Note: The process below is how we increased our web traffic by 403% and returning visitors by 1,032% in as little three months.
...and our twitter reach went from non-existent to over 300,000 impressions.
Finally, the stat you're all waiting for... conversions have increased by 500% (May vs. Feb)
How we did it...
To be successful in your marketing efforts, you need to have properly planned execution. Just creating great content is not enough because that’s only half of the equation. Many brands struggle with getting their content in front of the eyes of those who matter. It may be that you are wasting time and money on pushing content in a non-strategic way, and as a result, your bottom line will suffer sooner or later.
Effective marketing can only take place when you can define and target a particular group of consumers. To do this, I have outlined some essential key steps that will help you get in front of the right target audience.
I know there are many agencies that will help you dive much deeper into defining and targeting your audience but what I have outlined here should easily work for virtually any business and allow them to get up in running in no time.
1. Choose a Target Audience
This may seem a little obvious, but a lot of brands cannot define who they want, and need, to target. First and foremost, you need to have a target audience in mind before you make your official website or draft your first piece of content. From here, you can design and create the right content to fit that individual audience’s needs. If you do not have a target audience selected before creating your content, then your content will not hold relevance and will not interest the right consumers.
Not sure who you're target audience is?
Gather the key players in your company, Including but not limited to sales, marketing, project managers, and C-leveled employees, into a meeting. Then discuss who you each believe the target audience is. Be sure to think about your current customers and also consider which ones are ideal customers. Try to come up with 3 personas. Then follow the information in part 2 below. Once you've collected that data now head over to makemypersona.com, fill out the form and you've got your first persona(s)!
2. Get Audience Insights
Once you have defined your target audience, assess their demographics, geographic locations, consumer behavior as well as content they have previously shown interest in. You need to know your audience before you can take any further steps. This has been made easy to do with data collecting tools like Facebook's Audience Insights, which was created specifically to help businesses understand their audience better.
4. Create Content for That Audience
After you get a good idea of what kind of content you need to create, start writing blog posts that your target audience will find interesting. If you cannot come up with topics and need content ideas, you can use websites like ubersuggest which will take your seed keywords and give you the most popular keyword searches that relate to it. You can even find related keyword searches for Youtube, shopping, images, and news.
If you got a small budget to work with the Moz Keyword Explorer is also a great option for uncovering keywords and topic ideas.
5. Advertise to Your Audience
More than likely, you're not going to get free traffic right away. You'll need to advertise to start growing your following and increasing site visitors. I would recommend...
Facebook Advertising: Use Facebook's Advertising to select your target demographics and get your content in front of that audience. Facebook will even let you choose from different advertising goals depending on if you are wanting to create brand awareness or lead more visitors to your site.
Zero Targeted Google Adwords: Only bid on keywords that are 100% in the right context. If you're selling "handmade bone-carved chess sets" then only bid on keywords that are a no brainer. Do not be general because bigger companies are paying a lot of money for the search keywords and phrases that are more vague like “chess sets”. Competing with them would be impossible.
Promote Elsewhere: Also, promote your content to other channels where you might find new readers. It is crucial to remember to tag and categorize your content appropriately if you want to get in front of the right audience. I have just published a guide on how to get ten weeks of marketing from 1 blog post, which you may find helpful for this task.
6. Learn from Analytics
By now you will be getting some targeted visitors, and you should be able to confirm if they are the right ones with tools like Google Analytics Demographics data. You also want to make sure your conversion path is working correctly, so I highly recommend setting up conversion tracking. Do not do this just for your conversion pages, like the checkout and thank you pages, but also the pre-conversion pages, such as your shopping cart or contact page. This will give you more data to work with, and you will be able to see which ads/keywords and referral channels are bringing in the people you are trying to attract. As you collect more and more data, analyze it and make necessary adjustments to your marketing strategy and targeting efforts. If you realize that your content is not being received well, you may be targeting the wrong crowd.
7. Re-ping Your Audience
Re-targeting: Now that you have begun attracting the right target audience to your website, start re-targeting them across the web and draw them back in. Spread out your online presence and try to maintain steady activity across all of your channels.
Social Media: Hopefully at this point, at least some of the people you have been targeting are following you on your social media channels. This will depend on how enticing and interesting your followers find your content to be. Keep adding fresh content to your blog and sharing it on all of your platforms.
Emails: You should be collecting email addresses from those who have filled out a subscription form or made a purchase. Email newsletters are one of the most efficient ways to keep in close and personal contact with your followers. Another way to collect email addresses would be to offer a free premium piece of content that requires an email address. This could be things like a webinar or an e-book. Here you can look at an example of ours: http://bloghands.com/ebook
8. Repeat steps 4 through 7
Over time, you will gradually build up a larger audience if your content is offering real value to your readers. It is important to keep in mind that selecting the right target audience, just like creating the right content, is part of the bigger picture - your overall marketing plan. To be successful, both of these things must be well thought out and synced together; without one you cannot have the other. Do your research and choose your target audience wisely, then create content that they will want to share and pass on.
Taking the time, energy, and resources to target the most suitable audience may seem obvious. Doing it successfully, however, requires a plan. The eight steps listed above will help you to start to look more closely at who you are targeting, and will help with determining how to make adjustments to improve targeting, and as a consequence be more effective in your marketing efforts.