With so many brands and competing messages vying for the attention of consumers, marketers must take a targeted approach to reach them effectively. Broad and generalised messaging won’t have the same impact as targeted and personalized messaging. So, to be a more successful marketer, maybe it’s time you got more personal.
But the first task is to gain a proper understanding of the people you’re selling to. Your target audience is the group most likely to be interested in your product or service, and it can be broad or narrow and shaped by demographic factors such as income, age or geographic location, or it could be largely determined by a matter of taste. You need to figure out where the defining margins lie and identify your people, then you can start learning more about them and how to reach them.
So, let’s get started with 7 ways to find your target audience.
1. Tap into the available data
If the business is already trading, there will be customer data that you can analyze. Try to find out as much as you can about the existing customer base. Look at social media channel followers, conduct surveys or even in-person interviews to gather as much information as you can about who they are and what makes them tick (without getting too creepy about it).
Your brand’s social channels are also a goldmine for information. Try using the analytics tools offered within the platforms to learn about the people who visit your page and where they came from.
2. Gather the research
There are a great many market research companies out there that specialize in pinpointing target audiences but try to see how much information on your industry has been made freely available. Look for stats and reports on consumer trends that can help you identify opportunities for your brand.
This includes competitor research, which can offer invaluable insights. How are you competitors positioning themselves and who are they resonating with?
3. Identify buyer personas
By creating buyer personas, you can drill down into the composition of your customer base and identify the demographics and core characteristics – information gathered through research – by which people can be segmented. These segments can be personified as individuals who typify the people in that group. This makes it easier to hone the sales message to ensure it speaks to them and addresses their needs or frustrations.
4. Use Google Analytics
Data offers invaluable insights on the people responding to your advertising and finding your website. Google Analytics puts that information at your fingertips, helping you identify trends in traffic such as where visitors are coming from. You may find that customers are coming from somewhere unexpected and end up identifying a new target audience segment. You can also see what content is working and whether your customer journey could use some optimization.
5. Monitor content performance
Much of marketing is trial and error, especially when it comes to content. Some things will resonate with your audience and some things won’t, but that’s a learning experience. Make sure you remember those lessons and apply them – that means continually adjusting your focus to offer more of the content that performs well and less of the content that performs poorly. Over time you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your target audience while remaining responsive to changes.
6. Use social media engagement
By taking a proactive approach to social media marketing and engaging with your customers, you can learn more about them while building a relationship with them. These conversations can help to inform the creation of your buyer personas and can offer invaluable insight on how people feel about your brand and what you have to offer. Be warned: you may need a thick skin and a sense of humor.
7. Continuously optimize
There’s always room for improvement and things generally don’t stand still for long, so it’s important to be constantly tweaking and updating what you know about your target audience. Look at new ways of gathering and/or enriching your customer data. The more accurate your personas, the better your chances of success.
Put insights into practice
Everything starts with knowing who you’re trying to reach, and that information will inform all your future efforts so be sure to give it the attention it deserves. The smart approach to marketing is all about extracting insights from data and using them to be more effective. See what more you can learn to boost your sales performance here.