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How to Build a Business Online in 5 easy steps. Seriously.

Running a business is tough enough, and expanding online can be a headache if you don’t know what to look for. Save hundreds of hours & times and learn how to build a business online like a pro. The formula is simple, don’t over complicate it!

Who Is Your Target Audience? 

A Target audience will be essential for any brand marketing campaign. Discover how to locate your target audience and how to use it effectively within your online strategy. 

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There is no such thing as a universal level of demand. Despite how popular you think your brand will be, there will always be people who won’t be interested in your products or services. 

Perhaps your service is not relevant to their demographic. Or, maybe the product simply isn’t appealing to them. This is why it’s crucial that you find your target audience. 

Target audiences are a consumer group that is formed based on behavior, demographics, and key traits. You can use a target audience to define a buyer persona. 

A buyer persona will reflect the ideal customer and the individual who is most likely to buy from your company. To understand how to find a target audience, it’s worth exploring a few examples. 

In 1994, Sony unveiled the new Playstation with the slogan:

Do Not Underestimate The Power Of Playstation.”

This phrase directly emulates the target audience they were seeking. Playstations were designed for people who wanted to play video games but couldn’t afford a gaming PC. While the company was marketing towards children, the target audience were the parents who would purchase the console. 

Sony has changed their target audience several times through generations, often to beat a key competitor. For instance, while Microsoft marketed the Xbox One as an entertainment media platform, Sony promoted the PS4 to customers who wanted a console purely for gaming. 

Alternatively, we can explore Vans. Although Vans now has a wider customer base, they were originally targeted directly to skateboarders when the brand launched in 1966. If you explore their website today, you’ll see Vans still promote to this target audience. They also market to other niche audiences including surfers as well as more general groups such as female athletes between 18 and 25. 

Your target audience is determined by key demographic traits such as:

  • Age
  • Career
  • Location
  • Income 

Once you find your target audience, you will be able to unlock your target market. You can then build your marketing campaign, including your web design around this market. 

To find your target audience, you need to complete research. Google analytics can be helpful here. 

You might also want to analyze audience behavior on social media. Engaging with audiences on social media can also help you find your target consumer. Ask questions, find out about their interests and who they are. 

Analytics can tell you exactly who is visiting your site and help you plan out a clear strategy including the web design and the content. 

You can also find your target audience by asking what problem they are trying to solve. When a user searches online they are always trying to solve an issue they have using either a product or service. Perhaps they need a gardener or maybe they are searching for an SME marketing agency? When you know the problem you can promote the ideal solution. 

Why Is It Crucial That You Establish A Target Audience?

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You might be wondering why you shouldn’t just market to the widest audience possible. First, it will make your marketing campaign inefficient. You could be spending a lot and seeing little to no results in return. 

Your target audience should determine every aspect of your marketing campaign. If you market to people who aren’t interested in your brand, you will be wasting a lot of time and money. 

To understand this think about SEO. SEO will always eat into your marketing budget. You could see a high level of traffic with your marketing campaign. But if the traffic that reaches your site isn’t built up of the target audience, they will not buy your product or invest in your brand. 

Ultimately, your conversion rate is going to be low and your bounce rate will be high. Users will realize that your website isn’t relevant to them and leave within minutes. It’s a nasty cycle because a high bounce rate will drive down your ranking. 

Creating a marketing campaign or designing a website without a clear idea of the target audience is the equivalent of driving blind. Sooner or later, you are going to hit a brick wall. 

By understanding your target audience and therefore your buyer persona, you will be able to build up a website based on what they want. You can filter out traffic that won’t convert and attract the leads that have the greatest potential. 

Your target audience will allow you to optimize your marketing too. A marketing campaign should never be stagnant. You need to constantly improve everything from your web design to your content strategy. 

You can only do this if you know:

  • What makes your audience tick
  • How to persuade them to buy
  • How to get them to accept your business
  • How to ensure they choose you over key competitors

A comprehensive understanding of your target audience can provide you with all this information. 

Choosing A Strong Web Design For Your Target Audience 

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Now that you know who your target audience is and how to find them, it’s worth exploring how this ties into the design of your website. 

Your website must appeal to the people who you are targeting otherwise you won’t find success online. 

One of the best ways to get the right design is to explore your competition. Key competitors will be reaching for the same audience as you. Exploring their design can provide a good starting point. 

It should be stressed this doesn’t mean that you should copy their design. Your website must stand out and besides, there could be areas in their design that need improvement. Explore what they do well as well as what they’re doing wrong. 

