Creating a business is challenging! Identifying and building your business audience is a very important part of the equation.
In the beginning stages many business owners elect using word-of-mouth advertising to build a customer foundation.
But, when scaling your business for fast growth many look toward the internet. Taking your business online gives you access to millions of customers form all over the world who may need your products / services.
However, simply putting up a site and hoping that customers will stop by is not what works. The following is an introductory guide on how to build a following and increase profits.
Choosing An Audience
The first step in creating a successful online business is to identify your target business audience.
For instance, if your site specializes in selling educational children’s material, your target audience is likely to be parents.
However, you can break this down by determining what type of parents you want to appeal to, i.e. Hispanic parents, home-schoolers, rich parents, low income parents, mothers between the age of 27-35, etc.
Your target demographic will have a large bearing on the strategies you use to build a following to your site. It will also in large part determine which keywords you prioritize.
Find out What Your Audience Needs
Once you know who you want to target, take the time to find out what your potential business audience needs.
You cannot tell them how to solve a problem if you do not know what problems they face. Do research, look at competitor’s websites to see what they are missing and be willing to try various types of articles to see which one has the most appeal.
Bear in mind that this is something that you will probably need to do on a regular basis. The world is changing at a rapid pace and so the needs and/or wants of your target audience may change over time as well.
Cultivating Your Business Audience
It will take time to get recognized. You cannot build any audience… especially your business audience in one day; in fact, it will likely take you at least a few years before you have a large following.
However, there are some things you can do to shorten the process and get more followers than you would have otherwise:
- Create high quality content on a regular basis. If you want to build a following, you need to give your audience something that is worth following. Create high quality content (or pay a content writer to do it for you) and then post this content at regular times (i.e. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning). This way, your audience knows when they can expect to hear from you.
- Encourage comments. Encourage people to not only comment on your content but even disagree with you. Communicating with your target audience will not only draw them in but also help you get to know them better.
- Add social sharing buttons to all your articles. Make it easy for people to share your content via email and social networks. The more your content is shared, the more followers you are likely to get.
- Build relationships with influencer’s in your niche. Ask them to share a piece of content, guest post on one of their websites.
Turning Your Audience into Buyers
Remember, the end goal of building a business audience is to get more buyers and increase income. However, some people have the mistaken notion that the more traffic they get, the more buyers they will automatically have.
This is not necessarily true.
Following are some tips on how to boost your conversion rate so that a significant percentage of your traffic is actually buying something from you:
- If your site has been up and running for some time, look over your website statistics. See which blog posts have led to the most sales and consider the topics these posts discussed.
- Give your audience an incentive to give you their email address. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your targeted audience. Generally speaking, the best way to get emails is to offer something in return, i.e. a small freebie, a discount coupon, a free e-book, etc.
- Make regular special offers. Everyone likes discounts and “buy one, get one free” coupons, 5% off coupons and other such offers are almost certain to increase income. Another good way to increase profits is to use existing coupon sites and services such as Groupon to promote your business.
- Test your website. Optimize the site to get more conversions. Do your landing pages entice your audience to click “buy”?
It is not easy to get recognized, build your business audience and increase profits, but it can be done if you have patience and are willing to work hard.
Careful research is the first step, as you will need to select a target audience, pick keywords that will appeal to them and create content that will build a following.
You will also need to make wise use of email marketing and discount offers in order to encourage people to buy from you.
However, as time goes on, you will learn what works and what does not, thus enabling you to steadily build a following and increase profits in the long-term.
This is just a brief intro on the this topic… more detail to come in the near future.