By Chris Christoff, co-founder of MonsterInsights

Do you want to spend more time understanding your target audience? Actionable customer persona information is vital to both business owners and marketers. It's nearly impossible to reach consumers if you don't understand their interests, pain points and personalities. 

How can you plan your next big email marketing campaign or social media push if you don't understand who you want to reach? Let's take a look at four tips you can use to gain a better understanding of the people who visit your website, engage with you on social media and subscribe to your email list. 

Spend time on social media.

It's a safe bet that you can reach your target audience on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Engaging with potential customers on your channel is one of the best ways to get more traffic to your website and increase sales. 

Check for new comments and mentions across all of your social media profiles. If someone takes time out of their day to engage with your brand, return the favor by sharing their post, commenting on what they said, or simply liking their comment. Consumers expect brands to engage with them on social media if they want their business. 

You can also use your social media profiles to learn about your target audience. Engaging with your followers can help you find pain points or success gaps that consumers need to overcome. Take what you learn from your followers, and create a helpful blog post, which you can share on social media for even more engagement. 

Ask for feedback.

Feedback from peers and partners will help you make important decisions about the direction of your business. But do you take the time to listen to what your fans have to say about your brand? 

Ask for customer feedback on your website, social media profiles and through email for plenty of chances to learn about your customers. If possible, keep your survey short and sweet, but include questions that will help you improve on-site UX or give you additional information about content that users want to see. 

For example, you could put a social media quiz out that asks followers what kind of video they want to see next on your YouTube channel. You can use this data to create new video content, which may help spark ideas for future blog posts and social media content.

The chance to learn what your target audience expects from your brand through feedback can fundamentally change your product lineup and blog content. 

Review on-site analytics.

If you ask people how they review their on-site analytics, most will tell you that they use some form of Google Analytics. You can use Google Analytics to make smart marketing decisions by learning about your target audience. 

Let's say you start a site that helps people buy seeds for gardening. After reviewing your analytics, you realize that 90 percent of your followers are interested in content about growing flowers and seeds. The other 10 percent read your articles about growing vegetables. 

Additionally, you learn that almost all of your customers are people buying flower seeds, not vegetables. Based on this data, you can determine that your primary audience is interested in growing flowers, so that's the kind of content that will help you flourish. 

Use Google Analytics to learn which pages see the most traffic, how customers find your website and what devices they are using. All of this information can help you improve your conversion rate while keeping customers engaged in the content they want to read. 

Create and split test personalized campaigns.

Customer feedback, social media and on-site analytics can help you learn about your target audience, but you should always test these theories for yourself. 

First, you'll need to define your customer personas, which will help you segment the users that come to your website. For instance, you could make a campaign that promotes your lead magnet on growing vegetables to the limited crowd that reads your articles on vegetable gardening. 

Segmented lead lists give you the freedom to make email drip campaigns, recommend specific products and promote content based on the interests of your users. Split testing your campaigns and delivering personalized content to your users will help you gather fresh and relevant data on your target audience. 

Back to you.

There are countless ways to learn about your customers. It's vital that you continue using all of the methods mentioned to gather information on your audience as your business grows. You may have to make changes to your marketing style, content or brand engagement strategy based on how people interact with your business. 

The more actionable data you have at your fingertips, the better chance you have at turning curious consumers into lifelong customers.