Getting To Know Your Audience

Getting-To-Know-Your-Audience

When you start a website (or any kind of business really) it is very easy to lose track of things and focus on what you personally think needs to happen.  We all do it, it is perfectly natural to do this yet in the long run it can be quite damaging.  Any successful business knows that THE most important person for them is the customer.  You always have to keep putting yourself in the customer’s shoes to see where you need to improve, but in order to do that you need to know your audience!

Only by knowing who your audience is and knowing your target market can you begin to move forward as a business.  But how do you do that???

Questions To Ask Yourself

Websites and blogs are always trying to think of ideas for new content to publish on their site.  In fact, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is (along the lines of) “What can I write about for my site?”  I always give the same answer to this question – “Well who is your audience?” – which is often followed by “……erm?!?

Too often website owners seem to know absolutely nothing about the people that they are writing for.  This is crazy when you think about it as you wouldn’t expect other types of business to do this.  Only by knowing who your audience is can you better approach your website.

Take a few minutes to think about who your ideal reader would be.  Ask yourself;

  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they work?
  • What is their native language?
  • How old are they?
  • Are they male or female?
  • What kind of job do they do?
  • What kind of education do they have?
  • How much do they earn?
  • Are they married?
  • Do they have kids?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are they passionate about?
  • What are their driving ambitions?
  • What are their wants and needs?

Difference Between “Ideal” & “Actual” Audience

Now, there is a HUGE difference between your “ideal reader” and your “actual reader”.  Your ideal reader may be young, trendy, single and have a well-paid, exciting job, whereas the people who are actually visiting your site may be middle aged parents with little time on their hands due to having children.

This is why it is important to know your audience as you may be writing for the wrong kind of people.

How To Find Out Who Your Audience Is?

There are many different ways to actually find out who your audience is but one of the best ways is to use Google Analytics.  Analytics lets you track certain data that can give you a better understanding of who is actually visiting your site.  Specific data, such as; age, gender, language, location, in-market audiences, etc. can all be found within Analytics.

Google works this out by tracking the browsing tendencies of people online.  This is what “cookies” are used for, as they can help advertisers and website owners to better understand their audience.  Learn more about how Google determines user demographics.

Google Analytics - Location Demographics

So Analytics is good for learning about specific user traits, but what about other useful information, such as; passions, drives, wants and needs?  Well, a lot of this information is right there in front of you already.  Blog comments, social media streams, forums, emails, question and answer sessions, etc. that are already associated with your website can give you a big insight into the type pf people who are visiting your site.  If not, why not just ask your readers themselves.  At worst they can just say no, otherwise it can be a good way to get people talking and help to build a community around your site.

If you can use these two sets of information together you can build a more accurate representation of your audience.  That way, when you are thinking of ideas for what to write about, you can visualise what your audience would like to read about.

Create Reader Profiles

With the information that you gather about your audience, you can begin to piece together reader profiles.  The great thing about these profiles is that you can have more than one.

For example, let’s say that I ran a pet website.  My ideal reader would be family oriented, married people with young kids that have a dog or a cat.  The actual person that I found tends to read the site are people who are looking to buy their first pet, are quite young and often single.  I may also be able to create another profile of older individuals who have lots of pets who like reading about them.

Reader-Profiles

From these three simple profiles, I can come up with plenty of ideas better suited to each of them.  If my aim is to better target the “Family Oriented” people, perhaps I could publish more about pets & kids, for example.

There are plenty of ways to better understand your audience online.  Only by truly knowing who is visiting your site can you better aim your content and tailor it for them.

What type of people visit your website?  Which tools/programs/methods do you use to determine your audience?  We want to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.

It’s Better To Stand Out Than To Fit In – PART 1 of 2

Hello Everyone, firstly happy Tuesday – secondly how the hell is it June? Anyhow, here at Bizzebee we have a posting schedule that we follow here, and I am stepping in today for Andi who is otherwise engaged with work commitments so couldn’t post today …. All is not lost though, as I have a really great 2 part special for you today to really get your teeth into.

Some of these I may have already covered in some level of detail in previous posts and updates I’ve made. However, I have done SO much reading over time, and researching and thought it would be a good chance to put all of the information down in one place so you take take away from it what YOU want and start applying to your own business.

