So you know who you are. What you’re all about. Your entire blog content strategy.
You also have a pretty good idea about who your target market is.
Now it’s time to find them!
By the end of this article, you’ll know the tried-and-tested best places to go looking for your target market online!
The internet is an almost infinite sprawling mass of information, users and animal memes.
The world (and all its nooks and crannies) are literally at your fingertips.
You can reach anyone. Anywhere. At any time.
Your options are endless and hide so much untapped potential.
Your target market are out there. Waiting for you to help them.
I don’t know about you, but an infinite number of choices has a bad effect on me. It sends me into a rocking, dribbling mess in the corner of my office. I can’t deal with it.
I end up paralyzed, doing nothing and talking to no-one.
Infinite choice is an infinite headache.
In order to make progress and start building a relationship with our target market, we need to narrow down to the best options available to us, and those we are actually suited to.
It used to be the case that we could choose one option and focus 100% on it. In fact, a lot of people still recommend this. But I don’t agree.
Your target market will have a wide range of interests and media preferences. They’ll have accounts on a number of different platforms, forums, websites, publications etc. And not everyone of them will be on all of those channels.
It’s your job to be everywhere they are.
To be constantly top of mind.
I’m gonna relate this to a bit of dating theory – the only bit I know (because it’s essentially the same thing – building a relationship with others, trying to avoid the whole ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ text message!).
To build trust and likability, you need to vary the environment you meet in. This maintains interest and keeps the spark. The cinema, the park, a cafe, concert etc.
Variety is the spice of life and it’s the same in the business world. Not only do they start seeing you everywhere (relevant) they go, you’ll also reach the maximum amount of your target market on all platforms.
So here are the top places you need to be to find and build relationships with your target market.
With over 2 billion monthly active users, the world’s number 1 social platform will definitely host a crazy amount of your target market. If you know what your audience likes, look for the Facebook Groups they’re in and join them.
Also use Facebook Ads to promote to them on their feed. Their audience insights are insanely detailed. You can even use it for free to build a target persona of demographics, likes and interests etc. without even placing an ad!
The world’s second largest search engine after Google! Create boards and put your content up with keyword-rich metadata and people will find it when they search. Make sure you stay relevant, regular and consistent.
The main tactic here is to submit your content to group boards. Use PinGroupie to find ones that fit the bill. There are a whole host of different boards for different interests that thousands of your target market will be looking at and engaging with.
There’s a lot of noise on Twitter, and it’s not my preferred platform for building relationships, but it is great to get your content out to a wide-reaching audience. Make sure you’re optimising your hashtags so that when your target market search for a topic, they’ll have a decent chance of seeing your content. The more you can post, the better here!
Not just for your immediate work connections, LinkedIn Groups are another great place to find your target market – all actively engaged. You’ll get recommendations based on your experience that you can sign up to, or go on the Groups Directory to manually search.
Slideshare is also another great place to reach your target audience, whilst re-purposing your blog content at the same time!
1.3 billion total active users and 30 million visitors per day. Your target audience will lap up your video content if you’re creating it! Get your content right, get your video SEO and keywords right, and just like Pinterest, people will be able to search for topics they’re interested in and see you finely crafted content.
Also, only 9% of U.S small businesses use YouTube for their marketing. So if you start – you’re well ahead of the curve!
Not a traditional channel, but with the addition of Instagram Stories and push notifications etc., Instagram is becoming a viable platform for reaching your target market with your content.
A little finicky to set up as it’s all from your mobile, but once you do, you’ll find a sea of people to interact with. Businesses are only just jumping on this also, so the sooner you do get on, the bigger the slice of the pie you can get.
Ok, so not the biggest out there, but there are some that use it, along with their Groups.
No harm in posting your content up here also both to your profile and external groups. It will also help with your SEO and organic reach playing nice with Google!
Reddit can be a harsh mistress, but treat her right and she’ll repay it in spades.
Full of the most devout topic followers, it’s a great place to build relationships with the most ardent of your target market. There’s a sub-reddit for everything! Search for relevant sub-reddits on the site using your topic keywords, join up and start interacting. Make sure you follow the rules however – Redditors can be extremely quick to call you out and ban you if not!
