How To Determine The Target Audience For Your Business

20 October 2022
Audience 2022 08 01 01 48 43 utc

What is a target audience?

Knowing who you are selling to is one of the key elements in any marketing strategy. Without a clear audience in mind, creating a marketing campaign is nearly impossible. You need to make sure your offering is communicated in a compelling way to your customers. So, how do you determine who these customers are?

Your ‘Target audience is a specific group of consumers you are targeting your service or product towards in order to create a solid marketing campaign that generates sales. A target audience is identified from a bigger group through particular segmentations such as age, gender, location, income, interests, and many other factors.

Finding the right target audience is critical for every business; it allows them to use time and resources more efficiently when creating strategies and campaigns. However, the initial task of discovering the right target market and audience for your brand can be time consuming. That’s why we're here to give you the tips and the knowledge to be able to find your target audience.

Target market vs target audience

If you’re looking at marketing, ‘target audience’ and ‘target market’ are definitely words you’ll come across regularly, but what do they mean?

A ‘target market’ is a larger group of consumers you’re planning to promote and sell your products/services to. The ‘target audience is a specific sample of the market. For example, if you’re selling filming equipment, your target market will be the total number of individuals working in the filming industry. However, your target audience may be adults aged 30-40 who work with/for a videography company. Put simply - your target market is the ‘total’ size of the opportunity, so you’ll often see it communicated as a monetary value; your target audience is a group of individuals within that market - often differentiated by one of the previously mentioned demographics

The power of targeting

Targeting is a key factor for your business’ successful marketing campaigns. It allows your business to focus resources on groups most likely to purchase your products or services. However, it’s not just as easy as finding an interested group and calling it a day; there are steps to ensure you get in front of the perfect target audience.

1. Refine your target market

Refining your target market is the first step toward finding the perfect audience. Refining means you’re identifying the exact people you want to sell your products and services to. The better you can refine your audience, the more focused your marketing efforts will be. So, how can you do this? Start by considering the following:

  • Geographics - Where are your customers based?

  • Demographics - Describe your audience in a couple of sentences. What are their key characteristics?

  • Psychographics - How might your audience think? What mood do you want them to be in when they see your marketing?

  • Behavioural - How do your audience behave? How does your offering impact this?

These are the best ways to help you refine your market, and nail it down to specifics like the location, income, lifestyle, hobbies, and other interests of the consumers.

2. Stay objective

You need to stay objective! As a marketer, we all have our favourite campaigns, posts, and content but sometimes they are not beneficial for your company. Using data to find which campaigns work best is vital and trust us it works better than using your own opinion!

Data is super easy to find and most definitely more reliable than your own opinions, some places you can find this information would be;

  • Insights

  • Analytics

  • Surveys

  • Questionnaires

Make sure you have your analytics and data tracking API’s and software set up correctly as using your companies historical data will be the best help when editing and creating future strategies and campaigns. Basing your campaigns on the data will help you forecast and get more reliable sales.

3. Identify the key benefit that your business provides

It’s not all about just finding the audience, it’s also about wanting to keep them loyal to the business. Once you have your target market you need to be able to sell your products and services to them by targeting their needs, this is where you identify the key benefit of your business.

In order to keep your consumers loyal, they need to know you are able to provide exactly what they need and that it is a simple process for them. Do your consumers want filming equipment? Tell them your business will give them the newest and best quality equipment! You need to find that benefit your audience will love and want.

4. Evaluate your market segments

We touched on this briefly earlier but now it’s time to dive deep into your market segments. Marketing segmentation can be broken down into four key elements:

  • Geographic

  • Psychographic

  • Demographics

  • Behavioural

But what do these actually mean and how can they help identify your target audience? Geographic is the location, population, and country of your consumers. Psychographics identifies their values, attitudes, and personalities. Demographics focus on age, gender, income, occupation, and finally, behavior looks into the buyer stage, purchase, and engagement.

Each of these segments are key in finding your target audience, figuring out how to market to them effectively, and mapping their customer journey.

Evaluate each section and identify who you’re targeting and how you’re going to do it, without looking into your market segments it will be difficult to achieve a positive outcome.

5. Define your USP

Now it's time to impress your target audience and get them buying! USP means ‘Unique Selling Proposition.’ So you have the information on your consumers and know what they like and what they’re looking for, now we need to make sure your product or service stands out. USPs will motivate your audience to buy your product even if it’s similar to your competitors, a strong USP will drive consumers to your products.

A good USP is one that makes your product or service come across as innovative and distinguished from others of a similar nature, making it stand out and seem more appealing. If your product offers a benefit to customers that competitive products can’t or don’t offer, then it will likely attract consumers. Your USP should carefully balance what the customer wants, what your business does well, and what the competition lacks. A USP is the deal breaker for your product or service, keeping all this in mind when creating your own can help you create a loyal customer base.