Every marketing campaign has the same end goal – to raise awareness of a particular product / service / business, its HOW you go about achieving it that is important. Social Media is a great FREE way (as I’m sure you are all very aware of now) of helping you reach this end goal.

My ‘Think Tank’ is a really great place to be at times, all of the information that I digest allows me to pull all of this together so I can share with you.

 Here are the first 25 ways of getting you to STAND OUT from the crowdIt's better to stand out than to fit in part 1 | Bizzebee

1)     FIND AND SHARE GOOD CONTENT – People want to see and share compelling, inspiring, helpful, valuable content – if you find it OR produce it, get it out there, people like to share it and that’s how it goes viral.

2)     WRITE CONTENT – Whether you are a great content curator, or have a flair for writing your own content, or even reviewing / posting an opinion about another article. This is crucial in starting ANY social media campaign. Gear the content at your target market – think about what they want to know about, and supply it. For more information on creating that all important blog check out http://startablogthatmatters.com

3)     BUILD THE HYPE WELL IN ADVANCE – Use your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ accounts to build the buzz surrounding the holidays – people often only do this as the holidays are upon us, but its far better to build this up in advance – get people talking and looking forward to whatever is coming up.

4)     ADD SOCIAL BOOKMARKS LINKS – Make it EASY for your content to be shared and commented on! Include the social bookmark links and buttons to your blog, website and most important posts

5)     CONSISTENCY IS KEY – Make sure you update regularly and consistently – its important that people identify WHO you are and what you are about – so if you have a style of writing, or make videos to get your point across – make sure you use that to get your message across so people understand what you are about. If people know you are hanging out where you say you are and are working on updates frequently, they tend to come back to see whats happening.

6)     BRANDING – It is important that people know what your brand is about, and you can really use social media to get the most out of it. Seasonal timeline covers, backgrounds and profile images – ensure that if you do update one, then you update them all to mirror the same.

7)     WRITE COMPELLING HEADLINES – You need to draw people when you are promoting your content on social media sites – write something that interests people so much that they want to read the rest of what you have to say. If you want to learn more about copywriting and writing compelling headlines then check out http://www.copywritingsupremacy.com

8)     MEASURE AND EVALUATE – Everyone goes on about ROI with Social Media, and it is very important to track your success rate, and how it compares to more traditional marketing methods – google analytics and dashboards like Hootsuite are great for keeping a check on your conversion rates and tracking where the traffic is coming from.

9)     CREATE POPULAR LISTS –  TOP 25 WAYS TO INCREASE TRAFFIC – A little bit like this list here – if you compile something like this they tend to get passed around online very quickly!

10)  METADATA AND TAGGING – Without going into detail about SEO (search engine optimisation) you can dramatically improve your visibility and ranking on search engines like google by utilising this. Metadata is data which is a description of the characteristics of a piece of information. Tags can be terms or keywords that are assigned to particular resource. Tagging and incorporating other metadata can help improve searching and measure the spread of information.

11)  COMBINE SOCIAL MEDIA AND TRADITIONAL MARKETING – Social Media is a PART of your overall marketing efforts, so ALWAYS ensure that any printed marketing materials show your social media addresses and profiles – brochures, business cards, leaflets, booklets et al. You want to FULLY get to grips with Social Media from the word go – then give The Social Networking Academy a visit!

12)  USE WORDPRESS PLUGINS – If your blog or website is powered by WordPress, then you must ensure that you incorporate the plugins that will help your page become more visible and the content is shared, particularly the ‘retweet’ button for Twitter.

13)  USE A MICROSITE – This can be a 1 page website or even a cleverly designed Facebook landing page that that can showcase your social media and general marketing efforts, and can also be specifically target driven to a campaign.

14)  COMMUNITY PLATFORMS – By this I mean Forums, Groups, FanPages – build up a following and a network of people to talk to around these. It helps with engagement and conversation, and if you are somewhat of an ‘expert’ in your niche / industry then get involved in Forums – answer questions and share information with people.

15)  ADD A FACEBOOK LIKE BOX – This is the quickest and easiest way for someone to ‘endorse’ your brand – the power of the ‘like’ is incredible, and if there is a one click box on your blog or website that is easily visible then people will use it! Facebook make it even easier to add this, with their social plugins that are added to your sites with a simple piece of HTML code., and people can still LIKE your page whilst visiting your website and blog.

