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Five ways to know your audience

When I’m meeting with organizations about their digital marketing, a lot of them are missing one specific piece of the equation necessary for effective marketing. In fact, it really impacts all forms of communication.

They don’t know their audience.

Knowing your audience is essential to make the most out of your investment in any type of communication. That includes time, money, manpower and other resources.

Knowing your audience helps you make informed decisions on a variety of topics, including:

  • The channels you use to deliver your message.
  • The types of media that make sense for that message.
  • What information you should and shouldn’t have on public places like your website.
  • What voice or tone you use with your communication.
  • The frequency of communication.

Hopefully you get the idea. Here are some specific tactics you can use to better know your audience.

1. Look at your current audience

With whom are you currently communicating? Look at your clients, subscribers, employees or anyone else. What do they have in common, demographically speaking?

2. Review analytics

Dive into analytics on your digital platforms, where available. If you have a Facebook page, it has some great information on the people who follow and engage with your organization.

3. Conduct a survey

Ask questions of a sample of your current audience. See what makes them tick. This can be basic demographic information or specific questions about their communication preferences.

4. Stalk your audience

Social media is great for this one! Connect with individual audience members on social platforms, then keep an eye on them. See what they like and engage with online.

5. Use keyword research

Use a keyword research tool intended for Search Engine Optimization. Find out what your audience is actually searching for online.

Using just a couple of these tactics can help you know your audience better and therefore get a better ROI on your communications.

Tim Priebe is an author, columnist, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He has been working on websites since 1997, and has experience in areas including websites, social media, email newsletters, blogging, search engines, and online video. He regularly assists clients with their presence on social networks including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, and YouTube.

Tim is the author of several online marketing books, including “102 Tweets,” “Blog a Week,” and “Online Marketing Mindshift.” He’s active with several nonprofits, and has been on multiple boards over the years.

Tim has been married to his wife, Leann, since 1997, and has three boys, Josh, Jackson and Jacob. He’s also a huge fan of Superman.

Prior to joining IABC Central Oklahoma as a member in 2016, Tim had been both a speaker and long-time guest at events. He is serving his first board term as VP Communications.

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