Discovering Which Sites Your Target Audience Visits

Identifying your target market is only one-fifth of the battle. If you want to win the proverbial war, you have to know your audience inside and out. Discovering the sites they visit and using that knowledge to your advantage is key, but the best practices to do so can feel unclear. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand outlines a five-step process to more effectively reach and market to your target community.

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about finding sites that your audience visits so that you can better market to them.

Now, this is an awesome tactic to use for link building. It’s great for advertising. It’s great for reaching your community wherever they may go on the Web, but it’s not always obvious how to go about this, and that’s exactly what I want to talk you through.
Step 1 – Identify people who are part of our target audience.

So whoever it is that we are trying to reach, that we’re trying to sell to, that we’re trying to market to, these are people that we know perform certain kinds of searches, they visit places on the Web, they download and install apps. Whatever it is that they’re doing in the digital world, we want to uncover those things, and to do so we need to start with a sample set, a small but substantive sample set of say 5 to 10 people who really match our audience’s attributes. Then essentially we’re just going to clone them. We’re going to replicate those folks.

So assuming we start here with a little group, I’ve got my six fellows over here. I’m going to take out one of them and I’m going to essentially look at the attributes and characteristics of this person who’s in my audience.

This is Mortimer. He’s a freelance writer for the example that we’ll be using this Whiteboard Friday. I’m going to assume that I’m creating a product for writers specifically. I know that Mortimer is a contributor to several different publications.

Now that I know his name and a little bit about him and what he does, title, maybe the company where he works, etc., I can look at: What are the social networks that Mortimer uses? I’m going to do a search essentially just in Google, and I’m going to look for: Where are all the places that Mortimer has profiles on the Web? From where does he share content? If he’s using Twitter, by the way, this is super easy with Followerwonk, because I can go to the Followerwonk Analyze page and I can actually tap right in to see all of the content, well, the list of domains that Morty shares from most often. That’s pretty cool. If he’s not using Twitter, it’s fine. We can do this manually, and we can just start to look at: All right, where is he sharing content from? What’s he talking about, etc.? Where does he already have a profile? What networks is he using?

Next thing I’m going to do is I’m going to use data that I already know about keyword research. So I take my keyword research, which I’ve already performed, that I know this group of people is searching for in general. I can be a little bit broader than I normally would be around very sales or conversion-focused types of keyword research. I can essentially say, “What do I know these people look for when they’re looking to further their careers or their writing or their work in my area?” It doesn’t have to be conversion-focused. It can be very broad.