When it comes to marketing your product, service, or business as a whole (traditionally and digitally), it is essential to have a solid understanding of who your target audience is and how to effectively market to them. Different demographics have unique ways of communicating, browsing, and purchasing, so it is important to know who your audience is and what approaches you should (and shouldn’t) take to reach them.
What is a target audience?
In most cases and industries, it is rare for a product or service to be universally needed by everyone, everywhere. For example:
- An office management software isn’t on the shopping list of a stay-at-home parent, while an office manager wouldn’t order individual personal planners for each of their employees to manage their work schedules.
- A locally-sourced food delivery service with plentiful vegan, gluten-free, and organic options may see success in a well-populated city, but residents outside of their delivery zone can be left disappointed after seeing several ads for a service that is inaccessible to them.
Unless your product or service is needed by everyone, everywhere, you will waste potential ad spend and efforts by marketing to everyone, everywhere.
Your target audience is the group of consumers who are most likely to purchase your product or service. Your product or service is relevant to them, and most likely satisfies a want or a need that they have. Determining who is (and isn’t) in your target audience will help you dial in your marketing strategies, and put your efforts and ad spend where it will count.
How do you determine your target audience?
There are several components to consider when determining who your target audience is:
- Demographics. This may include variables such as age range, gender, location, education, employment, hobbies and interests. Is your product or service geared more specifically to men over the age of 65, or women in their thirties? Do you only service your local area, or do you ship your products internationally? Is your product or service useful for a college student, or someone in a high-level position at companies in a specific industry?
- Psychographics. This typically includes data such as a person’s behaviour, attitude, lifestyle preferences, and personality type. What type of products or services do they usually purchase, what kind of values do they typically admire or hold, and what are their goals and aspirations?
- Pain Points. This is what often drives a consumer to begin shopping for a product or service, or to recall an advertisement they may have previously overlooked. What problem or need do they have? What solution does your product or service offer?
Determining who is most likely to purchase your product or service, how they are most likely to purchase it, and why they are most likely to purchase it will help you develop and employ the marketing strategies to build awareness, pique interest, and incite action.
If you’re unsure of whether your current target audience is as accurate as possible or if you aren’t sure of how to collect enough data to create one, here are a few tips:
- Look online. Look at similar products or services online and look at who is leaving reviews. You can typically gather demographic, psychographic, or pain point related data from these reviews. These trends (as well as the feedback they are giving on the product or service) can help you determine who will most likely be in your own audience. If you already have a social media presence, you can also review your insights and analytics to see who is following and engaging with your profiles the most. When creating ads on Google or Facebook, you can also choose from suggested demographics to create your audience.
- Competitors. Look at your competitors and companies with similar products or services. Who are they marketing to? How are they marketing to them? Out of those efforts, what seems to be working and what hasn’t worked for them? This can give you a good indication of who your audience is and how you should begin communicating with them.
- Use surveys. If your product or service is in development, consider sending surveys to potential audiences to see how likely they are to be interested in your product or service and what specific features they would most expect. If you have existing customers, give them an opportunity to provide feedback through a survey about your product or service and their experience. These surveys can help determine who may find or has found your product or service most relevant.
How can you market to your target audience?
Now that you have established who your target audience is, you can begin to market to them. And with any marketing approach you take, your efforts will be more efficient and effective because you have the data and the tools to be intentional and strategic, instead of casting a wide net over potentially empty water.
There are several different ways to reach your target audience:
- Brand. We’ve talked before about branding and brand messaging. But whether you’re developing your brand identity or writing snippets of brand messaging for your website homepage or social profile bio, it’s important to keep your target audience in mind. Who is your demographic and how do they communicate? What appeals to them? While trends and aesthetics can be useful to your brand, you always want to make sure that your brand and brand messaging will be well received by your specific audience.
- Content. Creating written, visual, or auditory content that is relevant to your audience can help build brand awareness and can pique and maintain interest. While they may not be looking for or interested in your exact product or service, they may be looking for content in your industry or arena. Keeping in mind what your audience is looking for beyond your product can help you create useful and relevant content that benefits them and helps you generate leads.
- Social Media. Along with creating relevant content, you can further build relationships with your audience and engage with them through relevant social media platforms.
- Paid Ads. Paid ads through platforms like Google and Facebook are one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience. When creating and employing these paid ads, you can deliver them directly to your target audience, putting your ads in front of the eyes of the individuals who are most likely to have an interest in them.
Keep in mind that once you have determined your target audience, it is necessary to test the chosen market and remain open to making adjustments as needed. Over time with your marketing efforts you may see that a specific demographic may not respond as expected, or may respond better than anticipated. Being willing to regularly monitor your marketing, engagements, and conversions and to make adjustments when necessary will help maintain the health and success of your marketing efforts.
We want to help you reach your target audience.
We build websites for our clients that are designed to attract their target audiences and deliver a stellar user experience each and every time. And, with our paid ad packages for Google and Facebook, we perform diligent industry, market, and audience research for each campaign.
Give us a call or contact us today so we can discuss how we can help you reach your target audience.