When starting out in any new business endeavor, it’s important to know who your target market is. Trying to appeal to a very wide range of consumers can be very expensive, and honestly, a lot of time and energy can be wasted. Narrowing down your scope to certain niche markets will benefit you and your business in the end, even if it means putting a little more time, money, and energy into finding that niche market in the beginning.
Whether you are coming into a market with a pre-conceived notion of who you want to market to, and you just need to know how to reach them, OR you have plenty of avenues to reach your audience, but you need to figure out who that audience is and how to appeal to them in the first place, taking the time to do your market research is going to give you a huge advantage over any competitors who have not taken the time to do their research.
Finding a few key social networks
Social networking is a valuable tool that can be used to help you reach specific consumers. Finding a few key networks in the beginning will allow you to get your message out there and enable it to spread quickly and efficiently. Notice the term “finding” is used. I point this out to make you aware that you may need to stroll down many avenues to find a few key ones that will work for you. There are a few helpful avenues that any new business owner can “try out.”
- Establishing a Facebook Account/Page will allow you to appeal to, and share information about your product/service, with people who are interested in it. You can share your Facebook information with anyone you meet, include it in your email signature, print it on your business card, etc. Hopefully, people will visit your page and then share it with their friends, who will share it with their friends, and so on, eventually creating a spider web of shared information.
- Facebook ads are also a beneficial avenue. These ads allow you to choose certain criteria such as age, sex, region, education, income, marital status, etc. to pin-point exactly who your ads will be displayed to. Facebook ads are fairly inexpensive (all things considered), but because of the viral marketing aspect of them, they have the potential to be huge.
- Twitter is another helpful avenue, as it allows your “tweets” to be “re-tweeted” to others. There is no cost to you and the only time and energy spent is what was spent in your original tweet. Chances are very good that if someone is following your twitter account, then their followers will be interested in what you have to say.
Define Your Dream Customer Profile
In addition to the more obvious demographics of your potential client-base, you’ll want to know the psychographics of the market you want to reach: spending habits, religious views, socioeconomic status, etc. All of these factors will help you market to them, in a way that will appeal to them and will help you and your business become successful.
It’s extremely important to know “where your dream customers hang out.” It’s also very valuable to know and understand how social networking can work for you. Do your research—know who you’re trying to appeal to and figure out the best ways to go about doing it! Use the tools available to you to help you figure it out. And the best piece of advice I can give—if you don’t know how to do it, hire someone who does!
Debra Leitl is the Mentor in Residence at eMentormarketing.com you can find her on twitter @MentorMarketing. Her specialty is interactive marketing with a focus on ecommerce and online marketing strategy. She has over 15 years of professional experience in retail online marketing, ecommerce consulting, and business development.