Creating a website takes time, money, and resources. It can be an arduous and daunting process for business owners. How do you make sure your target audience profile is correct, that you’re targeting the right people or demographics?
Identifying your target audience is the foundation of website optimization as well as your marketing campaigns. Understanding your audience means understanding who your ideal prospects and customers are. Additionally, it helps you understand your competitors and the core pain points your products are a solution to.
In this post, we’re going to examine:
- What exactly a target audience is
- How to find your target audience
- The tools and tactics of the trade
- How to turn your research from a vague group of people into detailed customer profiles
So, What Is a Target Audience?
You probably already know, in part because we’ve already told you: They’re your ideal customers.
Defining your target audience is essential for developing your sales and marketing strategies. You need to know where to focus your efforts, and as the name implies, where to aim. This initial profile will help you understand who your target customer is and what they care about:
- Where do they go online and offline?
- What is their preferred method of communication?
- What’s their demographic info? (Age, location, occupation, hobbies, etc)
- What are their lifestyle preferences and behaviors?
- How might they benefit from the use of your product or service?
Knowing your target audience helps with every aspect of your strategy: content marketing, social media, SEO, and more.
Target Audience Tactics
Start With Your Current Customer Base: Before you start trying to identify your target audience, take a deep dive into your sales and marketing teams to understand their current client base. After all, they already buy your products or services. What do their current and former client base look like? What type of client and customer do they aspire to reach?
Look to the characteristics of your best customers and organize that list into at least one profile of shared characteristics. Good metrics to follow include your biggest deals, the longest client retention, and the customers who are easiest to work with. From there, you can start to develop tactics.
Focus on the Benefits: One of the best ways to understand your target audience is to identify who has a need for or interest in your product or service and narrow it down. Pinpoint the features and qualities of what you offer and consider who benefits from them.
For blogs and websites, this might look like niche expertise or having a widget that makes your website easy to use. Once you understand these benefits, you can understand who might value these features. For example, travelers who hate tech might value the simplicity while avid travelers want unbiased opinions.
Collect Demographic Data: Drawing out a demographic profile will help you better understand your target market. It’s quite similar to building a character in the Sims video game. In the beginning, your character is a blank slate, but as they grow, suddenly they develop into a person with a home, a job, hobbies, and friends and acquaintances.
Try to make this profile as detailed as possible, until the abstract customer becomes an old acquaintance. It can also be beneficial to look at your direct competitors. Your target audience is probably among their subscribers on social media.
Own Your Niche: Find your niche, and own it. Having a vague target audience only gets you so far. Eventually, you want to have a focused target audience.
That shows you who is most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Once you have your target audience niche, create a specific plan, and stick to it.
Doing the work to identify your target audience early on helps you hone the message that your brand sends. It also keeps your marketing strategy focused. That becomes the foundation of your brand, and it helps you grow.
For more helpful tips, check out the Chaos Theory blog. If you need help developing your target audience or your digital marketing strategy, call us for a consultation!