[h1] Finding your Ideal Target Audience for your Business
Derby-based creative marketing agency think3 explains why finding the right target audience for your business is crucial.
If you’re in business, more specifically marketing, it’s a must to understand your target audience. We’re continuously babbling on about it in almost every single blog we write – but it’s just that important.
For instance, the way you talk with lecturers/teachers would probably be different from the way you talk with your friends. The same goes for business. You’ve to tailor your message according to whom you’re speaking.
On the other hand, you may ask: what about huge enterprises, like Samsung, who target ‘everyone’? Do they not care about their target audience?
Well… Firstly, they’re a humongous international company that can afford to target a wide range of people. Secondly, they’ve got a ridiculously large range of products – that are tailored to different audiences (that can eventually include almost everyone).
For example, their high-end smart TVs audience will most definitely vary from their budget smartphone buyers.
But if you’re not a multi-billion-pound company – nailing your precise target audience can only help you save money & time. So, what is the target audience? why does it matter? and how to define it yourself?
[h2] What is target audience?
Target audience – is a group of customers that are similar in behaviour, character traits, and demographics (e.g., male, lives in the UK, interested in technology, has access to disposable income, aged 25-30). These groups are very likely to resonate with the brand’s messaging & eventually complete a purchase.
In other words, you should use your target audience as a guideline for marketing communications, a.k.a. the ‘how’. This will help you decide on the type of tone of voice, content, and campaigns to use. It will also affect your content distribution strategy.
Even though not all people in a targeted group will become your customers – they’re the people you’re directing your marketing towards.
Understand the way your target audience behaves online, communicates, and what digital communities they might be a part of. All of it comes together to present you with a precise persona that you can speak to.
Some of the things to keep in mind when determining a target audience:
- Employment status
- Social media behaviour
- Problems/pain points
- Interests and hobbies
The more precise you can get with your target audience definition – the better your messaging will resonate with the said target audience.
[h2] Target Audience vs Target Market
Target Market – is a segment of customers that a business wants to sell to.
In other words, a target market is a general group of people, for whom the product/service was made for. It often helps to make better informed higher-level decisions.
While the target audience defines the same group in more detail (lifestyle, demographics, interests, etc.). It specifically helps to make decisions on a smaller scale, e.g., content pieces or campaign planning.
So, if your target market is – business owners 30-50; your target audience could be – business owners, based in Derby, East Midlands, 30-50, looking to improve their company’s digital presence, and interested in tech innovations.
Don’t be scared if both are the same or very similar – it happens.
[h2] Why does getting your target audience right matters?
Think about it this way. If you’re trying to collect mushrooms – you may head into a forest near you and try getting as many as you can. But that sort of strategy doesn’t always work.
While seasoned mushroom hunters will plan ahead. They’ll know the exact part of the forest to go to, for that specific mushroom type. And what conditions need to be met for it to grow.
So, as a marketer instead of mushrooms you’re going for your target audience.
Properly targeted marketing activities bring in better results, as well as save you money and/or make your budget last longer.
Although, discovering your target audience is only the first part. The next part is to make your messaging resonate.
If you know whom you’re talking to – you can tailor your service/product offering, landing pages, and surrounding content (TIP: implement topic clusters and pillar pages to your content marketing strategy for better SEO results). It will improve the buyer’s experience and leave customers more satisfied. While it can also increase conversion rates and expand your brand’s presence.
[h2] How to define your target audience?
So, we’ve explained what the target audience is, the differences from the target market, and why it is important. Now it’s time to learn how to determine your own target audience.
[h3] Analyse data available to you
Think about it as the first step. Instead of going out of your way to look for new information – analyse the existing data you have. Tools like Google Analytics or social media analytic platforms are excellent at that.
These tools will present you with an accurate picture of what data you already have. You’ll find answers to questions like: who visits your website? or who follows your social media accounts? And it should make it quite straightforward to figure out the demographics (age, location, etc.) of your existing customer base.
In other words, if people are already interacting with your business – they most likely are your target audience.
[h3] Leave your perspective behind
If you find something interesting, it doesn’t necessarily mean your target audience feels the same.
One of the key points to figure out are your target audience's pain points. What’re their biggest problems, difficulties, and issues? Look at things through their eyes. But continue to make decisions based on facts & data, instead of your own opinions.
Once you figure out the pain points – you can start providing them with solutions. That’s where the real magic begins. Nothing makes customers like a business more than a brand that genuinely helps their lives.
[h3] Examine online behaviour
In today’s world that is turning more and more digital – understanding your audience’s online behaviour is that much more important.
What media outlets do they visit? What social media platforms do they use? What type of content do they consume? What influencers do they follow?
Answering these questions will allow you to understand your audience’s preferences. It will provide you with an overview of what communication channels to use, what type of content would your audience prefer to see, or even what type of online subcultures they’re a part of.
[h3] How will your business appeal to the customer?
As we’ve mentioned previously. If you solve a problem that someone is having – they’ll feel more than appreciative of your business. And this especially applies to your target audience.
You need to determine how your business solves customers’ problems and what benefits you have to offer. This will help you realign your messaging and market your business more effectively.
Sell a solution to a problem, instead of a product/service.
Not only will this make your customers feel ‘seen’ and more interested, but it also should improve your conversions significantly.
[h3] Learn where the line is drawn
Knowing what your audience definitely doesn’t like can provide unique insight.
Firstly, it will help you thread away from topics that will be received negatively. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of your audience, it can damage relationships drastically.
But it can also bring you brilliant ideas – to cause some controversy. We know that it doesn’t apply to all businesses or audiences but causing some controversial stunts can help you win over a more loyal audience. It can even help you land some quality backlinks if media outlets pick up your story.
[h2] Final thoughts
Understanding your audience is one of the most important things you can do in marketing. Without it, you’re shooting into the dark. Some marketing activities might bring in results, some not – but the consistency won’t show up in results or growth.
Once you know who your target audience is. Think about their problems and how you can solve them by employing your unique selling points.
Although, you should keep in mind that only knowing your target audience won’t be enough. Think about it as the first step rather than the entire process.
Lastly, if you’re researching your audience – there’s a high chance that you’re also working on campaigns. In that case, feel free to check out our ultimate guide on marketing campaigns!