Small Business Advice

How to find your target audience

If we asked you to describe your ideal target audience, would you have to think about it? In this post we go into detail on how to find your target audience and what factors you should consider.

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If we asked you to describe your ideal target audience, would you have to think about it? There are a lot of factors to keep in mind when you are trying to grow your business, such as the logistics of distribution, your marketing strategy and of course the quality of your specific products or services. However one specific detail that will determine how you should approach all of the above is your target audience.

To have a successful marketing campaign or to develop more popular products you need to truly understand who your clients are, and to understand this thoroughly we need to explain what a target audience is.

What is a target audience?

A target audience is defined as the demographic that is most likely to be interested in what your business offers. In short, it refers to a specific group of people that is likely to be interested in what you provide based on a multitude of factors such as age, interests, location, income, marital status, education, and so on. Audience research allows you to find your potential customers and understand their common characteristics, so that ultimately you can better target them with your marketing plan.

Of course, in practice defining a target audience is a slightly longer process. Choosing a target audience for your brand allows you to change your marketing messages to appeal directly to them, this means that target audiences have to be narrowed down into a relatively homogeneous group to be most effective.

How can you discover your target audience?

The most important thing to understand when it comes to a target audience is that it generally isn't something you develop. If you already have an established business then this means that you already have a target market even if you haven't discovered it. What you sell, the cost of your product and your location all play a role in defining your customer base. 

With the above in mind, we'd like to share some of our best tips to help you discover your target audience and appeal to new customers. It might take some effort, but if you plan to grow your business this is something you need to eventually do.

What need are you fulfilling?

One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is what needs are you fulfilling with your brand. Your target customers will have pain points, or problems, that your product or service can solve for them. At the end of the day, every business is trying to supply the demand for a specific need, and understanding this helps narrow down your target audience.

For example, if you sell diapers this means your target audience will be mainly parents, the main demographic that buys the product. If you provide English lessons then your most likely target audience will be foreigners and young children. Your product already provides a very clear hint at what your target market looks like, so take some time to consider who is the most likely audience for it.

Get real data on your customers

Obtaining data on your client base from multiple sources should be one of the first things you go after in order to develop a lasting marketing strategy. For instance, surveys are perhaps one of the easiest ways to get real data on any group of people. All you need to do is distribute surveys to your current customers either in person or through your official social media accounts and this data can not only provide you with important feedback for your business, but you can also get tangible data on returning customers especially if you include an incentive.

You may also already have data on your customers from other sources depending on what you’ve done for your business in the past. A large amount of data can be collected from places such as sign up forms, previous ad campaigns performance, and retailer data. Take some time to collect any sources you possibly can on your customer’s demographic information and habits in order to effectively narrow down your ideal customer persona.

Analyze the trends and your competition

The good news when it comes to any business is that you won't be the first person trying to succeed at it, which means that there is likely a lot of information readily available. 

Take a look at your rivals' marketing tactics. What age group are they marketing to? Are their ads focused on men or women? Where do they distribute their advertisements? Understanding this can give you a clear idea of what their target audience is, and if you provide the same services then your target market is bound to be very similar.

Trends are also an important element to consider in your marketing research. If a large percentage of the industry is focusing on a specific trend like gluten-free products for example this means there's a market for it. And once again, understanding what target group your peers focus on can help you understand what your real client base looks like.

Making the most out of your target audience

Now that you have taken a look at the trends, what you offer, and your survey results you should have a clear picture of what your target audience looks like, but how can you make the most out of this knowledge? Honestly, it mostly comes down to advertising.

The main reason why it's so important to have such a specific buyer persona is that it helps you advertise efficiently. After all, a company that targets teens and one that targets the elderly can't rely on the same social media platforms or messaging to succeed. So if you understand your potential customers you can reach them with much less effort.

Design your ads with your target market in mind

Whether you are making a simple pamphlet or creating a digital marketing strategy, you need to think of your audience when designing it. Marketing not only has to reach your audience, but it should also resonate with them and this means that you need to take into consideration what visual design and language fit them best.

For example, when it comes to children's products you want simple words and bright colors, but if you sell fashion products then your advertisements must be as elegant as what you are selling. Keep your specific audience in mind and research common strategies that grab the interest of those types of target audiences.

Choose targeted advertising

Online ads might just be the most effective marketing method nowadays, but you can always be smarter about it. Running ads with too broad targeting will result in a high CPL (cost per lead) and might not get you the results you are looking for.

Targeted advertising on the other hand only displays your ads to the people who fit the profile you are looking for. So if you sell designer watches to men with a high household income level, targeted advertising will ensure that only people who fit that profile will see your ad. This means that the types of people who watch your ads will be part of your target audience and this also saves you the money from advertising to people who are outside your market. Keep in mind that you can also use the data from your previous advertising campaigns in order to further refine your target audience, as it will always be an ongoing process.

Social media will always matter

When it comes to the internet there's no denying that social media platforms are the real protagonists, so you shouldn't overlook them when building your brand. However, as always you should keep in mind your target audience when choosing where to focus your social media efforts.

Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram all have different audiences, and you need to know where your demographic falls. Thankfully there are countless analyses of the age ranges present in each platform. Facebook for example has a very high percentage of users above the age of 50 and this is a demographic you might not be able to target as well on a platform like TikTok for instance.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to target audiences the secret lies in choosing the right customer persona, which allows you to be more efficient than your competition with your marketing efforts. So keep your company’s statistics in mind and you'll be able to advertise to the right audience which will improve your profits and keep costs down.

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