9 Tips to Understanding Customer Behavior
The goal of marketing is to reach the right groups of people with the right material and get them to take action to your business’ benefit. But besides understanding all the complex marketing campaigns, the first and most important thing to understand is your audience. Who they are, what they want, what kind of problems and challenges they face and how you can help them. But for that to happen, you either have to know them personally or by conducting a market research.
With technology being as useful as it is, we can conduct a market research from the comfort of our keyboards. People in small enterprises, solopreneurs have a routine in conducting market research before they jump into action. So, today developing a product and pushing it out into the market, isn’t the only way to gather valuable data and make important decisions. You can do a market research and understand your potential clients much better. With this, you can steer your company’s actions and growth much better and serve your content to a more targeted audience. In this article, we’re going to share some tips on how you can know your target audience a whole lot better.
Understanding Your Audience’s Most Important Goals
The first and most important idea to establish before developing a product or creating content for your audience is to understand what problem they are trying to solve. How will your product and content help them solve that problem? In fact, exactly who the hell are you trying to reach and why? How will these people make their buying decision and what will they base them upon? Just by answering these simple questions you can create every bit of content more efficiently and have it appeal to the right people.
Now, let’s see a few ways you can get a much better grip on who you will be targeting with your marketing efforts.
Develop a Customer Persona
Customer persona help you understand a lot more about your customers. It makes easier to create content and embed its messaging or develop a new product or service. By understanding the behaviors and concerns of different groups, you can serve their needs and interests much better. So it’s actually a way to create content and messaging that better appeals to the people you are looking to turn into your clients.
Grab a piece of paper and start writing. Develop a few characters who would be your ideal customer and an ideal reader of your content. If your audience is really made up of people you can relate to, than connecting with them won’t be a problem. What do they want? Try to create a clearer image of who they are by filling in the blanks for these characteristics:
- Biggest Fears:
- Biggest Desires:
- Common Objections:
- Common Problems:
- Hobbies and Interests:
- Free time occupation:
You can leave this to your imagination too, but I recommend that you do some research. There are a lot of ways to go about it. The best one would be is to know some of your clients personally. You can invite people in for one-on-one. But you can also gather valuable data from social media sites and from your website analytics. But I’ll be more specific about these in the upcoming sections.
Examine Social Networks
The comment sections of Facebook are filled with valuable information if you look for it in the right places. Namely, if your business has a Facebook page, it’s very smart to see what users say about it in the comment sections. Don’t miss the opportunities to jump in and talk to them. In fact, ask them to talk about their problems and interests. Also, you should try and find influencers within the social media space you’re searching in. Look where they spend most of their time, where they comment and what they like the most, to understand what kind of content would be most relevant to them.
If you spend enough time with examining a social media network, you’ll see certain patterns, identify trends in the way people interact with certain places. Pay close attention to their conversations in the comment sections and use any information you can add to your customer persona.
Examine Niche-Specific Forums
In forums, people open up a lot more easily. It’s where they go to feed a certain interest and consume relevant content, regarding that interest. Forums are places where you find specific groups of people that share the same interests and talk about it. It’s the perfect place to start reading and to understand what people within a certain niche are most concerned about. Pay special attention for those who are asking for help and ask very specific questions.
Examine Blog Comments
What you find in blog comments are similar to what you would find on forums. People will have a lot of questions after reading an insightful posts and most of them won’t be shy to ask them in the comment sections. If you have an appropriate answer to these questions then jump in and answer them. But avoid answering if you want to say something sketchy like ,”Cool”, “Thanks” or anything else you would say too often.
Use SEO Tools
You can figure a lot of things out just by studying the data provided by Google, SEO tools and website analytics. Just look at search statistics, trends and use keyword research tools to determine what kind of questions are people asking on a regular basis. Here are a few awesome tools you can start using right now!
Google Trends – When it comes to understanding and examining trends, nothing makes it as easy as Google Trends. You just have to type your keywords in and see how many people have been searching for it the past few hours or the past few years.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner – One of the most popular tools for keyword research is Google’s very own Keyword Planner. It will give you an average number of searches done for your target keywords.
MOZ Keyword Explorer – MOZ’s keyword explorer helps you do a throughout analysis on all the keywords you would like to target. It will tell you the average number of monthly searches, how easy or hard a keyword is, how much competition it has and will even show you the top pages ranking for said keyword. It can do a whole lot more and will prove to be an invaluable marketing tool once you start to use it.
Analyze Backlinks – Some people might be linking out to your content and offering it to others to see. Which means they are already a part of their audience and it’s worth studying them a bit more.
Analyze Age And Demographics – By analyzing your visitors’ age, you can easily tell that what age groups your content appeals to more. If you understand your audiences’ average age, you can make your content much more targeted than before.
This is the most straight forward way to know more about your audience, but it’s not always easy to have them fill a survey for you. In fact, people are quite impatient, but if you get into their good graces with valuable content, some will definitely fill your surveys. Modern surveying is made much easier with modern tools such as SurveyMonkey. You can get to know just about anything you want to know about your audience by asking them questions. Just send out a simple survey to your email list, social followers and subscribers. But the simplest way is to ask them a question and have them answer it in the comments section. Be sure to reward them if they do answer your question.
Always Reexamine and Challenge Your Assumptions
Once you understand more about your audience and you’ve come to the point that you think you know something, seek ways to challenge it. If you have decided that your audience is middle age men, then try to understand them better. Take it even further and try to find out more about them. Look for implications that would tell you what kind of messaging would appeal to them. Don’t take any information you’ve gotten your hands on for granted. Look for additional evidence to back it up, because if you can’t, than it’s just and empty and meaningless assumption.
Take Action According To Your Personas
Keep referring back to your customer personas and use them in your marketing campaigns, especially in digital marketing endeavors such as SEO, content development, social media marketing and so on. The personas you’ve identified should map to your content as well.
You can never know a person 100% and neither can you know your target audience fully. Getting to know them and engaging with them is an ongoing process that requires effort and attention as you go about with building your business. So, be sure to engage with them and flood them with valuable content and thought provoking ideas.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this article and that we’ll see you again in the next one!