There comes a time in every business’ life when you have to reach new audiences.

It might be because you’re expanding and want to engage with a different demographic, or because a new generation of consumers is driving a shift in your market. Or maybe you’re diversifying and need new customers altogether.

Either way, with access to more channels than ever before, it couldn’t be easier to grow your business and expand your reach.

Before we delve into the different channels and their benefits, first we want to explore how you can get to know your new audience that little bit better.

See also: Identifying your target customer

How to identify your new audience

Everything you create and share should connect with a specific audience, otherwise you will likely waste all important resources on assets that don’t offer anything in return. Before you can target new customers, you need to know who they are, what they want, and where they want it. To get you started, here are some of our top tips:

  • Review your current customer data: Your customer data is the number one place to go to check out who is visiting and engaging with your site. Pay extra attention to the number of sessions, transactions and bounce rate for demographics you’re not currently targeting as this will show you if there is a new audience you can reach.
  • Look at competitors: Understanding who your competitors are targeting will highlight if you’re overlooking a target market, or uncover a core demographic that is being ignored completely. Take a look at their website and social media accounts, and even register to receive their marketing emails.
  • Pay attention to reviews and forums: Our assumptions can often be wrong, which is why listening to customers is so important. While finding people to talk to directly can be a challenge, it doesn’t take long to identify trends in reviews (on your website and your competitors’) and forums for your industry.
  • Explore your social media activity: Just like your customer data, social media activity and analytics will outline the most active demographics currently engaging with your business.

Using all of this information, you should be able to develop concrete buyer personas which point you in the right direction of what channels and messages you need to embrace.

Different channels you should use to reach your new audience

As soon as you have a better idea of the new audience you’re trying to reach, start looking into the channels you can use to reach them. To help you out, we’ve done all the leg work for you.

See also: Which marketing channels are best for your rural business

Social media

Social media platforms are growing rapidly, with active users estimated to have grown around 280 million in the last year, driving the total number of users worldwide to 3.484 billion. It’s huge. In fact, 67% of the UK’s entire population is on one or more social media platforms.

This just goes to show the importance of utilising these platforms for the growth of your business.

Here’s what you need to know:

Facebook remains the most popular platform for UK consumers. And it’s a hit for businesses too, with 60 million business pages currently active globally. So there’s no doubt that you should be leaning towards Facebook when it comes to expanding your reach.

With such a significant audience base, the pressure is on to get creative with your content so you can cut through the noise and attract your target customers. For example, video has proven to be the most engaging type of content on Facebook with photo posts coming in second.

You could also invest in Facebook advertising. The sea of content that populates this platform means it’s easy to get lost in the feed. Investing in ads allows you to tailor your content to specific audience groups and boost your chances of engagement. You can target people based on their location, their interests and behaviours, their age, and even their job (this is where your buyer persona research comes in so handy!).

See also: What is digital marketing?

If you know who you want to target, Facebook is a great choice of platform.

While its growth is not quite as impressive as its rivals, Twitter remains a popular hangout for businesses looking to promote their services and engage directly with customers. For businesses looking to break into social media, we’d recommend putting Twitter on the back burner for now as other platforms offer more promising reach.

According to Instagram, its 24 million UK users (that’s 42% of the population) can all be reached with advertising. And with 80% of users currently following a brand, it’s no surprise that so many businesses have incorporated the platform into their marketing strategy.

Coined ‘the new home for brands’, Instagram could be the perfect place for you to engage with a new audience. But marketing effectively on such a visually driven platform demands time and financial commitment. Before you commit to jumping onto Instagram, make sure you’ve said yes to each of these questions:

1. Can you share compelling visual content regularly? Some industries aren’t suited to such a visual platform as it needs creative and original images and videos that actually look good.

2. Is your new audience on Instagram? What has your analytics research told you about your new buyer persona? If they’re not hanging out on Instagram or using the platform to research and find solutions, then there’s no point investing in the resources needed to make your Instagram account a success.

Pay per click advertising

Pay Per Click, also known as PPC or Paid Search, can be a powerful tool to have in your arsenal. In short, PPC allows you to advertise on a page, paying the publisher an agreed amount every time someone clicks on your ad. The most common use of PPC is on search engines, which allow businesses to advertise at the top of results pages.

As well as being easy to measure and track, PPC provides a wealth of data that can transform the other elements of your marketing campaign.

Another healthy benefit of using PPC to reach your new audience is the simplicity of the transition. While being 5 years behind your competitors on search engine optimisation (SEO) might slow down your results, the same can’t be said for PPC. Instead, your campaign can be up and running fairly quickly.

PPC allows you to run ads based on keywords, as well as remarketing based on past behaviours and audience demographics. This freedom with targeting means you can trust that your business will be able to reach the right people with the right content.

Direct mail

No, it’s not dead yet! In fact, direct mail is still proving to be a great way at connecting your audience on a personal level.

While the mass amounts of businesses bombarding social media platforms can be overwhelming for potential customers, the number of brands using direct mail to its true advantage is low. And that’s the first advantage of using direct mail: side-step the digital competition.

This offline tactic has also proved to drive engagement because of its use of personalisation. You have the ability to personalise each message with granular targeting, and you’re allowing potential customers to engage with a piece of content in person.

How to target your new audience

While many of these channels share similar features, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach that we can recommend. You have to know where your new audience is hanging out and utilise the most appropriate platform.

The world of marketing is always becoming more complex, with the range of channels and tools continuing to grow. But that doesn’t mean using it to its advantage has to be hard.

As soon as you have a clear understanding of who you want to reach, you can start to navigate the platforms available to you and decipher which is the most appropriate for your new audience.

And if you need extra help understanding your audience or finding new ways to reach we’d be more than happy to help at Hillsgreen.