Conduct interviews with 5-10 of your customers, or use previous research about your best customers to mine for insights about a shared trait.
If you do not already have a deep understanding about your target audience and need to conduct customer interviews, ask questions that go beyond your product, like:
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- What social media platforms do you use?
- What are your personal and business goals?
Quantify the size community you need for your brand audience, based on your market size and business model.
For B2B, look for a broader audience than your product audience. For B2C with mass-market appeal, look for a narrower audience than your product audience.
Identify a trait that unites your best customers, like a passion, interest, pain point, challenge, or psychological trait that elicits an emotional response and goes beyond your products.
For example, a plumbing company may find that its best customers all drive vans. Caring about the vans they drive is a unifying trait that fits into a larger societal group that goes beyond the product audience.
Another example is how Red Bull found that its audience shares the psychological trait of liking adrenaline, so Red Bull’s brand audience is the extreme sports community.
Research the audience that shares your best customers’ shared trait, using a tool like SparkToro.
If using SparkToro, type in a relevant search term for your shared audience trait, like vans, drones, or extreme sports. Change the search filters to see what your audience frequently talks about, what words they use in their profiles, what social media accounts they follow, what websites they visit, and what hashtags they use.
Pick interests from your audience research results and search Reddit, using the interests as keywords. Filter by Communities.
For example, the search term guitar yields results for communities focused on acoustic guitar, guitar lessons, guitar solos, bass, and more. Assess how active each subreddit is based on member numbers and recent post engagement.
Research your chosen brand audience to gain a deeper understanding of who they are, including how they differ from your product audience.
Use relevant marketing channels to do this research, such as:
- Browsing relevant Reddit forums.
- Looking into the podcasts and YouTube channels engaged with by your brand audience, which you can find with an audience research tool like SparkToro.
- Viewing their demographic information.
- Reading the social media comments they leave on their preferred channels.
Create a brand audience profile, using your audience research.
This is similar to creating a product audience persona profile. Include information specific to the community rather than your product, like their demographics, challenges, motivations, topics they discuss within that community, social media platforms they use for this community, and content with which they engage…
Choose where to build your audience hub online, depending on where the community exists already and your business model.
For most businesses, especially B2B or ones with a purchasing funnel on their website, building and hosting your brand audience on your website is often the best option.
For some consumer goods sold in stores, highly visual products, or businesses that monetize through other ways than direct conversion, consider building your audience on one or two social media platforms.