Everything your business does should center around your audience needs, not your business needs. But how do you define your ideal audience? And where can you find them?
Your ideal customer profile (ICP), or target audience, clarifies the types of businesses or industries you can best serve, and why these people need what you offer. The better you understand your ICP, the better you’ll be able to market to them.
Identifying your ideal customers is a crucial step to hosting successful webinars. It helps you set relevant and achievable goals, choose engaging and targeted webinar topics, and develop a successful webinar marketing strategy.
As a result, this strategic targeting will increase your chances of:
- Attracting the most relevant leads to your webinars
- Turning webinar attendees into your top customers
- Providing the most valuable information to your audiences
Getting to know your ideal webinar audience
Your audience is key to the success of your webinar. If you target the wrong people, you won’t achieve the webinar results you want. Your marketing will reach poor-fit leads, and even if you manage to get some interesting leads to attend, they won’t be interested in your topic.
However, when you craft a webinar around the right audience, you’ll be able to develop a webinar strategy that not only meets, but exceeds expectations on all fronts.
So, how do you find your ideal webinar audience?
The best place to start is by determining your ideal customer profiles. From there, you can choose the best webinar topic for your target audience. You can also adjust your sales and marketing messaging to align with the needs and interests of this particular audience.
I’ll walk you through the exact steps to follow to comprehensively define your webinar audience.
What is an ideal customer profile (ICP)?
An ideal customer profile is used to determine the exact type of businesses and industries that would gain the most value from your products, services, or solutions.
You may sometimes see the term used interchangeably with “buyer,” “user,” or “personas.” However, they don’t mean the same thing. Buyer personas help define your ideal audience on an individual level by crafting a profile for a specific customer and what job they’re using your product or service to accomplish.
Buyer personas are used to build a fictional representation of your potential clients. This type of audience profile includes behavioral characteristics and individual traits such as shopping habits (i.e. what online marketplaces do they purchase from), top desires (i.e. getting a promotion), and trusted educational resources (i.e. what newsletters they subscribe to).
An ideal customer profile, on the other hand, takes an organizational-level view by identifying the types of businesses and industries you want to target. This type of audience profile is useful for identifying the most valuable business stakeholders your company should target.
Ideal customer profiles are based on statistical information and facts such as firmographic intel. This ensures you implement evidence-based information to build your ICPs. Many companies use data mining techniques, statistical analysis, and data quality software with ETL (Extract Transform and Load) tools to effectively analyze and identify their ICPs.
Why an ideal customer profile is important
Whether you work in a small start-up or a large, multinational corporation, defining your ideal customer profile is critical for your success.
Your webinars won’t appeal to everyone. If you try to create something with a wide reach, you’ll end up boring most of your audience with irrelevant or obvious content.
Defining your ICPs allows you to create webinars that hone in on your target audience’s needs and pain points. This increased alignment will likely improve your webinar performance.
People are 48% more likely to consider solution providers that personalize their marketing to address their specific business issues, according to research by ITSMA. Similarly, understanding your audience issues, needs, and motivations creates opportunities to personalize the structure of your webinar to address them.
A well-mapped ideal customer profile is necessary for a webinar strategy that’s both time- and cost-effective for your business. It would be counterproductive to develop your webinar strategy and then try to establish your ideal customer profile.
That’s why you need to identify your webinar ICP before you lay out your webinar topic and marketing strategy.
How to identify your webinar ICP
A successful webinar hinges on an accurately defined ideal customer profile, based on actual data instead of assumptions.
It’s easy to get caught up in what we want our ICP to look like, instead of what they actually look like. To avoid falling into this trap, there are a few methods you can use to identify your ICP objectively.
One is to analyze your current customers and previous webinar attendees by:
- Curating a list of current customers/previous webinar attendees
- Identifying current customer/previous webinar attendee attributes
- Creating ICP based on the above data and findings
1) Curate a list of current customers/previous webinar attendees
First, curate a list of your current customers and previous webinar attendees. Include as much information about these customers as you have. This data will come in handy when you move on to the next step — the analysis stage.
Using current customer and previous webinar attendee data helps you base your ideal customer profile on measurable data. You can then use this data to plan webinars that are closely aligned with your target audience. In turn, your webinar will be well-received and thus more likely to achieve its intended goals.
2) Identify current customer/previous webinar attendee attributes
Next, you need to analyze the attributes of your curated list of current customers and previous webinar attendees.
The attributes analyzed at this stage could include both company-level information and individual employee information. For example:
- Company industry
- Number of employees
- Annual turnover
- Budget for your type of product/service
- Job title
Include as many attributes as possible at this stage. This will allow you to build an accurate and descriptive profile of your ideal webinar customers.
3) Create an ICP based on your data and findings
You can then analyze these attributes to see if there are any recurring traits.
Make note of your findings and use this data to segment your customer list into different ideal customer profiles. These can then be used to inform your upcoming webinar strategy, marketing, and sales.
How to drive value for your webinar ICP
Now that you’ve identified your webinar ICP, you need to consider how you can provide value to them.
To do this, you need to think about their needs, pain points, which stage of the customer journey they’re at, and what marketing materials they’ve previously engaged with.
Your webinar strategy should be based on what your audience wants, not what your organization wants. To hone in what that is, you could speak to your sales and support teams, or speak directly to your customers.
Your sales team can help you identify sales-related needs such as common obstacles that prevent people from purchasing, drivers to purchase, and whether they are a key decision-maker.
Your support team can tell you about any recurring queries customers have and common problems they face, which will provide a well-rounded understanding of some of your audience’s frequent pain points.
If you want to understand your audience, it’s best to speak to them directly. You could look at their previous website behavior and how they’ve previously engaged with your marketing materials, messaging, and brand. Or, request information from them through feedback forms, roundtable meetings, or by directly asking them about their experiences, needs, and how you can better support them.
How to reach your webinar ICP
After you define your ideal customer profile, the next step is figuring out how to reach them. Along with understanding the specific needs and attributes of your intended webinar audience, you also need to know where to find them.
Consider which sales and marketing channels they’re most likely to use. Ask:
- What conferences do they regularly attend or exhibit in?
- Which industry publications do they rely on to stay up-to-date?
- What channels are they monitoring for their audience sentiment?
For example, if your ideal customer profile consists of key decision-makers in B2B manufacturing companies, you may find such individuals on LinkedIn or in your list of customers who have previously downloaded your sales brochure.
As a B2C eCommerce company, your webinar ICP might be people who are most likely to spend their time on Facebook and Instagram and are subscribed to your email newsletter.
Once you know which marketing and sales channels your webinar ICP uses, you can easily discern which channels you should prioritize for your webinar marketing. This will allow you to carefully allocate your marketing budget and resources to the channels that you know will reach your audience and deliver powerful results.
Wrapping up — Defining your webinar audience with ICPs
Before you host a webinar, you need to understand who your best audience is. Who do you want to attract with a webinar, and what will they find most interesting?
Identifying your webinar ideal customer profiles is a foolproof method to establish your audience accurately, which can then guide your planning and promotions.
Organizations that clearly describe their webinar ICPs will gain a competitive edge over other companies within their niche. Your ideal customer profile will inform your webinar sales and marketing strategy by enabling you to focus on the channels, messaging, and campaigns that are most likely to drive success for your webinar.
Remember, build your webinar strategy around who your ideal customers are and what they need, not what your organization offers or wants to achieve. You should use your ICPs to determine how to drive value for your audience.
The result? You’ll be able to plan webinars that align perfectly with your target audience.