A fiercely competitive freeware marketplace has made it easy and cheap for almost anyone to have an online presence. Most social media platforms offer free training for business’s to easily learn how to best represent themselves online.

However, your time and resources are limited, as are the time and resources of your potential audience, so it is essential to define that target market and know where they spend most of their time online and what information they are interested in.

If you decide to start paying for advertising on Google, Facebook or any other platform they will also ask you to clearly define your demographic using the following criteria to position your brand accurately.

Demographic Number One: Geographical location

Obviously, it is not plausible to start your online presence without knowing your geographical target audience. You also need to be confident that you can supply your product or service to an area and consider logistical implications and costs before targeting that area. This will also determine what language you should use and what time zone your target market will be shopping in.

It is best to start small with an existing client base geographical and work on improving in this specific location before expanding. When deciding to expand, be sure that you and able to reach this location and have considered any additional costs in this regard.

Demographic Number Two: Age & Gender

Age is very important when considering which platforms to list your brand on. Take some time to research which social media platforms your existing market prefers, or in the case of new businesses, a small amount of market research up front will save a lot of wasted time in the future setting up on platforms that are general not of interest to your target market.

For example, senior citizens (or “silver surfers!”) are more likely to be found on Facebook than twitter or Instagram, whereas younger audiences that may have grown weary of Facebook marketing are more likely to be found on Instagram, Pinterest or other visually rich platforms. This is also industry dependent. If you are looking at selling business to business products/ services, or in professional industries such as healthcare or legal fields, a comprehensive LinkedIn profile may be more persuasive than another Facebook Page.

Demographic Number Three: Existing interests & hobbies

Particularly when launching a new business online, you should investigate current browsing traits or your potential future customers. Targeted advertising for audience of other brands in your industry is an easy place to start and a way of limiting potentially large advertising costs. Know where your target market is currently active and interested and “meet your audience” in this mutual space rather than wasting time and money in online markets without a potential to convert an audience into actual buyers. This will also be important when you are asked to consider “Key words” and “tags,” as you will need to regardless of where you are present online. “Key words” are extremely important when building a website, blog or on any social media platform.

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