Many small businesses come up with great products and services, but struggle to find the right audience online. 

Knowing where your customers are spending time online is a key component in understanding how to market to them. Many small businesses come up with great products and services, but struggle to find the right audience online.

You already know you need to get out there and spread the word about your product or service. But how do you gain insight into where your customers are spending their time? There’s a chance you already have free customer research channels at your fingertips. Today, we’re sharing three of our favourite tips to get you started. Once you see how well they work, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try these methods months ago.

Send a survey

You don’t need to follow the latest trends and find the most popular platforms. You just need to find the platforms that resonate with your audience. Create a short survey asking customers to say which platforms they use for business and personal purposes. Ask them in person or by phone, or email the survey to them. This could also be an opportunity ask them what content they’re interested in seeing your business share.

Check your competition

Study the websites and social media accounts of your competitors, or other businesses with a similar target market. Identify where their customers spend their time online and what they respond to. For example, as a hairdresser you may have a similar target audience to a nail salon. Once you find a business with a similar audience, see which of their social media platforms has the highest level of engagement (post likes, comments or shares).

There’s no guarantee that your competitions’ content will mirror yours exactly, common threads will show where your audience are, and what they care about.

Check your analytics

If you have a website for your business, you’ll have valuable data available to help find your customers and focus your marketing strategy. Inside your site analytics, you should be able to find useful information to see where your audience came from, including the platforms they used to get there.

Tip: In addition to analytics, Google also provides a range of free tools that can help you identify and understand your customers online

For more information

With these three tips, you should be well on your way to finding your customers online. And remember, if you get stuck you can always contact us for help.

At the SBDC, we know that small business means big thinking. For more digital marketing tips, including social media, email marketing and blogging, attend one of our practical small business workshops on digital skills or sales and marketing.

21 March 2018