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 will do in this post.
In its simplest terms, marketing can be defined as – providing the right information at the right time for the right audience. In future posts, we’ll discuss the right information at the right time, but today’s Marketing Academy post is all about finding the right 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. Providing exceptional products or services for a niche market is much easier 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.
If you’re starting out and determining what business to build or which audience to serve, think about your experience. Where do you have the most experience? Are there specific markets that you’ve worked closely with within 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.
If your business is established, but you aren’t sure who you’re trying to serve or 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 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, consider your best customers over the years.
You’ll want to determine a few things about your fans/followers if you can access demographic information.
Now, the most important step here is to determine if your business is attracting 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.
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 them.
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 discuss 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) think about your best customers, and focus on them with your next marketing program.