Target Market: Understand Your Customers

Understanding how to identify who your potential customers are is one of the most important skills any entrepreneur can have. In the world of online marketing this is just as true as in off line marketing. If you don't understand who will be most likely to buy your product or service, and who you want to be promoting it to, you will be fighting an uphill battle to get customers.

The stats in the advertising industry show that for most ads, 99% of the viewers will not be in the least bit interested in your message. From your point of view as the promoter, that means that for every $1000 you spend on advertising $990 of it was wasted on reaching the wrong people. It's easy to see how a small business trying to promote like this will get swallowed up by the giants who can afford to throw millions or more a year into advertising, in the hopes of reaching enough of that 1% who are interested and getting them to buy.

How can a small business possibly hope to compete with that?

The good news is that this stat is mostly true for untargeted ads sent to anyone and everyone. This could be a TV ad, a billboard ad, a radio ad or a newspaper ad. There are ways to improve this however. By knowing who you're customers are, you can target your ads to reach only that 1% of the people out there who are interested in what you are promoting. Thanks to modern technology this is getting more and more doable all the time.

For example, you can post an ad on Facebook and set it to be shown only to people who have specific interests listed or belong to specific groups, or live in a certain area. So if you're promoting a product that's only available in the United States, and the people most likely to buy it are online entrepreneurs, you can target people who live in the US, and are members of an internet marketing or entrepreneurship group. Then you only pay if someone shows an interest in your message by clicking on it and going the the page that ad leads to.

In a later post I'll go into what type of page that ad should lead to so that you get the maximum results from each click. This page is what's known as an Opt-in page and should be the start of what's known as a Sales Funnel, both of which will the the topics of later posts.

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