16)  ADD A FACEBOOK SHARE BUTTON – Install the wordpress plugin that will allow the content your audience is reading to be posted directly to their Facebook wall without even leaving the page they are looking at!

17)  DON’T OVER HASHTAG TWEETS – If you are anything like me, I kinda switch off to those tweets that just have 4/5 # per tweet – that’s to get their visibility up, not necessarily providing me with anything of value

18)  WORK TOWARDS A HIGHER FOLLOWERS TO FOLLOWING RATIO – If you are seen to have more followers on twitter than you it kind of enhances your influence on the site which then add’s to your twitter profile’s SEO potential AND also further backs up the concept / idea that you are a leader in your field / niche

19)  AVOID ‘OVER SELLING’ – Rather than constantly tweeting and updating about what you are selling across your social profiles, look for useful content to post about how to help people out, by doing this, and occasionally adding a self promoting post you are building up trust between you and your audience – which increases the chances of them turning from a prospect into a paying customer.

20)  ADD A LINKEDIN SHARE BUTTON – Install the wordpress plugin which allows the content to be posted directly to a linkedin profile and any relevant group people are a member of on there, again without leaving the website page they have visited. (gotta love these wordpress plugins!!!)

21)  COMMENT ON BLOGS – Find the top 10 influencers in your niche, and start commenting on their blogs – this forms a big part of making and establishing connections with people

22)  USE YOUR ONLINE COMMUNITY – There is no point in building it up if you don’t use it! Ask for feedback, run competitions and giveaways and always remember to THANK people if they mention you, retweet your posts or share your updates.

23)  GIVE OUT FREE TIPS AND ADVICE – Twitter is a great place to do this, by added a specialist branded hashtag – I regularly do this on my twitter and I find that it sparks a lot more engagement and responses from people. To take it a further step, you can link your twitter to a Facebook tab purely for twitter and then start to use Youtube to create videos to expand on these tips and create some great helpful tutorials.

24)  CONDUCT RESEARCH POLLS – You need to find solutions and answers for people, the only way to do so is to ask them what their challenges and limitations are – this will then allow you the chance to review and look at how your product and service can help them, and then communicate that to them.

25)  WRITE BENEFIT RELATED CONTENT – Your audience will always be thinking ‘Whats In It For Me’ so it’s very important than when writing content or sharing content always highlight and talk about the problems that your product and service can solve! People don’t tend to be that interested in what your product or service features are, but more what it can do for them!

Wow, that’s a LOT of information that I’ve shared there with you!!! Stay tuned for part 2 – where I run through another 25 top tips that will ultimately HELP you generate more traffic and visibility online.

One thing I would like to stress to you here is that, if like me, you are finding there is a BIG long list of things that you know you need to do, and that is always growing …. Try setting yourself smaller more manageable lists. For example, if you accomplish ONE of the above 25 tips each day, in just under 1 month you will have made BIG progress towards your end result.

Have a truly fabulous week everyone & I look forward to writing again for you soon!

Clair

Slow & Steady Wins The Race

Good Morning to you all, your resident Queen Bee is back at the reigns today for another snippet of Social Media gold dust for you all to digest.

As a child, my teachers, my parents even my extended family members always used to tell me to slow down …. Life isn’t a race! (Still not sure I agree) However, the tale of the Hare & The Tortoise has always stuck with me, mainly because of the famous saying “Slow & Steady Wins The Race”

There are a lot of people in Social Media who know this statement to be very true (the entire team at Bizzebee being one collective), and personally the more I learn about how social media works through my different connections and people I work with the more I realise it really is true!

Have you ever felt like a kid in a candy shop?! I did when I was first introduced to all this Social Networking – and I’m pretty sure that I’m not the minority here either!

Wanting to be on EVERY social networking site, writing on walls of all your friends, tweeting your favourite people, tagging photos, post micro blogs, and follow pretty much everyone we come across.

In the short term this will work as a ‘strategy’ but to sustain for the long term is not so realistic. Especially if you are handling a lot of clients and that responsibility for them grows, or your own business online presence really does start to take off with social media.

