Imagine walking up to a stranger on the street, tapping him on the shoulder, and immediately launching into your company’s sales pitch. In the vast majority of cases, you’d be greeted with a blank stare – just before the stranger beat a hasty retreat.
That’s what your online campaign amounts to if you are not targeting your messages. To that end, your target market strategy accomplishes four key tasks:
It cuts through the clutter
The Internet culture has spawned an environment that teems with users. Let’s face it; 99.9 percent of them will ultimately have no interest in your business, so why commit time and resources talking to them? Your digital target market strategy has its foundation in identifying and reaching that specialized segment among the “all users” who do have a vested interest in hearing what you have to say.
This isn’t to imply that you should shun the “others.” Far from it – by creating remarkable content through blogs, videos, whitepapers and infographics, you may attract attention from a wider population of visitors who may be compelled to share that content with their friends, some of whom may go on to become qualified leads.
It helps you identify your customers
We all have our vision of the perfect customer – ideally, it’s one who comes back for more business, and even becomes a brand ambassador by referring his or her friends, family and colleagues. You’ll use your inbound marketing tactics to build your credibility and prompt visits to your website – but you may also want to follow through with other media, from phone calls to direct mail. All that contact costs money, which is why you don’t want to burn through your budget on “cold” leads.
Identifying that perfect customer is challenging, but far from impossible. One good way to start is by creating customer personas. These fictional characters are based on the real-life attributes of people you most want to target. Don’t confuse personas with market segments – the latter deals with broad categories like demographics and prioritization. But personas, as the name implies, are more personal – they delve deep into the customer profile, detailing things like their age, typical occupation, their likes and dislikes, their fears and their goals. You can find details like these by conducting surveys, or even taking your best customers out for a nice working lunch!
It helps your sales reps
At some point in the selling funnel, you’ll want to include your sales reps to follow up on leads generated from your website or social media content. Even if your site attracted 1,000 unique visits last month, that (unfortunately) doesn’t translate to 1,000 new customers. You have to narrow the field to find the most qualified leads to match your target market strategy.
And how do you determine the way forward with a visitor? That’s where your landing page comes in. The hardest-working page of your website, the landing page is where you ask visitors to commit something – the contact information, a few details about their jobs, their product preferences or whatever criteria you choose – in exchange for exclusive or premium content from you.
It nets better feedback
Before, during and after the sale, customer feedback is vital to assessing the success of your inbound campaign and providing opportunities to fine-tune your target market strategy.
Your inbound marketing can provide a forum for feedback through blogs and social media. And it’s not just the successful, paying customer you want to hear from – you can learn just as much from a prospect who ended up saying “no.”