How to identify a target audience

How to identify a target audience

Marketing your brands products is a great way to gain a larger online presence and put your brand in front of many potential customers. But if you aren’t tailoring your marketing methods, it is likely you are wasting huge amounts of money advertising to people who will never be interested in your products while only a select few will find some value and turn into a conversion. The best way to stop this waste of budget is to be sure your marketing is reaching a specialised audience of people who are more likely to make a purchase from you than a random sample of the entire population would be. Finding this audience does not have to be a difficult task and can be done in a few steps. It could also save your company large amounts of money in the long run.

Know what you are selling

The first step in identifying your target audience is being more specific about your company as a whole or the product you are promoting. Taking the time to clearly list out the main things your product does or has to offer can give you a clear idea of what kind of markets you will need to be selling in. It can also give you some key selling points to push within your marketing strategy. Once you know what your product or service has to offer you then need to look at why people should buy from you instead of others, what is so special about your brand that you can use to grab the attention of those who may show some interest in your service. Note down the selling points you can think of and select the most appropriate and relevant ones to market with. Depending on the product it may also be worth looking into how the product or service is used, as it may have some restrictions such as age that can help you eliminate certain demographics of people from the offset.

Find out who needs it

When you have a clear idea of exactly what your company or products have to offer, you can then look into who you will be trying to sell it to. Instead of creating an ideal customer in your head, think of every possible scenario where your products may be bought and who by. For example you may have a product that is specifically targeted at adults over the age of 30, meaning you would automatically not be advertising to anyone below this age group which cuts out a large amount of the population straight away. Depending on the product gender could also play a huge role in this part of the process, as you may be offering a range of products specifically targeted at women over 30. Now you have a streamlined idea of your ideal customer, it is still crucial to narrow it down even more, as marketing to all women over 30 still leaves you with a huge market to reach. Take into account things such as their location if you plan on selling locally or internationally, their income level if your product is considered a luxury purchase and even things such as their occupation, interests and hobbies to gain a clearer idea of how they behave and interact when making purchase decisions.

Research who your competitors target

After looking deeply into the traits of your target audience, you should be left with a significantly smaller section of the population than you originally started with. This is a good sign, but it does not guarantee that you are advertising to the right people still. Try finding competitors whose businesses are incredibly similar to your own and do some research on the kinds of people that they are reaching out to. See who their adverts target and who interacts with them on thing such as social media platforms. If their marketing is working well, it may be a good idea to try incorporating some of the traits of their current customer base into your own target market to gain either a more specialised chunk of people or to broaden your audience to a demographic you were not even aware wanted your product. You do not have to take your competitor’s customer base as the goal to reach for your own as there is no guarantee that they are advertising to the optimum group of people, but taking some tips and pointers from their successful marketing strategies cannot hurt as long as you do not out right copy their work completely. Also be sure their company is as similar to yours as possible before attempting this kind of comparison, otherwise you may find you require two completely different audiences even though you sell in the same market. Advertising to the wrong people again will prolong brand damage and wasted budget.

Know where they can be found

Now you have a pretty specialised list of people you need to target with your marketing strategy, you need to know how to actually reach them effectively. As there is no use marketing to a specific demographic on a platform or website they would never use themselves. It would be as pointless as advertising high brand cosmetics on a children’s toy store website. Instead, not invest some time into finding out where your customers are likely to be. Again looking at whether you are selling locally or internationally which can have a huge effect on the price of your marketing campaign as local ones are likely to be much smaller. Sample people who fit your criteria and find out where they are online, whether you are most likely to find them searching for an answer to a question in their search engine or are scrolling through their favourite social media profile in search of some entertainment. Whatever the case, finding the right search engines and social platforms to market on is crucial as more of your target audience are likely to see your campaigns if they frequent the services heavily. Whilst finding out where they are, also take a look at how they interact. What kind of language they use and what times of day they are most responsive, this can give you a head start on creating marketing content and a posting schedule further down the line.

About the Author
Content Manager