When people think of public relations, they often think of the glamorous Samantha Jones-type in “Sex in the City” – but it’s usually much more mundane than that. Don’t get me wrong, we do chat with media on a daily basis, oversee some pretty cool events and travel a lot, but more often than not we are buried deep in research. What are we researching, you ask? Usually searching for the best contacts and audiences for the next client outreach campaign.

While it can be daunting to think about, stepping outside of the box to research a target audience can bring in great results and maybe even find a few customers or contacts you hadn’t considered before!

Here are four creative ways to get to know your audience better:

Social Media
Social media is the perfect place to get in touch with a company’s target audience. Not only should their target audience be following along, but analytics should be dissectible at a touch of a finger.

  • Facebook: Luckily, Facebook has a powerful and free analytics tool—Facebook Insights—that allows you to easily measure the performance of your business’s page.Facebook Insights tracks likes, page views, reach, and more.
  • Instagram: If you have a business account on Instagram, you automatically have access to their free analytics tool, InstagramInsights. Instagram Insights helps you learn more about your followers and the people interacting with your business on Instagram. For example, you’ll find insights such as gender, age range and location. You can also see which posts and stories your audience sees and engages with the most.

Competitors
Nothing like a little friendly competition to spice things up! By using your competitors’ recent social media posts, articles and followers as a guide, you can compare your content and audience to what they’re doing. You can focus on the followers your competitors have in common to learn more about them and their behavior.

Google Analytics
Google Analytics may not be the most creative way to find your target audience, but it’s an extremely in-depth way to take a look at your audience and learn more about them.

The Audience section provides an ample amount of information about the people who visit your website, such as their age, gender, location, interests, browsers, and mobile devices. It also provides data on how people were driven to your website. This is where you can see your social media referral traffic.

Analyze
Once you determine what types of services or products you will be providing; you can begin analyzing who your target audience might look like. Is your brand unique, modern and forward looking? If so, your target audience will be completely different than if your brand is professional, traditional and sophisticated. Take stock in your service or product and understand what benefit it provides. Once you’ve listed out your benefits, make a list of people who have a need that your benefit fulfills.

Overall, there are plenty of ways to reach your target audience, but the overarching commonality is really understanding others’ wants and needs. Once you are able to come out of yourself and your business, finding your target audience can be simple.

Think your business could benefit from identifying or learning more about its target audience? Check out our services page!