You need to get out of your own head as well. It doesn’t matter what appeals to you or even your web designer. Instead, you need to focus solely on what matters to your clients and remain completely focused on the end-user. 

There are various elements of your web design that could be related to the desires of your target audience. We wrote a great article on Why Good Web Design Matters; check it out for more helpful tips.

For instance, think about the colors that you choose. Colors can change moods or emotions, indirectly impacting behavior. You can start with two main colors. Again, it’s worth exploring the competition here. There will be certain colors that already work well in your industry. Make sure that you explore sites that are ranking well. 

Images will work well too. Research shows that users process images faster than words. So, they are perfect for a website to convey a particular message. You need to choose images that appeal to your target audience. For instance, younger audiences are always going to prefer animations. 

In the past mobile-focused websites focused on using images that required less data. However, this has changed as tech has become more advanced. 

A simple example of creating a website to match a target audience can be found when viewing medical websites. Medical websites will always be clear and have plenty of white space in the page designs. Usability, readability, and user access will all be pillar design requirements for a website like this. Users are always looking for a medical business that is clean, professional, and modern with a strong focus on customer care. The right website can perfectly encapsulate these concepts and similar ideas.

Build Your Content Strategy Around The Audience 

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Content is still king in the business world. According to The Manifest, 62% of companies that have more than 5000 employees will produce content on a daily basis. However, as with everything, you need to approach this the right way. 

You need a content marketing strategy that matches your target audience. To effectively build content, you should create a reader persona. This will ensure that you always know who you’re writing for. 

It’s also useful if you are outsourcing content marketing. You can provide a clear construct of exactly who the content writer should be speaking to. This needs to be closely tied to the buyer persona. On paper, the two may be identical.

To create a reader persona, you always need to start with the challenge or problem that a user is facing. What question or query brought them to your website? Don’t forget, these days thanks to smart voice control, it’s common for users to input direct queries into search engines. 

So, you can build content directly around a question or query like this. It’s likely that a target audience member is facing numerous challenges that you will be able to solve. The best-targeted content will tell a story with the following structure:

  • Introduce the issue a target audience member is facing
  • Discuss why it’s an issue
  • Explain what they need to do to fix the issue
  • Introduce your business as a potential solution

Ultimately, you need to provide content that is useful, relevant, or entertaining to your target audience. They are providing you with their time to read your content. You need to make it worth their while. 

Don’t forget, that your business doesn’t just have one target audience but multiple different audience sectors that you need to appeal to. Think back to the Vans example. They have various different buyer personas interested in their shoes. The content they create reflects this. 

Content needs to be personalized as much as possible for different groups and address their key pain points. 

Of course, when you are building your content, you always need to think about language. When choosing the language and tone it’s important to avoid these key assumptions:

  • The audience already cares about your brand
  • They know what you’re talking about 
  • They understand your jargon

While being targeted, your content must be completely accessible, particularly for new buyers. If this isn’t the case, they will bounce to a different website that is. 

Execute Your Strategy

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According, to Fundera, millennials are now making 60% of their purchases online. By 2021, ecommerce sales are also expected to hit $4.8 trillion on a global scale. It’s clear then that the demand for buying products and services online is growing. While this is positive news for any online company, there is also far greater competition. 

Based on recent statistics that are more than 4 billion internet users and 1.95 billion websites online. While some of these sites won’t be active many will be vying for the same target audience. That’s why it’s important that you act now and build your site with your target audience firmly in mind. You need to make sure that your brand fits their requirements and desires completely. 

E-commerce sellers have an unprecedented challenge too. 59% of millennials claim that they will head straight to Amazon before checking any other website. So, virtually every website is competing with this digital mega-giant. 

This is why building your target audience in your campaign is crucial. Amazon sells virtually everything and markets to everyone. Even through marketing, the brand is unable to provide a personalized approach that users crave. 

If you build a campaign around your target audience and the buyer persona, then you can give them a reason to choose your website.

By 2040, 95% of purchases will be through eCommerce. Demand is predicted to steadily grow. You just need to ensure that you have the right website to cater to this demand. If you wait, then you will fall behind your key competitors. 

35% of business owners believe that their company is too small for a website and that their company can grow without one. At the same time, 46% of small businesses still didn’t have a website by 2018. So, by building a targeted site, you can climb ahead of your competitors that are underestimating the importance of a website. A targeted website will also boost your ranking and crucially get you the right traffic for a high level of conversions as well as strong leads. 

We told you, the formula is simple- know exactly who your customer is, and invest in catering to their needs. We promise if you establish this early you will save yourself hundreds of hours, and priceless dollars… and most importantly, you will have learned how to build a business online.

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