How to Identify Your Target Audience

Content Marketing, Small Business Marketing Tips, Social Media

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Can you describe your target audience in a sentence or two? Who does your business serve? This is one of the fundamental questions in any marketing plan. If you can't, you need to learn how to identify your target audience, and that's what we're going to do in this post.

In its most simple terms, marketing can be defined as – providing the right information, at the right time, for the right audience. In future posts, we’ll talk about the right information at the right time but today’s Marketing Academy post is all about finding the right audience.

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How to Identify Your Audience Online

How do you identify your target audience?

When you decide to start a business, hopefully, you’re thinking about who you want to serve and how you can help them. If your focus is just on making money and wanting to help, “everyone” you’ll probably find it harder to succeed in the long run. This is why choosing your target audience is so important. It’s much easier to provide exceptional products or services for a niche market than trying to be everything to everybody.

Focusing on one target market (or several sub-sets within one target market) makes it easier to be successful because you can get to know your audience, their needs, and how your product or service solves their problems.

Starting Out

If you’re just starting out and trying to determine what business to build or which audience to serve, think about your own experience. Where do you have the most experience? Are there specific markets that you’ve worked closely with in your career? Are you particularly interested in a  subject matter or area? If so, this information can help you choose a target audience for your business.

Established and confused

If your business is established but you aren’t sure who you’re trying to serve, or you haven’t selected a niche market yet, you may have data that will help lead you to the answer. If you have a website, Facebook Business Page, or Instagram Business Account, you have access to data about your fans/followers and site visitors. This can help you determine who your target audience is, or more importantly, should be.

Where can you find data?

  • If your website or blog has Google Analytics set up, you can find the information you need in your GA account. Look at your traffic data, go into demographics, and you’ll get a feel for your website visitors.
  • If you have a Facebook Business Page, you’ve got access to Insights, and that will provide you the demographic information for your fans and page visitors.
  • An Instagram Business Account also provides demographic information for your followers.

If you’re using personal Facebook or Instagram accounts to run your business, now is the time to change to Business Accounts. You’re missing out on audience insights when you stay with a personal account. And you’re breaking Facebook’s terms of service by using a personal account rather than a business page to run your business.

If your business is more offline than online, think about your best customers over the years.

  • Who do you find to be the most pleasant to work with?
  • Who have you been able to help the most?
  • What issues can you solve better than anyone else?

What information matters?

If you have access to demographic information, you’ll want to determine a few things about your fans/followers.

  • Where do they live?
  • How old are they?
  • What gender are they?
  • What other interests do they have (this is available in GA)?
  • When do they visit your website or social media channels?
    • What day(s) of the week?
    • What time(s) of the day?
    • How many times in a week/month?

Now, the most important step here is to determine if who your business is attracting is your target audience or not. If you’re not attracting your target audience, then you need to determine if you should adjust your target audience to include the people who are following you or if you’d be better off adjusting your messaging to try to attract your target audience.

Why does information about your target audience matter to your marketing plan?

Once you’ve identified your target audience, it’s much easier to provide valuable information to them. When we market our product or service, we always want to think about our customers, not ourselves. Our customers don’t care what our business goals are, they care about their issues and concerns and want to know if you can solve their problems.

By knowing who your audience is you can provide more relevant marketing materials for them. You get to know them and their issues and can work to address their needs. When you focus on a target audience, you see better results.

We’ll talk more about our target audience information and how to create personas in future blog posts. For now, take a few minutes to look at your target audience data (if available) or think about your best customers and focus on them with your next marketing program. Want to learn more about marketing your business? Follow Etched's Marketing Academy on Facebook or YouTube and be sure to sign up for our newsletter using the form below. 

Register for our FREE Marketing Training Workshop program and join thousands of other small business owners who have learned how to create their marketing plan with our help! Click here to register today.

 

 

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