Getting the most out of an advertising budget is vital to the growth of any business. Whether the budget is a few hundred dollars or millions, no one wants to waste money.
If you want to ensure you’re effectively using your marketing budget and increasing your return on investment, you need to clearly define your target audience. These are the people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
Determining who your target audience is will inform all elements of your marketing strategy. With a specific audience in mind you will be able to craft content and ads that resonate and drive people to take action. The goal here is to find your niche and dominate it!
In this post we will outline steps you can take to define your specific target audience.
Start With the Benefits of Your Business
Businesses are usually started for one of three reasons: to solve a problem, meet a need, or fulfill a desire. Think about what your products or services do for your customers. Go beyond the features of your business and dig into the benefits. In other words, what outcomes do you provide?
After you’ve listed the benefits your customers receive by choosing you, think about the types of people each of those benefits could help the most. It can be as broad as a category of people or as narrow as an individual. These people will be the foundation of your target audience.
For example, a feature of an HVAC service would be they are on call 24/7. The benefit to their customers is that they can continue to live comfortably with minimal disruption no matter when an issue occurs. Broad categories of people who will appreciate this benefit are homeowners or business owners.
Analyze Your Current Customers
You can learn a lot from the customers you already have. Examine the characteristics of people who have previously purchased from you and look for similarities. You can organize them by demographics such as:
- Life Stage
If you’re not already collecting this type of information from your customer base, now is the time to start. You can do this a number of ways. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a critical tool in data collection and organization. You can also use Google Analytics to track information about your website visitors.
Need help getting started with a CRM or Google Analytics? Our experts at Amplified Digital can help you harness the power of your first party data. Reach out today!
Surveys are another valuable way to gather information from your current customers. Having them rate their experience and share feedback is very useful in understanding your business from your customers’ perspective.
Use Social Media for Research
The people who are following your business pages on social media and engaging with your content are a great source of information about who your target audience should be. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn have in-depth demographics as well as psychographics about their users including:
- Education Level
- Marital Status
You can also use social listening in your audience research. There are tools available to help you monitor what is being said about your business specifically which can be very advantageous. Learning what people are saying about your industry in general can also be constructive.
To do this you can check out keywords and hashtags applicable to your industry. Pro tip – use these same hashtags on your own social posts! You can also join relevant community forums on sites like Reddit and Quora, or groups on Facebook. These channels allow users to ask questions, share experiences, and respond to each other, which can give insight into the types of problems they are facing. The goal here isn’t to sell to these groups, but to immerse yourself in the community your audience is in to better understand the world through their eyes.
Look At Your Competitors
Keeping a close eye on your competition can be particularly fruitful when trying to define your own target audience. Start by reviewing their website and take note of the imagery and language used to understand who they are trying to appeal to most. Next, check out their social channels to see what content they are posting and who is engaging with it. Read customer reviews on different review sites like Google and Yelp to get an idea of what is being said about them.
As you comb through their online presence you want to not only look for information about their customers and audience, but also areas of opportunity. Perhaps you can fill in a gap they have left open, whether that’s an audience they haven’t targeted or a tactic they aren’t utilizing. Thinking outside of the box can help you find your niche audience.
You May Have Multiple Audiences
While gathering information about your target audience you may find there are multiple audiences available. Using the steps listed above try to narrow it down to three or four segments. From there you can design marketing campaigns that target each segment separately. You may find that you have more success with one audience over another. Experimentation is key.
Identifying your target audience before designing a marketing campaign can mean the difference between mediocre and stellar results. Whether you’re just getting started with your business plan or you’ve been at this for a while, Amplified Digital can help get you to the next level. We’ve got the knowhow to help you define the best audience for your business and the tools to help you gather, organize, and utilize your customer data. Let us amplify your brand! Message us today!