So, you have managed to identify and outline your business’ target audience. After all, you are only able to manufacture products and create content or marketing strategies according to the needs and wants of your target audience. But, whilst you have a general idea of them, your research is still lacking a developed understanding of your target audience.
With this in mind, how can you further research them, especially if you have already tried every technique you know? Let’s take a look at 5 creative methods that you can utilise to research your target audience.
1. Analytic and insight tools
An obvious way to better understand your audience is through analytic and insight tools that allow you to view certain metrics, such as views, likes, shares, and so on, which can help you get a sense of what type of content your audience engages with the most. Google Analytics, Facebook Audience Insights, and Instagram Insights are a few platform-specific tools that are ideal in learning more about your target audience’s behaviour on these sites.
One ingenious way to research your target audience is through ethnographic research, which typically encompasses observations or interviews with the specific target audience. It is a research method that yields rich, qualitative data and a more nuanced perspective of the audience’s buying behaviours.
In particular, participant observation sees you, or a colleague, overtly participating with the audience, be it at events or conferences, or during mundane activities like grocery shopping. With this in mind, you are directly interacting with your target audience, building a rapport with them and asking them questions about their perceptions and experiences with your products or services.
3. Online observations
A unique method that is often overlooked is online observations – technically a branch of ethnography, observing how your target audience behaves online can assist you in improving your business strategies and products accordingly. To note, this is usually a form of non-participant observation which involves checking comments and posts on social media, as well as reading reviews of your brand and products. It is worth noting, though, that there are some ethical considerations if planning on using this method of research.
4. Listening to customer service call recordings
If you have ever called customer service, you will be familiar with the pre-recorded voice informing you that the call will be recorded for quality and training purposes. If your business has implemented this, now is the time to use those recorded customer service calls for audience research. You can learn a lot about what customers are unsatisfied with and what could be improved to prevent it.
By experimenting with how you deliver content, you have the ability to analyse your target audience’s reactions and perceptions of the content. Experiment with certain variables such as format of content (text, picture, GIF, video, etc.) and call to actions (CTAs) to see how successful, or unsuccessful, they are to your target audience.
You may want to consider A/B testing or split testing, to determine which of two variables outperform the other when it comes to audience engagement. By continuously conducting these experiments, you already have an advantage over your competitors as you have an enhanced comprehension of what can influence your target audience to convert.