Smart Ways To Identify Your Target Audience

If you want your online business to succeed, you need to cultivate as many new customers as possible. With that mindset, you might assume that the way to go is to share your brand’s message with as wide a variety of people as possible. After all, with a broad reach, the more potential customers you’ll get, right? Well…hold on, maybe not! 

Will the Whole World Be Interested in What You Are Offering?

Not everyone will be interested in your product or service, which is why your message should be more targeted. If you’re not positioning yourself to speak to a specific group of people, there’s more than a good chance that your message will drown in an ocean of unfocused noise.

Targeted marketing means you focus your efforts on the right market, i.e., those individuals who are most likely to buy from you. A target audience can be defined as follows:

A specific group of potential customers most likely to respond positively to your product or service.

Why You Need to Find Your Target Market

With a targeted audience, you’ll spend far less on customer acquisition strategies, and you’ll earn more by converting the most valuable leads in your targeted group. Finding your target audience will also help you create a tone of voice that literally speaks to your potential customers. And knowing how they talk will allow you to adapt your SEO to rank for the right keywords.

How to Identify Your Target Audience

Buyer persona infographic
Example of user persona. (Source: Slidesgo)

Your target audience analysis will most likely be based on specific factors such as age, income, location, etc. For example, if you sell cosmetics, you need to appeal to women who will find your products to make them look more attractive, are affordable, and who live in an area you can ship to. Put together a user persona to help you pinpoint your ideal customer.

What Are the Types of Target Audience?

It will help to have an understanding of the different kinds of targeted audience profiles, three of which are described below. 

1. Age-Based

People of different ages behave in different ways. However, bear in mind that the person most likely to benefit from your product won’t always be your ultimate target. For instance, if you’re selling baby products, your target audience won’t be newborns but their parents, especially their mothers. 

Where there isn’t an obvious age range for your potential customers, try to keep your target market as narrow as possible. For example, if you are offering business software, research the most likely ages of IT executives in the appropriate industries. 

2. Geographical

Very few brands can afford to target customers worldwide. Not only is it more challenging to earn attention with that large a scope, but it is difficult to deliver offerings to people in every country. Unless you are marketing digital services, think about how you are going to connect with new customers on a more local level, how far afield you can go, and the maximum feasible distance for shipping your products.

3. Personality

The 4 personality types of humans.
The 4 personality types of humans. (Source: Hire Success)

Consumer personality is a critical component of an effective marketing campaign. You should be thinking about what’s valuable to your potential customers and what isn’t. Do some research so you can answer the following questions:

  • How do your targets spend their free time? 
  • What issues engage them? For instance, if you are targeting millennials who care about social responsibility, you might emphasize your company’s ethical stance.

You may find that you have to combine numerous characteristics to get an effective user persona. Aside from what’s mentioned above, here are some other things that might be important. 

  • Gender
  • Language
  • Job title and/or income level
  • Family or relationship status
  • Aspirations and needs
  • Concerns and problems
  • Buying motivation
  • Purchasing concerns
  • Social media platforms used
  • Favourite websites

Ways to Identify Your Target Audience

The more understanding you have of your customer’s goals, wants and challenges, the easier it will be to design a compelling target audience profile. Here’s how to go about it.

1. Identify the Problems and Needs of Your Target Audience

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is one of the primary ways a company can differentiate itself from its competitors. To pick a great USP, you need to stand in the shoes of a specific customer. Identifying that customer’s problems, needs, and expectations helps you develop a unique message that will have a tangible impact on the marketplace.

2. Profile Your Existing Customers

If you’re struggling to get a deep understanding of your target audience, take a look at your existing customers. It’s worth talking to them to find out what they have in common. Loyal repeat customers represent great value and can help further your understanding of what kind of audience you should be targeting.

When a customer makes a purchase, ask for some feedback and keep track of what they say. Also, invite your customers to complete a form or survey in exchange for a discount or a freebie. Reviews aren’t only informative; they’re also an excellent way to begin building your word-of-mouth marketing campaign. 

3. Check Out Your Competition

Identify your main competitors. Scroll through their websites, check out their social media feeds, and use online social listening tools to help construct your target audience profile. Get a feel for who your competition is looking at and ask yourself whether that demographic is also a good fit for your business. 

While you’re analyzing your rivals, look for ways you could fill the gaps they might be missing with their marketing campaigns. This might be a great way to set yourself apart from the crowd and boost your sales potential.

4. Begin to Build a Community

It’s not sufficient just to know your target audience profile. To thoroughly connect with a profitable market segment, you need to immerse yourself in that environment. Attend appropriate events (or host some yourself) to interact and familiarize yourself with your preferred customers.

Use social media to build a community around your target audience profile. As you start to attract followers to your brand, host polls and competitions to learn more about them. 

Identifying Your Target Audience: Final Thoughts

Understanding how to define your target audience and create a user profile is the only effective way for a brand to survive in the current crowded marketplace. In today’s world, customers expect personalized and unique experiences from their favourite brands. Therefore, a generalized approach to your marketing efforts just won’t work. If you try to sell to everyone, then you’ll end up selling to no one.

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