Whether you are launching a new product or a website, you have to identify your target market. Although it is a frustrating task, identifying your target market is the foundation element of your marketing strategy.
What is the target market?
A target market is a specific group of people to whom you should reach with your marketing message. These people may have some characteristics such as behaviors and demographics and are most likely to buy your products and services.
It is important to define your target group to help you reach the right prospects. A much more detailed target group will also help you get the best possible conversion rates.
You can be highly specific while targeting your audience as it is all about targeting your marketing efforts effectively. People who are not in your target market can also buy from you.
Remember, that though you can’t target everyone, you can sell to everyone.
Make sure that your target market is based on audience research and not on a gut feeling. You will have to reach to people who really want to buy from you. Some of them may not be your customers you set out to reach.
How to conduct your audience research?
1. Compiling data based on your current customers
The first step while compiling data is to figure out who is already using your products or services.
Avoid asking a lot of questions in your opt-in process just for your audience research purpose. It can annoy customers and make them abandon their shopping carts. However, you can collect all the information you have about your existing customers and create a database to track trends and averages.
So aspects you may consider are;
Spending patterns and power
Your categories may differ slightly if you are selling B2B products. You may include aspects like the size of businesses that buy from you and information of decision-makers (CEO, CTO, Managers, etc) in the company.
2. Leverage Social Media Analytics
Social Media Analytics is a great way to get all the audience research information. It can also help you understand who is interacting with your social accounts even if they are not your customers.
3. Find out what your competitors are doing
While doing your audience research you can also check what your competitors are doing. Are they targeting the same market segments as you? How are they positioning themselves?
You can use social tools to gather insights into your competitors. Although you will not be able to get detailed research about who is interacting with your competitors, you will still get a fair idea about the approach they are taking. The analysis will help you understand who they are targeting and whether their efforts are worth it.
4. Give details about the benefits of your products and services
While it is important to highlight the features of your product, you need to remember that nobody will buy from you unless you tell them about the benefits. You will have to explain how your products and services make their life better or easier.
5. Craft a target market statement
Craft a simple statement that defines your target audiences. Try to incorporate important behaviour characteristics and demographics that you have identified.
Our target market is for (male/female) aged ( ) , living in (place) and like (interests/activity).
6. Test your social ads
Put your target audience research to work by creating social ads specifically targeted to the market you have defined. Check if the ads are precisely targeted as they should be.
Do the visuals make sense? Does the language speak to the market the way it should?
Once you get the creatives right, you will have to reach to your defined target audience using social tools.
Track the performance of your ads and note the measurable results. You can also use the A/B testing to understand what targeting options work best for you and whether you need to change your approach and speak more directly to your target audience.
7. Revisit your target audience statement
The test results may provide you with new insights. Make sure to revisit your target market statement regularly to understand if your target market statement still describes your valuable potential customers. Also, you need to understand that your target market can change over time. So, it is important to revisit your target audience statement on a regular basis.
Tactics to find your target audience
1. Conduct user surveys on a regular basis
Use free tools to conduct user surveys about your products regularly. It will help you understand what users think about your brand. You can translate the feedback to get a better understanding of your target audience.
2. Leverage Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can provide you with useful data about your audience if you use it effectively.
3. Use Facebook insights
Facebook audience insights is a free tool and can be used anytime. You can have an understanding of the demographics of your active users and the topics they share in common.
4. Connect to Twitter Followers Dashboard to find your target audience on Twitter
You can access Twitter’s followers dashboard if you sign up for a Twitter Ads account. It helps you know what your followers are interested in by listing common topics and other Twitter accounts that your followers share in common. This information is powerful as it goes beyond basic demographics.
5. Monitor your social activity
Simple information like on which social networks do your readers share your content the most can help you know what they like and want to hear about. All you need to is monitor your social accounts on a daily basis and keep a tab of who’s interacting with your content. Understand their bios to get a fair idea about who you are currently reaching.
6. Monitor your content
You can find your best and worst posts for each week or month by looking back at your Google Analytics. You can use total shares and page views to determine the popularity of a blog post. By comparing the content that did well with the content that did not do well, you can get better insights about what your readers really want to hear about.
7. Ask for feedback
Engage your users personally to develop a relationship. This will open up a channel for communication and feedback. You can set up automated email systems to automatically add users to an email mailing list. This will help you earn genuine audience feedback.
8. Respond to your followers
It is important to respond to every comment and message from your users. Every interaction will help you learn more about them.
Get involved in discussions related to your niche or industry to know what is important to your audience.
Create posts once in a while to ask your audience questions like;
What they are interested in?
What problems do they face?
What products or features they wish to have?
9. Analyze your actual customer data
Actual customer data can help you create content to pull the right audience.
There are chances that your current content consumers may not be the people who are actually buying your products or services.
It is also possible that your products and services are appealing to groups than what your current content is targeting. That is why analyzing actual customer data is important as it will help you create compelling content.
Defining your target market is a tough task. However, once you know who you are targeting, it becomes easy to figure out what marketing messages will relate to them and what channels you can use to reach them. Knowing your target audience will help you advertise correctly and compete in the market place.