Today’s Biz Ladies post comes from Isa Maria Seminega, founder and owner of Noisette Marketing a full service creative agency and consulting firm specializing in marketing, PR and branding for handmade and indie businesses. Noisette Marketing aims to bridge the gap between business and design. Isa also runs workshops for creative entrepreneurs and speaks at a variety of events on marketing and creativity.
In today’s post, Isa tackles the topic of defining your target market. From narrowing down the types of customers to utilizing your social networks to the fullest, Isa takes us through the steps to finding and maintaining a strong customer base. Thanks Isa for this helpful guide!–Stephanie
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You can’t target everyone
Everyone in business has heard of the term target market. It’s one of those headings on a business or marketing plan that as creatives we rush to with a sigh of relief. If you are anything like me I leave the financial section until last. Numbers frankly, are not my thing but people, yes. Defining your target market sounds straight forward, yet so many business owners when asked who they are targeting, say something so broad they might as well have said everyone.
As a small business you need a niche. A segment or section of society that your product is perfect for. Marketing to everyone may be ok for national companies who have the budget to reach everyone but as an indie business you need your clients to be passionate enough about your products that they buy them. You want your customers to be ambassadors that spread the word, they will only do that if you manage to connect with them as individuals.
Who’s that girl?
So, who are you targeting? Who is your ideal client, the person who will buy your products all of the time. Who are they, no really, who? I want to know exactly who your ideal customer is. Think of one person. If you are a woman’s jewellery designer, who is the ideal woman you are designing your products for? She wears your jewellery but what else does she wear? What clothes does she wear to work, is she classic or casual? Does she wear the same jewellery to parties as she does to the office or does she try to change her look?
Using online tools to find your target market
Once you have a better idea of who your target customer is, it’s time to track them down. These days there is a host of online tools available to help you find them, some free and some you need to pay for. These tools help you pinpoint where your target market are, where they are hanging out and what terms they are searching for. This information is invaluable when it’s time to begin targeting them.
Identifying the right keywords is imperative in target marketing. It is these words which indicate what it is people are looking for and whether they will want to buy your product.
Google has a number of options for searching keywords that your target customer may be using. Google Insights for Search is a free service that allows you to simply type in a few words related to your goods. It shows you how much interest there is in a particular words or phrase and can give you an idea of buzz words you can use later to generate interest from the right people. Start off searching for phrases that came up when identifying your target customer. Then search for phrases for your products or processes you use. Google also have another keyword tool related to its Adwords service. This keyword generator is a great way to track what words are at the top of your target market’s searches and can help you develop your marketing strategy.
Once you know the words your target customers are using to find similar products through search engines, you can start to delve a bit deeper. Using Google Analytics and the code embedded in your website can also provide precious information to find your target market. Google Analytics records which country people are viewing your website from, which site they were using before they came to yours, the search terms they used to end up on your page and even which browser they used. All of this information helps you become more efficient in your marketing efforts.
It is a lot easier to sell to someone when you know so much about them. It makes it easier to buy advertising if you know which blogs your target market reads. You can run searches on Twitter to look for those keywords you identified earlier then you can begin to add content and value to your website that is rich in the information your target market is looking for.
Get to know your customer and encourage them to get to know you via Twitter and Facebook. Your keyword search will have highlighted which trigger words which will help you find them on other websites and group pages. Read their blogs, comment on their posts and build relationships. Then your customers will champion your brand and you personally. You will not only build friendships and a community for your business but a deeper understanding of who your customer is and what they are looking for.
You may have noticed I didn’t use any fancy words traditional marketing companies tend to use like demographic, market share, primary research or total available market. Sometimes it takes being a little different to reach your niche and make your business thrive.