Understanding Your Target Audience
Having a well-defined target market is an extremely important factor in effective marketing. Often client's will tell us they want to target 'everyone' out of fear they will be excluding potential customers. However, target marketing doesn't mean you are excluding people who don't fit your specific criteria, but it allows you to focus your marketing efforts on a group that is more likely to buy from you than from other markets. By narrowing down and being specific about who your audience is, your message will be strong and compelling because you'll be able to target specific needs, behaviours and concerns. Marketing to an executive of a company, a stay-at-home parent and a college student all require different messaging to inspire a response.
The first step to determining your target audience, is to be able to clearly communicate what you do best and why potential customers should care about you. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What's your core offering does your service or product provide?
- Who would benefit most from what you have to offer?
- What pain points does your service or product address?
- What makes your business unique?
The next step would be to gather as much information to help your target audience take shape.
- Analyze your existing audience through web traffic. Where are your visitors coming from? What key words are they using to find you? What information are they most interested in on your site?
- Do some research with social media. What types of questions are potential customers asking online? Who are your competitors targeting? Find a niche that your competitors may be overlooking.
- Survey existing clients. Find out what problems your service or product solved for them. Find out what features helped them most. Interviewing customers that weren't happy, can also reveal gaps in your product or service.
Finally, construct your target customer persona based on the insights and data you've collected.
- Start by giving the persona a name, to make them feel real
- Consider the demographics and psychographics of your target
For more detailed information on creating a buyer persona check out this article by HubSpot.
Defining your target market is the hard part but once you know who you are targeting you'll get a better return on your investment with your marketing budget. Having specific personas to target will help you better identify with your audience and solve their problems. The end result being a better experience for the customer that is engaged with your business and loyal to your brand.