Understanding the role of your target audience

The main role of a target audience, of course, is to purchase your products or services and display loyalty to the business. Each business will have a different role for its target audience. Whether it’s purchasing, subscribing, or filling out forms, it is vital you understand the role of your target audience.

Understanding the role of your target audience will allow you to identify your consumers easier, and you’ll be able to find consumers who fit your ideal audience role. Let’s say your company sells monthly boxes to subscribers, the role of your target audience would be subscribing, so therefore you know what to look for in your consumers and what the user journey will look like.

How to identify a target audience: Tips for success

Having a target market is important to ensure your time and resources are spent efficiently. For example, the majority of emails we are sent these days have no relevance to us, so what do we do? Throw them into junk and move on with our day. If you don’t identify your target audience correctly this will happen to you. In order to achieve long-term success you must identify the correct target audience for your business otherwise you’ll be spending so much time and money sending out campaigns to people who are not interested.

Types of target audience

For many companies, the main types of target audiences will be decision-makers or influencers. Influencers are those who will encourage others to buy your products or services whilst decision-makers, will be the ones to actually buy your products or services. However, you can do even deeper research and segment your target audience into the following 3;

  • Purchase intent - a group looking for a specific product

  • Special Interests - groups based on hobbies and interests

  • Subgroups, or cultures - groups based on common experiences

Knowing exactly which group your target audience fits in will help you design your marketing campaigns to engage them effectively and benefit your business.

Your audience wants to feel you understand and resonate with them!

Use Google Analytics to learn more about your customers

If you don’t know about google analytics you’ve been living under a rock. Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools for the marketing industry, it tells you pretty much everything about your customer's opinions and journey without them really telling you.

Analytics is a great way to assess whether your customers are really enjoying your campaigns, you can track how many click on to the site, how many click back off, how many people click through links, how long they stay on there, and much more! Google Analytics can provide you with a plan on how to improve and update your campaigns in order to boost your customers engagement.

Create a reader persona to target blog content

I’m sure everyone has created stories before, coming up with the storyline and the characters, well now it’s time to use that to help your marketing skills. In order to have an idea of what to write in your blogs, you need to know who you’re writing to, so you need to create a persona for your blog content. Think of things like what your ideal customer enjoys reading, what would they find engaging, what would they want to know more about, and most importantly how would they want to be spoken to.

You need to consider the tone of voice you’re using, this is probably one of the most important steps in blog writing, of course besides the information itself. If you’re targeting a younger audience there’s no point in speaking formally, they probably won’t find interest in it. On the other hand, if your consumer is driven by results and data, the formal and number-driven path would be perfect for them.

Here at Ideal, we have an entire page of blogs aimed to engage our target audience of other businesses looking for video and marketing strategies and tips. Take a look through them and see how we have created a persona to target our content too.

Look at social media analytics

More analytics?! Yes, they’re your best friend when it comes to identifying your target audience and getting them engaged.

Have you heard of Meta insights? They’re about to become your favourite insight tool. Meta insights is a tool that allows you to track the metrics for both your Facebook and Instagram business page, this will allow you to optimize your marketing in order to generate more engagement and reach your target audience, sounds easy right? It is! It does it all for you, all you need to do is make sure to check it, analyse it, and update your pages.

Another amazing tool you should know about is Linkedin Analytics. Linkedin is probably the main platform for a business to promote itself, especially if your are a B2B company, so it’s only right they provide us with some insights to help. Linkedin Insights can give you tons of information breaking it down to those market segments. It again shows which posts engage with the public better, allowing you to know what content you need to push out. This gives you a massive boost in the right direction to find your target audience as well as helping with what content to create.

Do you use scheduling software? The name clearly states what it does but it can also show you cross channel insights into your socials. You’ll be able to access information about engagement, followers gained, likes, comments and shares, this tool will give you the guidance to make the changes needed to boost that engagement!

There are so many tools out there to help you find your target audience, so there’s no excuse, it’s time to get started on tracking your analytics. We are also here to help you with your strategies and campaigns, contact us today and see how we can help your business.

Engage social media audiences

There’s so much we can do on social media to engage all different types of audiences, which makes it a great way to find your target audience. How can you engage them? Each platform has different algorithms for what works best; for example, Instagram has recently been engaging better with videos/Reels, therefore, videos and Reels will create better audience engagement. Want to add more Reels into your content? Take a look at our blog on Video Reel Hacks to get started.

Use hashtags! Hashtags are vital on pretty much every social media platform, they reach all different audiences. Thousands of people a day use social media to reach for the news, a study has shown that there's been a decrease in the use of printed newspapers from 2020 (47%) to 2022 (38%), why's that? People use social media to find it all now. So those hashtags we’re talking about, will come in handy to reach your audience, just be sure to use the correct ones.