It’s natural to want to take it all on, but it’s virtually impossible to do it without burning yourself out quickly *take my word for this PLEASE; I was one of those people who did it all and spent 15 hours a day on my laptop!!*

So what steps can you take to ensure you finish this ‘Race’ without running out of steam?

Slow & Steady Wins The Race | Bizzebee

I’ve got 5 steps I want to run through with you (imagine now I’m your pacemaker, remember we don’t want to run out of steam before finishing the race!)

Never Forget Your Goals – It is very easy to get distracted, especially by looking at what your competitors are doing. Some of these may have a bigger, louder presence than you – don’t let that put you off what you are doing. It’s ok for people to be doing different things. Stick to your goals and work harder and smarter to achieve them.

Evaluate & Re-Evaluate Your Social Media Platforms – It can be fun and exciting to put yourself or your client on every social platform, it is very unlikely that every platform is right for either you or your client. This is why you must monitor your audience interactions on the different social networks, so that you can decide which ones work best for you / your client, and then not waste time on the rest. Personally I think it’s best to focus on a couple of key platforms with success rather than be engaged in all and only giving 50%.

Quality not Quantity – Understanding this is probably one of the hardest steps you will take! Not all relationships online will be beneficial to you. You need to understand that some relationships WILL be one sided, some will take from you, without you getting anything in return. No matter how many followers, fans, friends or connections you have if they are not in line with your business philosophies, it may be time to get rid of them from your networks. It really is about quality tuned in connections rather than LOTS of uninterested ones!

Pace Yourself – Remember  ‘slow and steady wins the race’ Whether you are managing your business, starting your business or someone else’s, if you lose a few followers or ‘Likes’ because you are not always updating your twitter or posting content on your Facebook page, then they weren’t very loyal to begin with.  It is far better and important (in my opinion) to establish lasting relationships with fewer followers than superficial meaningless ones with lots of people.

Dust Yourself Off & Try Again – Not every Social Media campaign will pick up at the rate you expect it will. Not every tweet will get 50 retweets or 50 likes on Facebook. That is ok – don’t’ be afraid to try or experiment. If something does not work, then just try something different. People using social media have short attention spans, in 22 hours and 51 minutes they will have forgotten what you said anyway.

At the end of the day, social media is a means to an end, but if you can stick to your goals, work hard, pace yourself and not be afraid of failure there is a high chance you will succeed in this ‘marathon’ and you might even score a medal! (Metaphorically speaking)

As your online help to success, Bizzebee understand more than  most, often we are all juggling one or two different things at any one time – so I highly advise you to head on over to our Hive, and grab your 30 day FREE access to our training library 🙂

Until next time,

Queen Bee – over & out!

The Bizzebee Social Media Case Study | Bizzebee

The Bizzebee Social Media Case Study

Social Media today is VERY different to 12/18 months ago, and today I wanted to share this post, which is kind of a culmination of the head bee’s thoughts and ideas  – which came to light at our last Google hangout. I decided it would make a great post, because it is something we are going to measure and monitor with the growth of the Bizzebee community.

Firstly I should start out by saying that Google hangouts are basically FREE conference video calls that marketers and business owners can use in so many different ways – from 1 on 1 chats, to larger webinar style set ups. All which can be recorded and uploaded to YouTube at a later date!

Anyhow, us Bee’s rely a lot on hangouts for our team meetings – lots of miles between us so this is a simple and easy way to communicate (often from the comfort of our own homes!)

Which leads me nicely into this post really, Google are really upping their game as a social channel – interconnecting all of their products and then rewarding business owners with SEO juice for simply setting up and using their products and facilities (Maps, +, Local Places, YouTube, Hangouts to name but a few)

Facebook has always been deemed the KING of the social networking platforms since it stole the crown from MySpace in around the 2007 mark, with personal use still soaring, I have to ask that for business owners (specific types of niches and industry’s here only) is it still THE place to be to develop your online profile?

I never thought I would weight Facebook lower than any other sites, let alone Twitter too, but over the recent weeks I’ve been taking a serious look at the effectiveness of all major sites and wondering if business owners could be achieving more and getting a higher ROI outside of a Facebook business page and 140 characters.

Bizeebee as a brand is new; we’re establishing what we do and why we do it. Whilst the people behind the concept are all established business owners and marketers with their own large successful following’s, Bizzebee is a newbie – people need to learn about it in their own time.

