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Creator Tips and Tricks #23: Finding Your Audience

ArtCrumbs Community • Nov 22, 2022


Welcome back to another Creator Tips and Tricks! We are continuing with our Marketing for Creators series with a dive into ways to start identifying your audience, and then figuring out how to find them on various social media platforms that we covered in Part 1.

Keep in mind that the audience that you have planned for, and the audience that actually ends up reading your content might not be the same group! Audiences can also change over time. The process of identifying those people who read and possibly financially support your work, is liable to change. You’ll want to keep an eye on this this as your comic grows over time.
 

Who is your audience?

It’s a question that gets a lot of ire and eye rolls from creators. “Everyone is my audience!” This is not necessarily a good answer to that question.

By trying to appeal to and reach “everyone” you might skip over or miss the people who do want to read content like yours. Targeted marketing tends to work better than shouting to the void and hoping for the best. Knowing who your audience is, in combo with the goals that you have, is a great way to set yourself up for the best chance of success.

So how do we identify who our audience is: Demographics and Psychographics.


Demographics typically refer to the WHAT of an individual, where they work, their age, political affiliation, where they live, what communities they are in, etc. Psychographics on the other hand are the nuances of a person: their core values, causes they belive in, personality, hobbies, and more. These are generally what make us as in individual unique compared to looking at demographics alone.

Please note that in Manga, Shounen, Shoujo, Seinen, Josei, etc are ALSO types of Demographics. Sometimes in English stores these are marked as genres, but it is technically incorrect. Sometimes, these demographics can have similar themes and tropes, however they are actually an age range and/or gender in Japanese markets. Of course nobody is forced to read a certain manga based on if it is made for them. These are general estimates used as a marketing tool.

  • Kodomo: For little kids or young children, under about 8.
  • Shonen: For young teenage boys, roughly between 12-18.
  • Seinen: For young adult males or younger men, roughly between 18-40.
  • Shōjo: For young teenage girls, roughly between 8-18.
  • Josei: For adult females or younger women, roughly between 18-40
  • Seijin/Ero Manga: Adult manga for males.
  • Redisu/Lady’s MangaManga for young adult females.
  • Dōjinshi MangaManga publication by amateurs/indie creators. They are NOT exclusively 18+ content.
  • Gekiga: Focusing on serious topics geared toward mature audiences.
  • Silver & GoldenManga for older readers.

By understanding rough demographics and what is important to your ideal reader (the psychographics), or what their needs are, you can better match them to your work. Here’s an example individual: Bob, age 31, lives in the US, works as an auto-engineer developing new technology for vehicles at a large brand. He loves going to the State's Speedway (car racing track) for local events.

Just by this the first sentence alone, we already have a rough understanding of Bob's Demographic Profile. Most people work in a job that is an area of interest for them. Combine that with the last sentence "loves going to the State's Speedway (car racing track) for local events" and we can start looking into Bob's Psychological Profile a bit. Let's combine those to get an idea of Bob as a person:

  • Bob likes mechanical things, machinery, so might be inclined to mecha/scifi.
  • Has a stable, large income with decent amounts being disposable.
  • Is likely to have young children, if any.
  • Probably creative type, might enjoy 3D modeling in his spare time.
  • Likes computers or is tech-savvy.
  • Works long hours, is a perfectionist, favors quality over quantity.
  • Is likely/possible to collect figurines/gunpla/collectibles and other models of machinery
  • Likes to be engaged with local creators and small businesses (since he makes an effort to go out to local events)
     

This type of person would be someone who might enjoy titles like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gundam, Transformers, Speed Racer, Not All Robots, etc. Bob could also have related but, dissimilar interests like woodworking and carpentry, home security/cameras, watching DIY content on YouTube, home improvement, vintage cars.

Bob could also have completely irrelevant interests he doesn’t share with anyone, like an interest in true-crime documentaries, coin collecting, cooking, ghost stories, anything! The reason I bring it up, is that it is impossible to know everything about a person. Tracking the interests of single individuals is not helpful in the long run to gaining an audience.

So how do we find the actual people who would like to read our comics?

We reverse-engineer who they might be, go where THEY are likely to be, and place our comics in front of them. Combine that with a compelling visual / call to entry, and you could gain a new reader! But first we have to know who they are, Here is an exercise that you can do to help!

  1. Make a list of all the genres (fantasy, crime, mystery, etc) that you feel fits for your comic/series. This gives you broad groups to appeal to.
  2. Make a list for things like themes, tropes, and all tools/brands that you use to make your comic. Trust me on this. Make separate lists if you want to. These themes can be seen as your niche groups, interests, values etc that your audience might be into.
  3. Ask yourself, and be honest, about if making money in any capacity is part of your goals. If you are wanting to make money off of your work, your target demographic would most likely be adults or the parents of the child who is your audience. Either way, it will change at least slightly your marketing strategy. You shouldn’t market your comic towards people who don’t have money to pay for it if your goal is to sell your comic.
  4. Also, look into any current possible demographic data you might have access to. If you have a YouTube channel, Instagram, Tiktok, etc with similar content, look into the insights in your analytics to see what about your current audience you can find.