You can host your own Quora blog to re-publish your website content, but the best part of Quora is posting answers to people’s questions. These are your target market directly ASKING for help!
If you can provide great, detailed answers with links back to your site to help them more (not to your products!), then you will quickly start attracting more of your target audience. Your answers will also remain for everyone to see, so that when they search for that question, your help will come up again. Genius!
Do a podcast? Great, get it everywhere! There are around 50 top podcast directories to submit your content to – make sure you’re getting into all of them. You’re target market will have preferences over which ones they use.
Yahoo does still exist, and it has it’s own groups where people like to hang out and discuss a huge variety of topics.
Search for keywords related to your topic of business and join up to the relevant groups to introduce yourself, what you do and how you can help people.
For bloggers, Medium is a no-brainer. You can re-publish content on your website to Medium, either under your own profile, or, if you want to really maximize your reach to your target audience, through Medium publications.
Visit TopPub and search for all publications that your target market would likely read. Get your content up and submit it to each of them. If you can get into one of them, you’re content could be read by thousands.
Type your keywords into Google and see what publications come up. Some will accept post submissions, others won’t. It’s all about a but of research on your part really.
Again, you can re-purpose your existing blog posts from your website and reach out to a whole new part of your target market that may have never heard of you otherwise. Make sure you read their submission guidelines however – they’ll all differ.
Sometimes the niche forums are the best. You’ll have to do some digging through Google search to find them however. Type in your keywords and stick ‘forum’ or ‘community’ after them. You’ll soon find the top ones around. Dip into them and see if they’re worth your time.
Other people’s blogs and websites around your niche are also a great place to find your target audience. Find the places that complement what you do. If you’re writing about cooking, look for others that focus on cooking equipment or herbs etc.
You can join the discussion in their comments sections to introduce people to you and what you do. Don’t be promotional however. Just be there to actively help people, not sell to them.
Is your blog image heavy? Do you create your own? Get them all up on Flickr and link back to your site. There are over 2 million groups on the platform!
You won’t get a massive boost in traffic, but it will be a steady stream. The great thing about Flickr is that Google will prioritise the images from it also in their search rankings. Bonus!
An up and coming channel in the business space, Snapchat is being used by more and more professional bloggers to reach their target market. It’s no wonder with over 30 million monthly active users!
Use the Story element to shoot videos to give a glimpse into the daily runnings of your business. Use it for timely promotions for your products and services. Content lasts for 24 hours before it gets wiped.
Another new channel that’s growing fast. With over 1.3 billion monthly active users, it’s a great platform to reach your target market and share your content. Use Sumo’s social sharing buttons to add Whatsapp sharing to your blog.
There are a number of open and invite-only Slack groups available to join in a lot of niches. Check out Slacklist and find ones that would appeal to your target market. Join up and start introducing people to your content!
If you’ve got a product to sell (which you should), then time to get it up on here. Basically a curated list of submitted products for people to discuss and rate. Another avenue to reach people that would want what you got.
And finally, yes, your email list.
That thing you’ve worked hard to build. Don’t forget it!
With all the focus on finding your target market all over the internet, we can sometimes miss them right under our noses.
Make sure you’re engaging them first, as they are the ones that WANT to hear from you. Make sure you’re interacting with them regularly.
Your sales come from your email list. Treat it nicely.
But with these top platforms and channels, you now have a much better idea of where to focus your search for your target market.
You don’t have to be on all of them!
If you’re audience doesn’t use one, don’t waste your time. But wherever your audience are, you NEED to be also.
Remember that it takes time and consistent effort to own a channel. If you know that your audience are there, then don’t give up. It’ll be hard and fruitless at first, no matter all of the ‘instantly 10X your traffic’ lies that are constantly thrown in your face.
Building trust is a long term exercise.
If today is better than yesterday, no matter by how much, then keep going!
These are the main ways I reach my target audience. Do you know of any others that would be great additions? Which ones are your favourite out of the list?
Let me know in the comments section below!