Do you know what’s one of the best parts of social media? Consumers can interact. They can leave comments, likes, and even share your posts which not only creates more engagement but then you also get feedback and can see what is/ isn’t working! Social media has endless ways to engage with audiences. Need help running your social media channels? Check out our social media services and see how we can help accelerate your socials.

Check website performance

So now you know how to find the insights and analytics, these are all going to help you make the right decisions for your website. The data these analytic platforms provide, can give you a really good idea of how well your website is performing, here are some of the most useful metrics to analyse;

  • Traffic

  • Bounce rate

  • Average time on site

  • Conversions

Of course, there are more data you can gather which can make your website even better but realistically, these metrics are probably the first ones you will look at. Checking your website's performance is key to targeting your ideal audience, you’ll gather information on what engages them best. This will help you to make the necessary adjustments to your website.

How do I determine my target audience?

You’re not going to ask every single person if they’re interested in your business, are you? So, determining your target audience can be a bit of a challenge. You don’t want to waste time sending emails and sharing posts with the wrong audience, so we’re going to give you some tips on how to determine your target audience.

1. Create Personas

This is the first step in determining who your audience would be. Based on your offering and your brand, you need to think of a ‘character’ who would find this engaging and become a consumer. Think of it as creating a character based on your brand story; make it someone who fits in with the overall theme and how it would benefit them. Thinking of your ideal character is simple, just think of the main details which influence how they buy or find interest in a product/ service, think of details such as age, gender, what engages them, and their needs/wants. These can all provide you with an ideal of what your ideal persona would be like which can benefit your marketing strategy.

2. Determine who isn’t your target audience

Finding those who are not interested will make it easier to narrow down your target audience and find people who are interested. For example, if you were selling video games, your target market would be gamers, but if the game you were selling was for those who are 18 and older, you would have to narrow down your target audience to that particular demographic and exclude those who aren’t within that age bracket. This goes to show that not everyone within your target market is in fact your target audience, so it is important to specify your target demographic within your audience in order to stop your team from devoting ad spending to segments that will not yield returns.

3. Analyse your customer base and conduct client interviews

Analysing your customer base is a critical part of any marketing plan. You find your target audience, gather ideas on what they want, and make sure your product or service fits with these needs. However, sometimes all this information can be hard to find with just data alone.

Primary research is an effective and reliable way to gather the information needed, this can be in the form of surveys, questionnaires, polls, or even interviews. If you’re looking to gather the most information, try to gather quantitative data by asking open-ended questions. Ask what your clients want to read about, what posts they want to see, why they want to see them, and what they like about the products. All of this information will give you more of an idea of what type of campaigns to do publish in order to keep your audience interested.

4. Continually update

Our opinions on different subjects can change, and so can your audiences. In order to keep your engagement high, you will need to continually check your audience and see what’s changing. Maybe you have a range of posts that were doing great for months but now they’re going through creative fatigue - this would be because your audience is changing. Based on the data you need to make some of the necessary updates to your website and social media platforms, and in case you’ve forgotten, this data can all be monitored through the use of insights and analytics.

Keeping up with your audience is so important and so easy, those updates need to be made, think of the engagement!

Analyse competitors
Even though they’re your competitors, they can actually help you a lot. Before even beginning marketing campaigns, looking into your competitors is a great first step as they help you get an idea of what your ideal target audience is looking for. You can determine your target audience by looking at what consumers interact most with your competitor's content. You can also use it as an opportunity to see gaps in the market you can fill and use these to your advantage.

Competitors are also a great way to get an idea of what type of content to post, you’ll be able to see what attracts the audience the most by monitoring their interactions. However, don’t copy exactly what they’re doing, make it different, make it better, this is what an audience wants to see!

The benefits of knowing your target audience

So now you know how to find your target audience but why is it actually good?

Knowing your target audience will help your company focus on creating campaigns that will reach those most likely to buy from you and stay loyal. Instead of wasting time and money on creating campaigns for an unspecified audience, you know exactly what needs to be done to meet your audience's expectations. Just because you’re targeting a specific group doesn’t mean you’re excluding others who could possibly become your audience, identifying your target audience and focusing your efforts on them helps develop your business and your marketing strategy without spending too much time and money.

Without knowing who you’re targeting how do you know what to create or what is expected of your business?

In Summary

Marketing for your business takes a lot of time and research to ensure you have all the correct information. We’ve given you the tips, tools, and information on how to thoroughly research and find your target audience. Target audiences are probably one of the most influential parts of your business and content creation, so yes, it takes time and effort but in the end, it is all worth it. We can help you with all of these aspects and boost your brand - get in contact with us today and we will get back to you within 2 working hours.

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