All of us have an innate desire to be a part of something. And from an SME’s perspective, that tribe should be focused on your brand.
The most obvious example of the brand tribe phenomenon is Apple: committed and loyal iPhone, iPad and Mac users have long since established a tribe and pledged their allegiance to their Apple-shaped God.
While it’s unlikely you’ll get millions of adoring Apple fans, if you can tap into your niche effectively through great advertising, you can find your own tribe.
Advertising online can only be truly effective once you’ve really tapped into your target audience — or your ‘tribe’. Let’s break it down.
Why finding your tribe is so important
Identifying your niche audience is integral to the marketing of your business, and ultimately its success. Without customers, a company is worthless.
Here are a few key reasons why discovering your target audience is so key:
- Money, money, money! Aiming at your ideal customers generates more leads, more conversions and more sales by chasing those who are more likely to be qualified leads.
- It saves time. You can say goodbye to campaigns that don’t chime with people and further research into who might be attracted to your brand. With accurate tribe identification, you’ll already know and be able to move straight towards hitting those people with the information, content, marketing (and eventually products) that they want.
- You can really focus your marketing efforts. You’ll soon learn exactly who your customers are and what they want, allowing you to hit them with laser precision.
- You nurture a culture of brand advocates. Identifying your tribe and pleasing them creates customers that are so engaged with your brand, they effectively market your product or service for you.
Those are some of the elemental reasons why finding your tribe is so important. The tricky part, however, is actually doing it. Knowledge is useful, but if it’s not used wisely and implemented in some way, it’s not hugely beneficial to you or your business.
As a small business, you might naturally be wary of investing in ecommerce ads. This is especially true if you’re in the early stages of your business’ growth. Keeping costs down at this vital stage might seem more important than venturing out with new marketing strategies.
But the fact is, it’s an essential part of growing your online business. Look at any of the successful websites for sale on Exchange and check out their expenses. Their social ecommerce ads are often the highest outgoing they have — Jaha Shop spends $1500 on ads alone. But it works, and Jaha Shop enjoys average profits of $3000 per month.
Ecommerce ads aren’t a luxury — they’re a vital part of your marketing strategy, and they’re worth getting right.
How to find your tribe for your ecommerce ads
There are plenty of different ways in which you can track down and engage with your target audience.
Wipe the slate clean
Before you can discover who your true customers are, you’re going to have to dismiss any preconceptions you might have. Forget your current ideas and assumptions. Go into the process of discovery with an open mind.
It’s easy to approach challenges from a business point of view. Instead, look at them from the customer’s perspective. If you start thinking like a customer, you’ll come to understand their thought process and drivers. If you can make this a company-wide culture, pinpointing who your audience is becoming significantly easier.
This isn’t a passive process. You can’t do it alone. Communication is key to finding out who your true customer base is. Speak with your best customers, suppliers and partners. Quiz early adopters about why they buy into your vision.
Build a profile
Before you can target people online with your advertising campaigns, you need a vision of them. Customer profiling and buyer personas are an intuitive way of approaching it. Use readily available customer data gleaned from social media to create a persona for each of your different customer types.
Make the most of retargeting
Retargeting is the process by which specific ads are aimed at customers as they jump from website to website. The pixel method is the most popular form, but list-based retargeting is great for using existing contact details of your tribe and targeting them with your ads.
Don’t be selective in your data gathering
When you’re seeking feedback and gathering information from existing customers, negativity is as useful as positivity. Of course, everyone likes to hear why they’re great and their business is brilliant. Certainly, you can learn from kind words. But don’t be dismissive of poor feedback. Even if you don’t agree with the sentiment. In fact, that’s perfect feedback. A customer unhappy about something without good reason tells you plenty about them, you and your match.
Running a business that sells online, you already know the importance of online advertising and Ecommerce ads. It’s front and centre to you getting out there and getting seen. But if your marketing budget is limited, then you can’t afford to waste time and money getting seen by the wrong people.
If you’re doing everything right as a business and offering a high-quality product or service, then there’s a tribe out there just waiting to form and follow your lead; strong, enthusiastic and willing tribesmen that will be only too pleased to follow your brand to the ends of the Earth.
You just need to find them, engage them and reward them. Before you know it, you’ll be a true warrior in your sector.
Victoria Greene is a writer and brand consultant. She runs a blog called Victoria Ecommerce. She regularly offers tips to small business owners looking to maximize on search.