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Know your online audience - it's more than demographics

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Know your online audience - it's more than demographics

The realm of online business is extremely competitive. Every podcast, blog, social media influence post and store is fighting for a second of people’s attention so they can ultimately turn a profit. To succeed online, you need to fully understand your audience, and our sponsor Dell has plenty of desktop and all-in-one deals to help make that happen on the tech side of things.

Most online platforms can help you understand the demographics of your audience—the age, gender, and even location of your listeners, viewers, or buyers. This is important information to collect, as understanding your demographics can help you understand the niche your product or show or writing serves.

Demographics are just the tip of the iceberg though. There’s a lot more you can do to get to know the audience of your online business, and once you understand them, you can really have your online presence take off, and maybe make some serious cash.

Of course, before you can have an online audience you need the technology to get online, so check out Dell’s desktop and all-in-one deals now to get the computing power you need to cultivate, and understand, your online audience.

Define your audience

The first step to understanding your audience is to know who is in your audience. This means figuring out your audience’s demographics, as well as what it is that has them watching, reading, or listening to you, specifically. In other words, you need to know what niche you’re filling that’s getting people to look at you in the first place.

One way to figure out what niche you might be appealing to is to figure out what niche you, personally, belong to. What do you know a lot about, and what to do you like learning about? What do you NOT like learning about? What made you make this podcast, or blog, or webstore in the first place? Did you feel a gap in your hobby community? Or do you think you have a uniquely funny or interesting perspective on something popular?

Whatever your answers to these questions, it will help you find your niche—the people who like what you like, and can value your specific expertise, or your humor or entertainment value. Being an expert alone, after all, doesn’t guarantee you a consistent audience, unless what you know is something incredibly specific.

For example, a lot of people know about technology, but if you know a ton about photo editing software, that will allow you to hit a niche audience. If your knowledge of tech is more general, but you’re really, really funny, you’ll find a niche of humor-starved tech enthusiasts.

Basically, to define your audience, you have to define yourself; your expertise, your passions, and what makes you fun, or worth listening to. Once you know what you bring to the table, you’ll start to see what your audiences are showing up for—at least, what they initially show up for.

One thing all audiences want though, regardless of their niche, is for whatever content they’re consuming to be of decent quality. To make good content for your podcast, vlogs, blogs, or anything else, and get it out to your audience, make sure you check out Dell—they have tons of deals on right now that can let you get the best computer for your lifestyle. Check out Dell's options here.

Listen to your audience

We say that figuring out your niche brings people to your online services initially because once you have people tuning in to you, you can’t always guess what will keep them coming back. For that, you need to listen for what the audience wants.

One of the best places to hear from your audience is social media. If you want an online audience, you need to be on some form of social media or another, preferably several. Also preferably, you should have the same usernames on all of your accounts, so you’re easy to find on the various sites.

Once you’re on social media, interact with fans—ask questions about what they liked in an episode, or what they appreciated in a site update. If they message you first, message back, especially if they have complaints. Email newsletters can also help generate some engagement with your audience, just make sure you’re always easy to reply to, or that you make it clear in them, and on your site, how to get in contact with you about anything.

Listening to your audience will help you further understand who they are, and what niche they’re a part of. Perhaps they talk about certain TV shows as well as your podcast, or compare your blog to another a lot. By tuning in to what your audience is saying, about you and their interests, you learn more about them, and you can therefore make sure your online content is geared towards their favorite topics.

Audiences communicate in action as well as in words. So pay attention to their behavior. If people tend to download your podcast episodes at certain times of day, you can maximize downloads by making sure the latest episode is available at that time. If people tend to share your blog posts when you have funny headlines, make your headlines as funny as you can so they’re shared more.

Actions speak as loudly as words in the online world, if not more so. So pay attention to your audience by tracking metrics, such as how long people listen to or watch the content you’ve made, and how much they tend to buy at once. This will further deepen your understanding of your audience.

To truly listen to your audience though, you can’t just hear them—you have to do things, other than respond with words. Your actions speak just as loudly to your audience as you do to them, so once you have information gathered and you understand it, demonstrate your listening by acting on what you’ve learned.

Are you getting the same complaints about checking out in your online store? Fix it. Do a lot of people love you talking about your dog? Talk about your dog more, or do dog updates. Demonstrate your listening skills of customer communications and actions with your own communications and actions. When you do that, your audience will stick around, and spread the word about you, letting you make a little money off of them, and start to gain popularity.

To keep up with and understand your audience, you have to have tech that can keep up with everything they do and say around your online business. Get that tech by taking advantage of Dell’s great computer deals here, before they’re gone.

Be consistent—don’t kill your audience

So you know the kind of people that are a part of your audience, and what niche you’re trying to serve. You’re listening to what they tell you on social media, and you’re tracking their behavior in metrics to refine your knowledge, and to know where to take your online presence in the future. The next step is to keep your audience around, which you mostly do by being consistent.

Consistency, in this case, is about posting content on a regular schedule, as audiences and search algorithms prefer people who post that way, and it’s about staying consistently on topic within your niche.

Perhaps you have a werewolf-themed blog, talking all about werewolf lore and fiction, and you observe your audience also tends to like and talk about vampires. We were just talking about how you should listen to your audience, and give them what they want—in this case, though, turning around and becoming a vampire blog would be a mistake. You’re known as a werewolf blog, you can’t abandon your core topic entirely. That niche you appealed to, which found your content and stuck around, will leave if you abandon the entire reason they’re there in the first place. And killing your core audience that way guarantees you’ll kill most audiences for yourself going forward, because you won’t stick to a topic.

This isn’t to say you can’t stretch into related content from time to time. Vampires, after all, have some relation to the werewolf niche, so you could probably do a special post on them within your werewolf blog. But most of your content needs to stick to a central idea, that initial niche you and your audience form that got people to look at you in the first place. Without a niche, your audience is unlikely to be very large, and therefore certainly not profitable or popular. So be consistent with your topics by keeping to your core niche, as much as you keep to a regular posting schedule.

Consistency, on top of observing and listening to your audience—giving them more of what they want, and less of what they don’t in the process—will keep your audience tuning into you, and keep you growing. The observing lets you see what topics and takes to center on, the listening keeps your content appealing, and the consistency keeps your audience from dying off. It all comes together to keep your online business thriving, just because you better understand your audience.

Good tech is necessary for every part of this, and it’s particularly helpful with consistency—when your computer is reliable, you can be too. Get the best tech for your online business from Dell. Make sure you take advantage while all of these great computers and storage materials are still available. You and your business will be so happy you did!

Bonus: Kim talks about a secret online advertising strategy

Listen to Komando on Demand as Kim talks to specialist Heath Shaffer, owner of boutique AdOps firm NicheREV, for an insider scoop on everything that goes into the ads that you see, from advertisers who bid for the spot to the details that go into serving the ad on the website, and most of all, how to make money as a publisher.

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