strategy, we invite you to download our How-To guide for creating an inbound marketing strategy.