Who is The Audience and Who is The Buyer for Your Small Business?

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A Guide to The Small Business Owner to Learn About Audience vs. Buyer, The Buyer's Journey, and How to Distribute The Right Content.

As a small business owner, do you feel lost when it comes to identifying your audience and buyers? Small business owners and self-employed professionals usually ignore the critical step of knowing their audiences and buyers when distributing their content. It is like being in a shooting range, closing your eyes, and trying to aim your target. You may or may not hit it. Chances are you won't.

By not knowing who your audience is, none of your efforts in creating and distributing your content will be worth it. Not knowing where to shoot will waste not only your bullets but also your time and money. Same with your audience and buyers. First, you need to know who they are. Learning who your audience and buyers are is a fun process to do, and the steps are simple:

  • Learn the Difference Between Audience and Buyer
  • Learn How to Identify Your Audience and Buyer
  • Learn the Journey Your Buyer Goes Through
  • Learn to Choose the Right Content for Each Stage of that Journey

 The Difference Between Audiences and Buyers

You are probably used to hearing the term target audience in the marketing world. However, that is not what we will refer to here. Our approach is through the public relations lenses. 

According to the M Libraries, a business audience— also named stakeholders — is every one that may come in contact with a brand. That would include vendors, employees, bystanders, viewers, etc. The reason why this fact is essential is that your buyer may start as your audience before it becomes your buyer.

Your buyer, on the other hand, is someone that has already become a potential customer or has already become interested in your products or services. A buyer can also be considered as the target audience. According to SproutSocial, a target audience can be defined by their demographics, interests, online activities, etc. 

How to Identify Your Audience and Your Buyer?

Your audience will interact with your business in several aspects but is not directly related to buying from you. However, they are essential for your branding efforts or the way you want people to see your business. 

Individuals from your audience may never become your buyers, but they play an essential role in watching everything your company does and even spreading the word about your business.

When it comes to your buyers, they have already become involved with your business, because your products or services may help them solve a problem they have. 

For this matter, creating fictitious buyer personas from real research will help you identify who your buyer is and the problems they have. A buyer's persona should have a name, demographics (age, job, marital status, gender, etc.), interests (online user, social media user, hobbies, etc.), and challenges (busy professional, little time for hobbies, etc.).

It is crucial to keep in mind that your buyer starts as your audience. However, it evolves into other stages, and those are called the buyer's journey or the four stages of your buyer's journey. Learning what these stages are is vital for creating the right content for each one of those stages. 

The Four Stages of Your Buyer's Journey

The buyer's journey is a straightforward concept but very helpful for any business and even more to small business owners. According to Hubspot, there are four stages in this journey:

  • The Awareness Stage: The buyer — who is part of your audience — becomes aware of your company, your products, or your services. 
  • The Consideration Stage: The buyer realizes your company, products, or services may help them with their concern or problem. In this stage, the buyer tries to learn more about it. 
  • The Decision Stage: In this stage, the buyer decides to buy the product either from you or from a competitor. The buyer will be actively searching for a better price, better quality, or any other factor that may be important to help in making the purchase decision.
  • The Ambassador Stage: In this stage, the buyer has already bought from you. If the buyer is happy with its purchase, it may want to spread the word and stay in touch with your company for new products or services.

It is worth mentioning that your buyer may not always start from the first stage before buying your products or services. Your buyer may have become aware of similar products somewhere else and ended up its journey with your company. 

The opposite is true, where a buyer may have become aware through your content but ended up its journey with a similar company. And that is just fine! As a business, you must create meaningful content regardless if a buyer buys from you. This point is what is called public relations.

Creating The Right Content for Each Stage of Your Buyer's Journey

Knowing the right content for each stage will help you immensely with your content distribution. This process is called the "Inbound Marketing," which means attracting your buyer according to its need for each stage.

No longer pushy sales pitch to the wrong people. Instead, Inbound Marketing focuses on bringing the right information, at the right time, to the right person. Smartbug Media gives some suggestions on how to think of the right content for each stage.

  • Content for the Awareness Stage: Basic problem solutions and ideas without pushing the company's name too much. Answering questions of "How-To" format text, videos, and guides are ideal. Social media platforms are an excellent venue for the awareness stage.
  • Content for the Consideration Stage: Deeper and more focus answers about the product or services. Your website is the best venue for this stage. Content like E-books, case studies, webinars, and white pages can be of great help for buyers in this stage.
  • Content for the Decision Stage: In this stage, buyers have decided to buy. They are now looking for a safe way to do it. Your website will also handle this stage. Free trials, promotions, search engines, ads, and demos can also help in the decision stage.
  • Content for The Ambassador Stage: In this stage, it is up to your company to stay in touch and help your buyers find a way to give their feedback. Surveys, reviews, and email marketing are some examples of effective content for this stage.

Conclusion

Knowing who your audience and buyers are will be a decisive point for your small business to be successful or not in their marketing efforts. Learning how to create your fictitious buyer persona for each of the stages of their journey can help you deliver the right content to them.

As a small business owner, it is easy to become overwhelmed with so much information. However, it would be best if you focused on doing the methods that work for you. Moreover, with the right content distribution your business will become a company that is respected and liked by your audience and buyers. 

 

Question: Do you struggle to learn who the buyers or audiences are for your small business? Please share your experiences in the comments below!

  

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