We’d been looking at ways to develop it’s presence – Doing the usual – spinning out it’s Facebook page across our own successful pages, getting right into Twitter and talking to those users we normally engage with as our separate entities – with some really high hopes of growing our following on these in good time.

As it stands today the Facebook page has 78 likes and the Twitter account has 316 followers (the latter isn’t so bad) Overall as someone who is enthusiastic about the power of these 2 platforms I am a little disappointed by their numbers, and more importantly those people engaging in those numbers.

I remember when I started my Clair Trebes Online Facebook page I managed to hit 100, 500 and then 1000 likes fairly easily and with very little financial outlay, so something must have changed for the Bizzebee site to not achieve the same. We’ve paid for some adverts and some “get more likes” feature within Facebook and its probably gained us around the 25 likes mark – which is a really bad cost per like when you actually weigh up what we’ve spent.

As far as I can see, the change has come from Facebook – with the power to add more businesses and actually fill people’s newsfeeds with “sponsored” stories (which those people didn’t agree they wanted to see) as opposed to the old Edgerank, which worked out what people would want to see based on their use inside of Facebook, the users are deeming some of these sponsored stories as Spam and marking them as such (which you can actually do)

What that does infact is negatively impact other businesses in the same / similar niche – less people are seeing your posts when you send them out and when you pay for them to be seen – and also people just switch off to them.

The whole Internet marketing / make money online niche is SO over saturated and technically Bizzebee fits into that category so our job is made much harder with Facebook now, because of how people use it.

If we were a health site offering vegan food recipes and yoga tutorials I firmly believe we would be playing a very different numbers game – because people are interested in those things in their free time.

In my opinion, your industry will have a MAJOR effect on your ability to use Facebook successfully now, because people want it to be social and not spammed with unrelated posts because someone parted with $$ to promote.

Twitter is such a powerful place, I really believe ANY business can make a great online following over there, but again it’s awash with people abusing the hashtags just to get their sales pitch seen – that doesn’t work either, and when you are trying to standout in a sea of self promoting posts, that can be really hard work. So much so, that I’ve been questioning the relevance of some of the Twitter networking groups that are out there some of them are filled with people posting and not actually talking to the others who are getting involved.

I’ve kind of spear headed the direction that Bizzebee are going to take on it’s quest for Social Media domination, but the other team members are all agreeing with me over Facebook & Twitter (and that’s not to say that we’re giving up – failure is NEVER an option) but instead, we’re going to look at other social networking avenues to help really establish the Bizzebee brand – With LinkedIn and Pinterest being seen to accept a little more “business” and Google+ being geared up to house businesses across the board – we’re going to focus a larger percentage of our efforts in those areas to see how quickly (and if at all) it benefits the brand.

It’s an interesting one, with taking some different approaches on the platforms, LinkedIn we’re gearing up around our group – The Bizzebee Colony. A well-managed group on LinkedIn is almost like a whole bunch of email subscribers all in the one place – so we’re actively developing and growing it and the conversations – whilst slow to start are happening (far better than Facebook and Twitter)

Pinterest is always going to be a profitable exercise if you can get the balance right between business and good images – we’re trialing different boards and different ideas and with one of our posts getting over 300 pins to date, you can’t argue with facts like that. It’s worth the effort in the long term we feel.

The Bizzebee Social Media Case Study | Bizzebee

Google+ – too many benefits, we’re making videos, we’re having community discussions, and we’re also working on building an email list inside of their via the Google groups facility (It’s going to have a forum type feel to it) but it’s all in early stages – the tools Google offer which are interlinked far outweigh any of the other sites out there.

Nobody is marking us as spam on these last 3, people are asking to get involved and joining us, and we’re not actually outlaying any $$ in doing so. It’s a fairly slow process and very much time consuming – but it shouldn’t be any other way.

As for the effectiveness of our new direction socially – time will tell. Our last analytics report stated Facebook was still our biggest referral traffic source (to which I’m not surprised as individuals with successful pages we share content via there) But in taking a side step and approaching from a different angle we are going to really spend time looking at traffic sources and will be providing updates moving forwards.

This is a mini case study on ourselves – one that we hope gives us (and you) the results we expect, so moving forwards your time and efforts are spent in just the right places to bring your web businesses to light!

Clair 🙂

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