This isn’t always easy to pin down. One thing you can do is create user personas. Xtensio has a user persona creator tool which can help. There is a free version, which you can use to figure out your target audience, and their motivations, goals, and preferred channels for communicating.
Once you’ve figured out who to target, another tool you can use as an indie author is Pew Research Center, according to BookWorks. Pew posts information on who uses what social media. This can be helpful so you can decide which social media platforms to focus on, depending on who you’re trying to reach. As an example, young adult readers tend to be on Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr. And romance readers tend to use Pinterest.
After you decide you your readers are and where they like to visit, you can then ask yourself what they’re thinking. According to Content Marketing Institute, you can figure out what types of content people search for on Google, based on the top results that pop up, and the autocomplete questions that appear. The idea is to uncover what people really want, and then deliver content that addresses that.
Last, once you’ve found your audience, you want to retain them. If you have a website, you can dig into your Google Analytics to learn more about your audience and what kind of content keeps them engaged. To get the best view of your audience, check out Ohow’s Ultimate Guide to Blocking and Cleaning Google Analytics Spam and Traffic. It’s an intense tutorial, but it teaches you about spam in Google Analytics and how to remove it from your dashboard, so that your data is as accurate as possible. Then you can see which pages get the most visits, the flow of your website (which order of pages people visit), how long people stay on your site, and whether or not people go deeper than your home or landing page.
For indie authors who also create videos, Wisita has a great post that breaks down how to understand your audience. According to Wistia, you can make better videos if you know how your audience consumes your work. For example, if engagement in your video drops off in the middle, you may want to consider breaking your video up into multiple videos. You also want to make sure the beginning of your video has a hook and that the end of the video is more than a mere summary.