You have two choices for reaching your target market online. You can attract your market to come to you. And you can figure out where your market hangs out online and go to them.
In practice, you want to do both.
Attract your target market to come to you …
One of the common methods of driving your market to you is with SEO or Search Engine Optimization. With SEO you optimize your website to emphasize various search terms and keyword phrases that define or describe your target market and hope that the search engines will index and rank your pages for these keyword phrases. For local business, you want these to be the search terms that individuals in your target market will key in when they are looking for information about the products you sell and the services you offer.
It’s more challenging than most realize, but when you practice SEO effectively, the search engines will drive targeted traffic to your website.
Attract your target market to you by going to where your market hangs out …
Somewhat the opposite of waiting for your market to come to come to you, an increasingly effective and widespread method is to proactively reach out and go to your market. Find out where your market hangs out online and engage directly with people in your market at these locations.
Ultimately, if you participate and add value to the conversation with your target market in these online hang-outs, the interested and curious will follow you home, back to your website to find out more about you, your products, what you do, and what you’re all about.
This is the essence of social marketing. Examples of places online where your target market hangs-out include discussion groups and forums. To find discussion groups and forums for your target market, simply do a search from Google.
For example, let’s say you have a sporting goods store and you’d like to promote your fishing, bait and tackle products online. It’s a reasonable marketing assumption that interested bass or trout fishing enthusiasts would be a good target for your fishing products and supplies that you sell online. Continue reading Do You Know Where Your Target Market Hangs Out?