How to Define Your Target Audience to Improve Your Marketing Success Rates

Beatrix Potter

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Defining your target market is one of the most important aspects of modern-day marketing. If you’re not taking the time to identify who you’re trying to sell to, you’re not going to be maximizing your opportunities and making the most of the investments you’ve got. Hard-hitting, I know, but as a marketer, you cannot ignore how important this is.

OK, now that I’ve grabbed your attention, let’s start to break it down. 

Imagine the process of archery. The bow and arrow are your ads and marketing content and the audience you’re trying to reach is the target. The better you are at aiming your bow and arrow, the more precision you’ll have to hit your target.

If you’re in a position where you don’t know who your target market is, you’ll be shooting your arrows blindfolded. The key to marketing is to take off the blindfold, hold your bow steady and then release your arrows with such precision you can hit a bullseye every single time. That’s the idea anyway.

Let’s take a detailed look into what a target market is and what it means for your business, as well as exploring exactly how you define your own market and start hitting those bullseyes. 

What is a Target Market?

We’ve all heard what a target market is, so I won’t bore you, this is just so we’re on the same page. A target market, or audience, is the people and customers or prospective customers, who want what your business is offering. This could be a product or service, or both.

More often than not, this refers to a problem that the customers are facing and you’re solving for them. If you’re a movie producer, you’re entertaining people. If you’re a taxi service, you’re transporting people where they need to be. If you’re a delivery service, you’re bringing people goods to where they are.

The thing is, not everybody has the problems that you’re trying to solve. Some people prefer to play video games, or have their own car, or do their own shopping in the city and would rather go and make a day off it. If you’re advertising your services to these people, then chances are you’re wasting your time because they don’t need what you have. Advertising and marketing to these people, no matter what kind of business you have, is a wasted investment, which is why it’s so important to filter them out of your vision by defining your target audience.

How to Define Your Target Audience

Every business will have a different target audience. Your target audience may be different from a competitor’s, even if you have the same business and similar products. So you can look at competitors and see what they’re doing, and you could copy this, but you’ll get much better results by defining your own audience.

The best way to do this is to ask yourself some questions and then start narrowing your market down. Some of these questions could include things like;

  •   What is your business offering?
  •   What problems does your business solve?
  •   Who is dealing with these problems?
  •   What kind of benefits do your users get using you?
  •   How do your users spend their day?
  •   What is the average age or gender of your typical users?
  •   Does your target user have children?
  •   How much income do your target users have?
  •   What kind of interests does your target market have?
  •   What geographical locations do you target market users live?

Asking yourself these questions will help you start to really breakdown who is interested in your products and services. Once you have this information, you’ll be able to start creating a marketing strategy to advertise directly to your target audience. In this way, you maximize your sales opportunities and marketing investment for the best results.

Top Tips for Defining Your Target Audience

We live in the modern world with a lot of opportunities and different approaches to processes like defining your target audiences. If you want your business to be as successful as possible in your industry then you need to learn everything you can about it.  After all, knowledge is power. Let’s explore some tips to help you really knuckle down this definition process.

Check Your Analytics

Check your social media accounts and study the analytics and insights from these platforms to ascertain your demographic. You’ll probably need a business account for this, but simply check it out and see what kind of followers you have.

Lisa Shelly, a journalist at Academized and Assignment Help says, “If you’re using a platform like Facebook or Instagram, you’ll be able to see who your audience is in terms of age, sex, location, and even the times they are mostly using the social media platform. Information like this can be key to defining what kind of language and imagery you’re using in your ads, as well as what times you want to display them.’ 

For example: If you’re trying to sell a new electric sports car, are you going to be advertising to children? No, because they can’t drive. Could you target young people? Yes, because they’re much more likely to want to own a fast sports car that’s a lot of fun to drive. However, does a young person’s income range support the purchase of a sports car? Probably not. Could a middle-aged man or woman with a bit of disposable income who has years’ worth of driving experience be ideal? Most probably. This is all information you’ve harvested off your social media pages to help you create content specifically for a certain kind of audience.

Check the Competition

I’ve already said that every business is different and has its own target audience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t check out your competition’s marketing activities. Perhaps they have thought of something you haven’t, or you’ll be inspired.

Nick Harris, a tech writer at OXEssays and Simplegrad says, “Make a list of all the competitors or similar businesses in your industry; you can think of and find and take a look at their website and social media pages. What imagery and language are they using in their ads? What kind of demographic or person are they trying to connect with on an emotional level?”

Turning Features into Benefits

What if I told you I’ve developed a new television and I want you to buy. It has 2,000,000 pixels, a 3RTY45 Surround Sound System and Pentium 25GBF processor chip, smart technology, a built-in LED 345TYP webcam and built-in voice search. Would you want to buy it?

I don’t think so. You have no idea what any of it means. 

The art of marketing is not about listing off features and highlighting what makes a product great; it’s about highlighting how these features benefit an individual. Forget about 2,000,000 pixels? Try the leading with something along the lines of, “Enjoy the most crystal-clear television screen ever created that will allow you to enjoy every single detail of your favorite movies and television series in the way it was meant to be enjoyed.”

You get the idea. Don’t bombard people with a list of features that your product or service has to offer, but instead describe how you fix the problem for them. Then, add the other amazing benefits and features that make it a no-brainer, they’d be stupid to take their business anywhere else.

Summary

The last thing to remember is that this is not a one-time process you can complete quickly, it takes time to build out your target audience and establish strategies that position your brand directly in front of prospects. Defining your target audience is a life-long process you need to keep working on continuously.

People change. Businesses change. The world changes. You change. The limits and boundaries of the target are always shifting and evolving, so keep up with this approach to ensure you’re always making the smartest decisions.

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