Here's a visual example of the exercise! I’ve done my manga Godsbane here as an example.

So what do we do with this information?

Now that we have some of these ideas about our goals, genres, themes and possibly a general guess of our current analytics, let’s think about similar titles to the comic we create. Again, I’ve done this with Godsbane as an example. By thinking of similar titles, this gives is some sample advertising and marketing to look at. Go to the publishers of those titles and see how they market. What tags do they use? Do they post pages/panels together with a link? What types of phrasing do they use when talking about that series? Take notes about the activity concerning the promotion of that series.

How does this work with social media? In the previous article, we talked about different types of social media and the type of content that tends to perform the best. Let's take a look at some of the social media options.

Reddit would work best with image, video, and niche posting. Look at some of the themes, genres, and tools used that you wrote down for your comic. We can look for subreddits that match those to post in! Using mine as an example, I’ve been able to post in r/mangamakers, r/mangaart, r/comics, r/fantasyart, and r/mangaartists, with success. Some posts do better than others, but all of these are admittedly vague. The next step in my growth on Reddit will be trying more specific, niche, and large subreddits like r/worldbuilding, r/occult, r/creatureart, r/mythological.


 

When it comes to Twitter, we can use these themes, genres, and software/tools to help in SEO and proper hashtags. We can also look for artshares and spaces about topics related to your comic’s content. Hanging out in spaces is a fantastic way to meet other creators that make content like yours or make comics in general. These people can give you more advice. If the space is niche relevant this could be a great opportunity to introduce yourself to a new audience/group of people if the moment is appropriate to do so.

It can also help you find reviewers of your specific type of content, horror stories, scifi, comics vs manga, some reviewers are broad and some are specific! Twitter is a networking powerhouse of a tool, so use it to find people to connect with for growth and make yourself discoverable to those who could read your content with good posting habits, branding and tagging! The same applies for Instagram. Hashtagging is important and finding creators who make content similar to yours and engaging with that can help boost your networking. Proper SEO (and to some degree luck) can play a huge part in a post going viral!

I had a post go semi-viral in July, just a silly, but relatable tweet that I had no intentions of getting anywhere! I was able to add a comment underneath, with a customized link (called a UTM) which we’ll cover in the next article. That customized link allowed me to track the traffic from that particular post which you can see in your GlobalComix Analytics. Combined with Twitter Analytics, I can look at the activity and see how I could possibly recreate that success or do even better next time I have a tweet take off!

Facebook is not usually a prime platform to market one, but some swear by it. By knowing now, what our demographics are and the possible interests of our readers, along with the themes, niches, and genres of our comic, we cna look into facebook groups where those people hang out. Fior godsbane, groups about the supernatural, lore and mythology, manga, cip studio, and more would be good choices, and they have been! Two particular facebook groups have gotten me some exposure on the posts themselves, but ultimately didn’t lead to a lot of link clicks.

Make of that what you will.

All of these information can be extended to platforms like Tiktok, Twitch, YouTube, Hive, Mastodon, and others. Knowing how to optimize your posts to give them teh best chances at being seen, being engaged with, and finally, getting that link click to actually READ the comic itself is challenging. Behavior of people is always changing, so you’ll need to adjust on the go.


 

Well, that summarizes today's article about finding your audience! This part admittedly was longer than normal, but there are a lot of dependencies in this type of marketing work. It's going to take some trial and error on your end as the creator to identify what possible audiences you might have.

For our next article, I'll be going over the custom links called UTMs that I mentioned at the end of this article. These are incredibly powerful tools in tracking the behavior of those you are marketing to. Using these, you can track how many people interact with your link, how many pages they've read, if any, and even how long they spend on the page that you linked them to! Anyone can use this tool for free, and I'm very excited to share it with you.

As always, you can find more of our Creator Tips and Tricks articles here, and you can find a list of extra resources below! Don't forget you can always drop a question in the comments below too! Have a wonderful Holiday weekend for those who celebrate and we'll see you soon for another article for Creator Tips and Tricks.


Resources:

List of Manga Genres and Manga Demographics

Understanding Demographic Data

How to Use Psychographic Data

 
Fluhor

Fluhor 1 week ago

Always wondered, I have some sort of public, "seinen", and cyberpunk fans, but I don't know how to correctly marketing it, or where

ArtCrumbs

ArtCrumbs admin supporter 1 week ago

@Fluhor Reddit has plenty of subreddits for manga and scifi (which is a broader genre for cyberpunk). There is also a specific r/cyberpunk subreddit! I would start there.

jayfab

jayfab 4 days ago

Here from the town Hall on the 11/30th. Can't wait to get through these articles.

ArtCrumbs

ArtCrumbs admin supporter 4 days ago

@jayfab Sweet! If you need any help or have any questions, please let me know.