Aim for Your Target Audience.
Hit your Mark, and Get Killer Results!
Written By Rhea Allen
Every marketer understands the importance of hunting and finding your target audience, but how exactly do you define your target audience, how do you find your target audience, and how do you reach and keep them?
Why do we need to know how to find and reach our target audience?
In order to reach your company, business, or organization’s goals, you’re going to need to identify, find, and then capture the attention of your target audience. Regardless of whether it’s a product, service, information, or something in between, there are people out there who are buying what you are selling.
They can’t buy it if they don’t KNOW that you are selling it!
Here’s how you can identify, reach and capture the attention of your target audience, and boost your brand and bottom line with the right marketing message and digital marketing strategy.
What is a target audience?
Your target audience is comprised of those people whose characteristics make them more likely to be interested in your products or services. This is called, demographic data or demographic information.
What kinds of characteristics could that be?
Age, education, hobbies, family status, location, marital status, occupation, job title, values, dwelling status, social causes, interests, behaviors, likes, dislikes, gender, income level, life stage, level of education, generation, net worth, communication preferences, automotive selection, interests to save money or etc, when you discover these demographic and characteristic details, the next steps become much, much easier!
Attract more of the same.
After you identify the key demographics and characteristics of your target audience, then you know who you want to attract more of the same.
Your existing customers or current customers can provide you with a lot of demographic data too! This information will help you move on the to next step, which is to empathize with, relate to, and thereby learn how to speak their language.
Market research is the name of the game, and in this case, target audience research is going to allow you to ramp up your marketing campaign and reach the specific group, or groups you want to turn into potential and ideal customers.
Empathize and relate to your target audience.
Now that you know who they are, and that you want more of them, how are you going to reach your target audience, and what are you going to say to them when you do?
Your primary, secondary, and even tertiary target audiences have watering holes (or places where they get their information). They have influencers, subject matter experts they look to, and their own vernacular and buzz words that they use to solve their problems or find solutions.
Creating customer personas (sometimes called buyer personas or avatars) based on demographic characteristics or behaviors is like creating fictional characters who are likely to want your product or service based on real customer insights. Small businesses and big businesses all need to go through the same steps to dig deeper and create relevant content. For example, you could create Small Business Sam/Sally or Enterprise Ed/Edwina or Stay-at-home Mom Mindy or Working-from-home Mom Wendy, or Millenium Melissa/Mike, College Student Colette/Colson or Digital Dad Dave…. you get the idea!
Turning your audience insights into detailed customer personas and building out your soul mate clients is an easy way to contain all of the market research and audience insights you uncover. Give them job titles, tell a narrative about each soul mate client you desire, find where they invest their time, talent, and treasures, what pain points they have, what social channels they spend their time engaging, and what can you learn about them through Facebook insights, what other data points and demographic details can you glean from them? Do some social listening, or “social media stalking” if you will to discover and uncover all that you can about your buyer personas!
And remember, you aren’t necessarily your target audience! What might interest or appeal to or intrigue you, may not be what triggers the interest of your target audience. Empathizing with your audience will allow you to see things through their eyes or if you step into their shoes and walked a mile, what would you see, hear, feel, do, say, or touch?
Evolve with your audience.
Tastes, times, needs, and wants evolve, adapt and change over time. So should your marketing strategies and tactics, including your messaging. Identifying and reaching your target audience isn’t a set it, and forget it kind of thing, so ensure that you are keeping up with what your audience wants to hear, see and feel.
What your typical customer or particular audience wants to hear isn’t going to remain static over time, like everything else in time. Monitoring keywords,
“Measure what you treasure….dump what you don’t, and automate what you hate!” -Rhea Allen
You heard it here first! What does that mean? It means that you need to pay attention to your analytics. Establish KPIs or Key Performance Indicators, or as I like to call them, “Kept Promise Indicators” and let the data and the metrics inform the tweaks that will need to be made to your marketing strategy to keep it relevant and performing.
Audience insights are an important part of your market research, and marketing tools are only as good as their analytics tools. Keyword research, a landing page, and anything else you do to create content to reach your customer base will not put you on a solid foundation if you don’t track your results.
Social media analytics, Google Analytics, and other target market insights and audience insights have become the bread and butter of fine-tuning your marketing campaigns to find and reach your ideal customer.
Ask your current audience what they want to see.
It came straight from the horse’s mouth as they say, so how can you get it straight from the source? Your repeat customers, website visitors, blog post commentators, those who engage with your social media platforms, your social media audience, and more are all great people to get audience data from. Ask your audience what they think about your content, and your content marketing efforts in general.
This can come in the form of surveys, reviews, rankings, polls, etc. Make it fun, and reward them for sharing with you via discounts, promos, shout-outs on social media, etc. Customer interviews are also another great way to understand more about your target demographic, and reach more potential audience members!
Look to your competition and other industries for inspiration.
Who’s doing a good job reaching their target audience? It might be your direct competition, a totally different industry, or something a little in between. You might have different target audiences, but make sure you are keeping up with what your competitors and other rockstars in other industries are doing, and use the inspiration to tweak and fine-tune your own marketing strategy.
This means checking out their social media marketing, social listening, relevant hashtags, social ads, user feedback, industry trends, their SEO efforts, affinity categories, google analytics, and all other marketing efforts than can help you improve your digital marketing strategy.
Are you looking for a little more help? We’ve got a ton of resources to help you ramp up your marketing efforts and strategies, with The Marketing Expedition Podcast, our marketing services, workshops, events, and more.
Become familiar with empathy mapping.
Download Peppershock’s empathy map guide to creating your customer persona.