Before embarking on any marketing or advertising campaign, be it online or offline, no matter how big or small, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your target customer. You need to understand who you are targeting. Once you attain clarity on who it is your targeting the easier it will be to form a highly specific marketing message that will appeal directly to your target customer base.
So ask yourself “Who is my target market?” Take this a step further and ask yourself, who is your ideal customer, the type of customer that gives you the most profit or is easiest to work with?
- Where do they hang out and how can you reach them?
- Where do they find their information?
- Where do they find your products or services?
- Does your target market use the internet to find services?
Before you even consider whether or not you need a website, you must understand your target market. Most likely, yes. 80% of people use search engines like Google to find information about local businesses. If you don’t have an online presence (website) you are missing out on a lot of potential customers who are already using Google to find local businesses.
What other online platforms can you use to reach your target market?
Other platforms are largely influenced by the industry you are in, for example:
- Restaurants owners may need to consider Zomato and TripAdvisor as additional platforms to reach their customers
- Hairdressers and beauty salons can largely reach their target market using social media platforms such as Instagram to showcase their work, offer promotions and drive traffic to their website
- Comparatively, Allied Health Clinics and Accounting Services would reap best rewards from search engines like Google as this is the platform where their target market is searching for them. Such business may be better off allocating the bulk of their digital marketing budget on SEO or paid search engine ads.
You don’t need social media
Other platforms are largely influenced by the industry you are in, for example: Social media, TripAdvisor and other online platforms are necessary and effective for some business niches and completely irrelevant in others.
For example, a hairdresser that is marketing their work on Instagram has a better chance of getting engagement and growing their followers than an accountant who uses Instagram to show their daily work, ask yourself: how many accounting services do you follow on Instagram?
Case in point, social media is not a vital platform for all businesses to reach their customers. Keep at the centre of your decision making: who your target market is and how you can effectively reach them.
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