This article was originally published July 2018 but was updated on August 18th, 2022.
As a marketer, you may think traffic is the most important indicator that your strategy is working. Yes, traffic is important. However, traffic that doesn’t include your target audience won’t result in leads or revenue. Now more than ever, it’s critical to learn how to define your target audience. You must use your resources to identify and connect with your target market. Tailoring your marketing strategy according to the needs of your target audience will help build a solid foundation for your business.
In this article, we will clearly define “target audience”, go over some examples, and examine some of the key benefits. Read on for 5 tips to help you learn how to define your target audience and reach potential customers.
What is a Target Audience?
A target audience is the potential customers you want to reach and sell your product or service to. Also known as “target market” or “target customers”, a target audience helps businesses focus their efforts on a specific demographic.
For example, let’s say you own or manage an auto accident law firm in Dayton, Ohio. Off the bat, you may think your target audience consists of adults in the state of Ohio. This type of demographic is huge and includes millions of people. It’s likely that your target audience is more like adults, living in (or near) Dayton, OH, who need an auto accident lawyer, and make a certain salary range per year. See the difference? Understanding your “true” target audience helps you focus on your actual potential customers – helping to improve revenue.
Your target audience is simply a potential group of people or organizations that are more likely to buy what your business offers. Although identifying your target consumer base seems like a piece of cake, in reality, it can feel like a never-ending marathon. So, how do you go about defining the right target audience? These 5 tips can help you learn how to define your target audience.
5 Tips on How to Define Your Target Audience
1. Understand Your Product or Service
The starting point in defining the target market is to understand what services or products your company is offering. Ask yourself the following questions.
- What is your product or service? How will it benefit your potential customers? Will they be willing to pay for it? Can they afford it?
- Is it unique? Is there a similar product or service on the market? If there is, what features make yours stand out from the competition?
- Do you have an existing customer base? Why do your present customers buy your product or use your service? What do they have in common?
- Is your product/service an everyday need or is it a luxury thing that people will buy only once in their life? What is the USP (Unique Selling Point) of your product or service?
The answers to all these questions will help you build a clear-cut understanding of your product or service. The more you know it, the better you can define your customers.
2. Find Out Customer Pain Points
Once you further figure out your product or service and how it can help your potential customers, identifying the pain points of your target audience comes easily. Start making a list of customers who encounter the problems your product or service can solve. No matter how trivial the issue is, it’s an opening to connect with a potential life-long customer. It will also help you come up with different ideas and approaches to engage with your target audience.
The easiest way to find out is to understand why your existing consumers, especially repeating customers, buy your product or service. For example, a retired couple living in the suburbs will be more interested in registering with a healthcare app. Meanwhile, a single woman in her 30’s is likely to be more interested in downloading a dating app.
Conduct surveys with potential and current customers to gather useful information. Ask potential customers about pain points related to your product or service. With current customers, talk with them about how your product or service can solve their problems. This type of information can help you understand how to better meet the needs of your target customers.
3. Create Buyer Personas
To launch a successful marketing campaign, you will need to connect with your target audience emotionally. One way to achieve that is to create accurate buyer personas. You can use the data you gather from your market research to build this persona. Consider both demographics and psychographics when creating your buyer personas.
Demographics are a few criteria that you can use to specify a group of people. They include criteria such as
- Financial status or income
- Marital status
- Level of education
- Geographic location
All of these factors will help define your target audience with intricate details. Once determined, these details will give you a better idea of what type of people are more or less likely to buy your product or service.
Psychographics can help you to define the personality of your audience. However, it is a bit difficult to gather and process psychographic data owing to its complex nature. This includes things your potential customers value the most such as:
- Likes and dislikes
- Opinions they hold regarding specific things
- Lifestyle choices
- People they follow on social media
- Things they find interesting, exciting, and shareable
- Regular, day-to-day activities
- Social behavior
Using demographics and psychographics will help you understand how to define your target audience. You don’t need to identify all of these parameters to build a firm customer persona. However, the more criteria you have, the more specific target audience you will build. As a result, it will allow you to deploy highly-focused marketing campaigns.
4. Study Your Competition
In the world of marketing, you can learn a lot from your competition by analyzing what they are doing. Even better, you can analyze what they are not doing. You can quickly find the areas where your competitors have missed the mark for their customers. If you can find ways to exceed their expectations, they may be willing to switch to your product or service.
Of course, you can also learn where, when, and how to find your target audience based on what your competitors do. However, this presents some difficulties as your competitors won’t exactly be handing out their marketing strategy on a platter. Still, you can find out where they have positioned themselves in this market niche, why people like their brand, how their pricing compares, and what marketing channels they use. This type of information can help you further defineyour target audience in detail.
5. Evaluate Your Target Market
Once you have settled on your potential target audience, perform some tests before refining your marketing strategy. The first thing you need to do is find out the number of potential customers who fit your target audience criteria. If your target audience limits the number of people you can too much, you may have narrowed down too far. With an extremely narrow target audience, your marketing campaign will either underperform or completely fail.
However, having a broad and unfocused target audience makes it difficult to create a tailored strategy. It will be as good as not targeting anyone at all. That’s why you must evaluate your target audience carefully.
Check out how many of the demographic and psychographic identifiers can be used to isolate each audience group. You can also search forums, bogs, and social media related to your target audience and carry out an online survey to see if they truly fit your niche. Finding the sweet spot in your target audience between too large and too narrow is important as you execute your sales and marketing strategy.
Key Benefits of Understanding Your Target Audience
Yes, understanding your target audience can help save your business a lot of money. If you spend money on SEO, PPC, email marketing, or print/digital ads, make sure it’s directed to your target audience. If you don’t, you may generate traffic – but that traffic may never convert into revenue.
Ultimately, finding and understanding your target market helps you use your marketing dollars more effectively. As you spend money on the customers that convert at a higher rate, It saves you from wasted time and ad-spend budget.
Find the Best Channel
Once you understand your target audience, it can help you select the best marketing channel for your business! Depending on the demographic, some channels tend to work more effectively than others. If you sell a product and target a younger audience, you may find promoting content on Social Media works best. If you want to improve your online presence on Google to promote your local service business, an SEO strategy might be the best option. Instead of blasting out your content, ads, and promotions on every marketing channel, defining a target audience helps you understand which channels work best with your product or service.
Connect with Your Customers
Once you start learning how to define your target audience, it helps you reach potential customers at a higher rate. Every business wants to connect with their customers, right? Finding your target audience is the first step in the process. Once you identify your target market, connecting with them becomes that much easier.
Depending on the platform used, you can start engaging with your current and potential customers. Create a content strategy based on relevant questions within the industry to start the conversation. As you receive feedback, respond to questions and concerns while focusing on building positive relationships. This helps foster positive customer reviews and builds long-term connections.
Reach Your Target Audience with Boostability
A well-defined target audience allows you to make smarter marketing decisions. It makes perfect sense because the foundation of your marketing plan should be who your customers are and what they want. The above tips will help you identify your target audience and uncover their DNA. However, fully understanding your audience takes time. So, don’t skip the above steps – even if it’s easier. A little patience, especially in the beginning, can go a long way in the field of marketing.
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