Share on Social Media!
Understanding your target market is critical on any platform. Having a clear idea of who your ideal audience is will help you create a focused marketing and content strategy. A focused strategy can increase your ROI, engagement, and conversion rates. Knowing who your ideal audience is will ultimately help you create more engaging and relevant ads and content on LinkedIn. We will explore the importance of effectively engaging your target audience, who is on LinkedIn, how to identify your niche, and how to appeal to your audience.
Consumer online brand-related activities, or COBRA, is one way to understand the importance of effectively engaging your target audience. COBRA theorizes why consumers engage with brands on social media. Basically, the theory states that consumers engage with a brand’s content on social media by consuming, creating, or contributing. Consumers consume your content when they read your posts, watch your videos, or view images that you post to your LinkedIn page. Your audience creates content when they take a picture using your product and tags you, mentions your brand in one of their posts, or writes a review. A user contributes by liking, commenting, or sharing your brand’s content (Muntinga, 2015). These online user behaviors are most important in connecting with your audience.
To encourage users to consume, create, or contribute to your brand’s content, it is important that you are creating content that motivates them to do so. Understanding who your target audience is, is the first step in creating engaging content on LinkedIn. Once you know who your audience is, you can learn what content they want to consume, create, and contribute to. When a user interacts with your brand in this way, it is typically an indicator that the user has positive sentiment towards your brand and is a great gauge of brand perception.
Identifying your target audience also increases the chance of electronic word-of-mouth marketing on LinkedIn. Word-of-mouth, or WOM, is one of the most valuable things that your brand can generate on social media. Think of that last meme that went viral, and how it spread like wildfire. Pretty soon, you and everyone else, had heard about it. WOM is similar, yet it refers to how your customers organically spread information or recommendations about your brand. Think of it as free advertising, but it’s even more convincing because it is actually coming from real customers! According to Nielsen, “92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than they do advertising” (Mosley, 2017, para 11). So, WOM is free, it spreads fast, and it’s powerful! Now you can see why it is so valuable.
But how can you generate WOM through LinkedIn? It all starts with an actively engaged and interested audience. You want a following that is interested in what you do, who your brand is, and what you share with them on LinkedIn. Per Social Media Today, “If your audience is not interested in you, they’re not likely to help you grow” (Mosely, 2017, para 15). If your audience likes what you’re about, they’re going to share it.
What’s the first step in having an actively engaged audience? You guessed it! Knowing who this audience actually is. Once you know what audience you’re looking to attract, you can begin creating valuable and interesting content on LinkedIn that this audience will be eager to share!
So, you probably already know that LinkedIn is a great place to interact with other business professionals. But what does the user base really look like on the platform? Here are some brilliant LinkedIn demographic stats!
Now you know what the vast pool of LinkedIn users consists of. So, let’s talk about narrowing it down to YOUR ideal audience. Your target audience should never be “everyone.” Trying to target too large of an audience results in waisted resources, scattered content and messaging, and an unenthused audience that doesn’t engage. Narrowing in on your specific niche allows you to focus on it, rock it, and ignite enthusiasm among your followers! How to narrow in on your niche:
Now that you know your audience, you can craft ads, messages, and content that appeal to them! Here are some ways to get started:
You know the saying, “you can’t please everyone.” Same is true for your LinkedIn target audience. Trying to appeal to everyone is ineffective. Instead, find your niche and develop your target persona. Finding these can help increase your engagement, improve your ROI, and even spread organic word-of-mouth marketing.
About the Author
Fontein, D. (2017). Top LinkedIn demographics that matter to social media marketers. Retrieved from https://blog.hootsuite.com/linkedin-demographics-for-business/
Mosely, M. (2017). Why word of mouth marketing is so important. Retrieved from https://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/why-word-mouth-marketing-so-important
Muntinga, D. (2015). Introducing COBRAs: Exploring motivations for brand-related social media use. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/citedby/10.2501/IJA-30-1-013-046?scroll=top&needAccess=true
Newberry, C. (2018). How to define your target market: A guide to audience research. Retrieved from https://blog.hootsuite.com/target-market/