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How to create and optimize an online marketing campaign?

Keywords. Conversion. User experience. Search engine optimization. What do all these words have in common? They all have to do with attracting and converting your target group. But how do you get to know your target group? Follow this step-by-step plan, so that you can get to know your target group and set up an optimal marketing campaign.

Every good online marketing campaign starts with identifying your ideal customer. The more you know about your target group, the better your online marketing efforts become. In addition to getting to know the standard demographic data, it is also important to know more about their character traits, interests and values. Once you have mapped out your target group, it will help you with that:

  • Creating a list of topics and search terms to be able to target
  • Setting up your pages to convert more effectively
  • Creating a good user experience
  • Optimizing your content
  • Creating the perfect message so that your readers take action
  • Finding the most important influencers in your industry

Sounds good, right? Time to get started! Follow the three steps below to get to know your target group and set up a successful online marketing campaign.

Step 1: Carry out market research

If you want to know more about your target group, thorough market research is the first step. The aim is to gather as much detail as possible about the group you would like to address. You can use these later to make personas.

There are several ways in which you can collect this information, including the following five methods.

Involve other departments

Do you work in an online marketing department? Then remember that you can also benefit from other departments. For example, the sales team knows exactly what kind of questions potential customers ask and also knows their interests and wishes. Does your company have customer service? Then they can tell you more about the exact terms that the customers themselves use. You can use these as possible keywords for SEO. Isn’t your company that big? Then there may be other people around you who receive emails or phone calls from (potential) customers.

Collect data using tools

Numerous tools can help you collect data about your target group. For example YouGov and DemographicsPro. These tools vary in price but can help you build a foundation of information, ranging from simple demographic data to specific habits and interests.

Social networking research

Social media is ideal when you are looking for the opinion of your customers. Check out different social media channels to read what’s being said about your brand. You can also determine which channels your target group is most active. In this step, you don’t ask your questions directly to your target group but read their online conversations.

Create a quantitative survey

Of course, standard data about your target group such as age, gender, income level, education, work, etc. are of great importance. But there is more! Tip: use a quantitative approach, such as an online survey: this method is ideal for researching a large group with the same interests, such as your existing customer base or potential target group. Such a survey is perfect for finding out the trends and similarities in your target group. SurveyMonkey is a useful tool for this.

Take interviews

An interview is a qualitative research method, which focuses on motivations, thoughts, and opinions. It is a suitable way to get to know your target group on a more personal level. It is useful to ask permission in advance to record the interview. This way you can be sure that you don’t miss anything, and you can record the exact statements.

Step 2: Create personas

Now that you’ve gathered specific information about your target group, you can start creating buyer personas. Research shows that marketers who use personas achieve 73% higher conversions!

Personas display your ideal customers who match your online marketing efforts. Note: refer to real people instead of an abstract target group. Here are a few tips for creating personas:

Identify all the personas that your target group

After the market research, there’s a good chance that you’ve identified more than one buyer persona, who describe different types of customers. Then optimize your SEO work to focus on these customer segments.

Write a detailed description of each person

It’s not enough to just write down a “type”. Instead, you want to describe the personas in detail. In addition to the standard demographic data, you can also include other information, such as:

  • Interests
  • Pain points
  • Priorities
  • Goals
  • Characteristics

To make it even more specific, you can add a picture, and give the persona a name, such as Handy Mary, Motivated Harry or Economical Anna. HubSpot’s ‘MakeMyPersona’ tool can help you with this.

Use personas

Did you make the personas? So really use them in your online marketing activities. Do you have a new website created or are you working on a social media strategy? Always keep your personas in mind. Consider them real customers and see how you can best get in touch with them.

Step 3: Identify the influencers of your target group

Aftermarket research and defining the personas, it is time to look for influencers. They can help you to increase the visibility of your brand. Try to identify the people who have a direct influence on your target group, because they can significantly influence the purchasing decision of your customer.

Is your company trying to reach young mothers? Then it might be interesting to write to a popular mama blogger. Is your target group one of the teenagers? Even then, there are plenty of popular YouTubers to work with.

Tips for finding the right influencer:

  • Pay attention to involvement: the number of followers is good to know, but the involvement of these followers is even more important.
  • Make sure the influencer likes your brand: you want the influencer to be truly enthusiastic about your brand, company or product. This authenticity is reflected in his or her messages. Consumers are usually pricked when an influencer is not honest.
  • Know how much the influencer is worth: when you start working with an influencer, you have to pay for it. Exactly how much this is depends on many factors, such as the number of followers and the involvement (e.g. reactions) of the followers.
  • Get to know the influencer: did you find an influencer that fits your brand? Then it’s time to take action! It is always good to read his or her social media messages in advance, to see how they normally respond to them.