Being a small business owner is challenging. And you love overcoming challenges, don’t you? Today I will help you to overcome yet another – developing a deeper understanding of your dream customers so you can grow your business.
The idea is to help you find answers to specific questions such as
“How big is my dream customer base?”, or “Where do they live?”
These in turn help you figure out the potential size of your business and where to locate your brick and mortar store (or open a new branch!).
Additionally, you get to know your customer preferences, lifestyles, and much other information which will help you design products, services, and offers that they will crave for.
You can also fine tune your business towards a more profitable niche audience (Not that you’ve to sell to everyone to become rich!)
Thank God that you don’t need to sell your house to be able to finance an audience analysis these days.
Facebook Audience Insight is Powerful & Free!
To access this tool, you need to own a Facebook Ad account. If you do not have it yet, you can create one using your credit/debit card. Please note that they don’t charge you if you do not use ads, so opening the account is basically free.
Although this tool was created by Facebook to help you select and audience for ads, you can use the same to analyze your ideal customer base to get more insights (without having to create an ad)
Find out the people who are really interested in your business
From Facebook Ads Manager area, access the Audience Insight from the tools menu on the left top, and then select “Everyone on Facebook” (we’ll refine it from here).
Example of Audience Analysis for Bicycle Repair Business in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
In this example, I am selecting Calgary, Alberta, Canada as a location. Wow! Up to 900 thousand active users of Facebook in Calgary (that’s almost two-thirds of the population).
Now let’s go find out how many people are interested in biking in Calgary. To do that, type “Biking” in interests and you’ll see “Mountain Biking” is shown as a relevant interest (Because Calgary is the home of Rocky Mountains).
Up to you now, do you want to target people who use cycles to commute, or do you want to target people who are in sports (Mountain Biking).
Using my common sense, I can tell you that mountain bike repairing is a more specialized service and will definitely earn you more money.
Understanding your audience (and filter out those you don’t want)
Selecting mountain biking as an interest, we get the following audience in Calgary.
An audience size of 100-150 thousand people! I wonder why are we talking about a small business, because it is a vast ocean of opportunities out there.
You can see demographic information about this audience such as age, gender, location, family information, occupation etc.
This is where you can start becoming picky! Why learn about everyone, if you are not going to serve them, right?
So tell me, do you want to repair everyone’s bikes? Or do you want to serve a special age group (18 – 24), or only the graduates? Or only the females?
You can make your choices like these on the left panel, thereby laser targeting only the people you care about (and those who shall care about you!)
Tips for refining a profitable niche audience
It is wise to refine audience based primarily on what you’re passionate about, and what your strengths are.
If, for example, you know nothing about mountain biking and you’ve no passion for it, you can target commuters. And there too, remains the scope to refine further to niche audience based on gender, age, and relevant interests.
On the other hand, if you wish to hyper-specialize into another segment of mountain biking, you can select female mountain bikers (mountain goddesses!) or you can choose to target mountain bikers who are also tech/gadget freaks!
Grab the chance to understand your customers like never before!
Sometimes small businesses (also big ones) attract the wrong type of customers (and lose them for good). And sometimes companies bring new products and services only to discover that customers don’t want it!
It happens when businesses don’t understand their customers or, worse yet, misunderstand them!
Costly mistakes! Do you want to be doing this? If not, then it is time for you start learning about your customers as much as possible.
Facebook audience insight tells you much more than just demographic data. With this tool, you could learn about the favorite hang out places where your customers go frequently (such as restaurants), their favorite radio stations, even their favorite politicians, and many more astonishing data like these!
Just so you know, traditional marketers spend thousands of dollars on traditional research to capture data of this sort. Luckily, you don’t have to be doing that. Because Facebook audience insight is free.
Click the “Page Likes” Tab and you will see top pages liked by this audience. Did you notice that facebook even organized these pages into categories for your convenience? Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg!
How these insights can help you grow your business:
A deeper understanding of your customers will help your business in many ways. It helps you attract the right kind of people (because you already know how to find them). It also helps you design products and services which shall be craved by the customers (because you know what they want, and you know how they want it).
Trust me, once you develop a complete understanding of your audience, even the world’s best marketer will not be able to compete with you in this field. Let’s find out how this information can help you take your business to new heights.
No more chasing after unwanted customers.
By specializing, you make sure only relevant customers will interact with you (If you go for mountain bikes, it becomes unlikely for general commuters to engage with you).
This in turn helps you serve the special needs of a special group of people who are most willing to bring out their wallets to buy from you.
Create Specialized Content that no one else can!
Once you’ve laser targeted your target audience, you should create social media pages and a blog based on this interest (mountain biking in this example).
Create and share targeted content, such as biking tips, maintenance guides, gadgets & accessories reviews, news, events, etc.
Sooner than you think, your social media page and your blog will become the ultimate “Go To Destination” for mountain bikers in your locality.
Don’t worry about how many will become your customers, rather start worrying about how you’re going to serve so many!
With the help of the online data, you could even go offline to socialize with your customers in places discovered via audience insight (hang-out zones such as restaurants, clubs). You can throw parties, organize events, or simply have a nice time talking to your dream customers.
This will solidify your relationships with your potential customers. And my dear friend, these relationships will build your dream business.
Many small businesses struggle to find customers. Entrepreneurs are never certain about how many potential customers are out there in the real world.
An audience analysis can unlock a world of new opportunities for your business. It helps you understand the size of your dream customer base.
Gaining insight about your customers demographic and psychographic information helps you choose a profitable niche audience. It also helps you design the right kind of product, services, and your content strategy.
Over to you now. Did I miss anything important about audience analysis (that you know of)? Do you believe that Facebook Audience Insight can help you grow your business?