The main foundations of your marketing strategy should be to clearly define your target audience so you can effectively create your content or target your products and services effectively.
The more understanding you have of your target audience, the more specific you can be with focussing your adverts and content, so it reaches and appeals those people who are most likely to interact & engage, then convert to a lead, and ideally become a customer. The more you grow your audience insight, you should naturally start to see better conversion rates and thus in turn, a greater return on investment.
The definition of a Target Audience
A target audience is the group of people you specifically identified and would like to reach with your marketing campaign or message. These people are those who are most likely to buy your products or services and will share common characteristics; including the field of work/job title, their demographics and behaviours.
The more specific you can be when defining your target group, the better you’ll understand how and where to best reach your prospects. Don’t be afraid to be ‘to targeted’, you’re not going to stop other from enquiring or buying from you; they just wont be your main focus when you’re implementing your marketing strategy.
Don’t use your gut feeling, you need to endure that your audience is defined by research and fact. Embrace change and ensure that you learn as you go, adapt and tweak your audience parameter, and put your efforts into the people who want to buy from you, they may not necessarily be the people you originally set out to target.
How do I research my target audience?
If you’re an existing business; the best place to start is with your own database, look at the people who have already bought from you. Depending upon how you currently record data, and of course, what sort of data you collect, this maybe an easy task.
Some of the useful information you may want to start collecting, if you don’t already, can include:
- Age: Specific ages are usually not that important, but understanding which decade of their life maybe very useful. Are they students, new parents or retirees?
- Location: If you’re based in the UK, are you selling to people just in your town / county, or are you reaching further afield? Perhaps even worldwide?
- Language: Not everyone is speaking your language, therefore it could be a great opportunity for you to reach more customers you weren’t expecting to reach.
- Interests: Customers have an interest in things other than your product or service, so find out what makes them tick. Do they like Football or Cricket? Do they like holidays on a hot sunny beach, an action packed adventure or caravanning in Great Yarmouth?
- Spending & Patterns: How much money do your customers have? What do they spend their money on? How do they approach purchases in your category?
Perhaps you sell to businesses, you may want to target specific business sizes or the people who make the decisions, like the Managing Director or the Marketing Manager. It is always critical to understand who within the company it is you need to speak to.
You’re probably thinking, this is great, but where am I going to get all this information?
As a marketeer, there’s never been an easier time to gain such insightful information about your customers, and even better – the ones who aren’t yet your customer. Analytics are available from all the major social media networks; but one of the favourites for most is Facebook Audience Insights, as it provides really in-depth insights.
What are the other guys doing?
Check out your competition and be aware of their offers; your customers probably are! Your competitors are probably trying to go after the same target audience and market segments as you, and they may be reaching people you hadn’t thought to consider. Whilst it’s not possible to get a detailed audience report for those interacting with your competitors, we’re able to get a rough understanding of the approach they’re taking and gauge whether their efforts seem to be effective.
Paint the perfect picture. Create your buyer Persona.
What is a buyer persona? A buer persona is a character who represents your ideal customer based upon the research and data which you have so far collated about your existing customers. It consists of the demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations and goals. You can add more if you wish, as the more detail and information you add, the better your persona will be and then you’ll be able to target your audience more effectively.
Let’s put the research to the test. Creating ads specifically targeted to the exact persona you have just created. Your advert needs to be hyper targeted to the audience, using key terminology, tone of voice and visuals.
So, you’ve got a killer ad… Where are you going to post it and when? You’ll need to choose which platforms are best suited to your defined target audience. Check out the demographics for each social media network to better understand which may allow you to best reach your target audience. There’s no point investing lots of time and effort posting to a place your customers aren’t.
Once you’ve posted, you’ll want to track the performance of your advert, but how are you measuring the success? Ensure you set a realistic KPI, ask yourself:
- Do I want to grow my follower count?
- Do I want to get more likes on my post?
- Do I want to get enquires from my post?
- Do I want to get a hit on my blog post?
Once you’ve identified what your objective is, you’ll be able to measure the success of your post; you can then see which people interacted the way you wanted them to, and perhaps you’ll find additional insight as the people you initially designed as your ‘target audience’ may be different from those interacting.
Ensure that you always stat relevant and current with your target audience, especially as your products and services change; trends change and of course, your market.
Be sure to download our free buyer persona template.
Still need a hand to identify your target audience? Click here to get in touch and a member of the Media Jelly team will be able to build your buyer personas, create lists of audiences and get you on the right track to targeting the right people at the right time.