Thursday, October 22, 2015

Know Your Demographic: Targeted Tagging

My target audience is:
In their 20s and in school for business, or in an entry level position in a business environment.
Small businesses that want to start using social media advertising, but are not sure how to start.
Of any income level.
Have an interest in networking, online and in person.
Have an interest in expanding their social media presence.
Want to be successful, they have high standards for themselves and others, and for my content.
My content needs to be family friendly.
My content needs to be grammatically correct.
They will spend 1-3 hours online per day.
They will spend 10 mins to half an hour on my site, depending on their daily internet usage. I would like this time to grow to half an hour to an hour, and therefore I must develop my content to be engaging to encourage comments and subscriptions.


Everyday I go on search engines and search for random content that I don't know anything about. These searches can be related to technology, business and job skills, animals, even food. This is simply something I do every morning to keep learning every day and to expand my library of useless trivia to tell my boyfriend in the evening ;) Every time I do this I come across results that are in no way related to what I am searching. Often, I find these at the top of the page within the paid advertisements - it is these links that inspired this post.

I am totally guilty in the past of being one of those people who overtags. You know, like how in my first post I mention make-up, so if this was a few years ago I would have tagged "beauty," "fashion," "cosmetics," etc. along with all of my business tags. When you first venture into social media, getting as many views as possible this way can become addicting. But are you generating the right type of traffic?

For instance, if a 15 year old girl looking for the latest lipstick trends were to end up here, am I actually achieving anything through her clicking on my page? If I were to use more ambiguous tags like "focus," and "motivation," like they're Twitter hashtags, and someone looking for advice on how to stop procrastinating comes here, will that be achieving anything? Both of these people would backspace within a fraction of a second and simply be confused and frustrated as to why I am wasting their time showing up in their search results. If you are using pay-per-click or similar advertising through a service like Google or Bing, be especially careful that you are not paying for clicks that are not helping your business progress. If you are not currently paying for advertising, you may be instead looking at your stats thinking, "I have 1000 page views yet only 10 people engaging. I've already tested my content, services and design choices, what's going wrong?" Maybe you're falling into the hole of false advertising, because ultimately, over tagging is false advertising. Think of the time you could save yourself analysing these results just by narrowing your target market. Think of how much more productive you could be if you knew your top ten search words by testing small groupings, rather than inserting the same 40 words under every post, just to cover your bases.

Building a brand is about providing a service. Your content should be helpful, interesting and unique, and about what you claim it will be. If you go into a retail store and ask for bedding, but the sales associate instead shows you dish ware, are you still going to view that store as a reliable resource? Are you going to recommend they're services to your friends? No, you're not. And neither is anyone visiting your website under false pretences.

Before you design your webpage, Facebook page or blog, think about who your web traffic is going to be. I for instance may want to attract the attention of large company CEOs, but it's not realistic to expect my current entry-level content to do that. I might want to think that my content will be interesting to all of my family and friends, but it's not. Know who your demographic is, and think about who you'd like to be attracting in 6 months, a year, 5 years. This at least gives you a gauge of the kind of networking and learning you might be interested in, the amount and type of advertising you need to be doing.

How old is your target audience?
If you are selling a product or service, what is your customers' income level?
Why are they interested in your content?
What are their goals, and how are you going to keep them interested?
What are their interests, professionally and personally?
Does your content need to be family friendly?
How much time do they spend online and on social media?
How much time do you expect them to spend in your web space?
What do you want them to do once they click on your page? Why are they going to do that?
How are they motivated?

Not all of these questions might be applicable to you, and certainly there are many others that you may need to consider, but this is a good start to figuring out what your site and content needs to be based around. Build your brand to be productive, reliable, solution-based, and resourceful. Ultimately, you need to be trustworthy, and the first step to that is being honest about your business, your content, and your users.

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