How to Define Your Target Audience

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  • Over 70% of marketing strategies miss out on optimizing ads with customer behavioral data
  • 53% of content marketing uses interactive content to generate leads
  • 27% of marketing professionals find budgeting costs to be the most challenging

What do job interviews, investor pitches, and digital marketing strategies have in common?

It’s not hard to spot.

If you want to gain someone’s investment—whether that means their time or their money (or both)—you have to “sell” yourself. When it comes to marketing your business online, this means being persuasive, creative, and most of all, unique in presenting your brand to the digital world.

But before you start setting up slideshows and pulling out the spreadsheets, you need to know your audience. Specifically, your target audience.

What is a Target Audience?

A target audience is who you’re trying to reach with your business’s products and services: potential and existing customers. The way small businesses can compete with larger businesses is by focusing their resources on a particular niche market, and with the highest potential for growth.

What is a target audience?

Why You Need to Define a Target Audience

You can’t market to everyone.

Who do you want to reach with your business?

Everyone, of course. But the problem is, “everyone” may not be interested in what you’re selling. For example:

A college bookstore isn’t pushing designer coffee table books about luxury living to the front of their shelves. The average college student can barely afford a Starbucks coffee along with their fraying rental textbooks, let alone a $60 tome about French artists and their dogs.

The point is, defining your target audience will help you craft persuasive and engaging digital content, geared toward a precise demographic of people that need what only you can provide.

You save money.

By being more focused in your marketing efforts, you can make smarter, more conservative investments with a greater return—not to mention a more effective and dynamic marketing strategy.

You build your own unique brand.

Finding a specific marketing base gives you a better foundation for your business. You’ll be able to cater directly to your customers and create your own distinctive voice and style to continue growing your brand. You can establish trust and true connection with your customers, allowing those relationships to grow right along with your business.

So, how exactly do you narrow down your own target audience?

Tips on Defining Your Target Audience

Assess Your Current Customer Base

The best way to begin defining your target audience is by assessing your current customer base. You can accomplish this by analyzing your customer demographics and psychographics.

Demographics include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Education
  • Occupation
  • Income Level & Spending Power
  • Marital Status
  • Ethnic Background

Psychographics include:

  • Values
  • Personality
  • Interests & Hobbies
  • Attitudes
  • Lifestyles
  • Behaviors

You may not need to qualify all of these, but even just a few from each category can help you get a picture of who you can start marketing to first, and what kind of niche market you can tap into further.

What are target demographics?

Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience takes demographics and psychographics to the next level. With the information you’ve just collected, you can better understand their pain points and why they may need your products. Also, you can predict any hang-ups your current, or future customers may have with engaging with your brand.

Also, begin to consider these questions:

  • Do you have more than one niche market?
  • How will your target market truly benefit from your products?
  • Will they understand or care about your brand message?
  • What drives them to make buying decisions?

Another key question is: How does your target audience engage with similar brands? (AKA: your competitors.) This brings us to yet another key point.

Study Your Competitors

Competitor analysis is still alive and well. In fact, it can be crucial when evaluating your own digital marketing strategy. Who are your competitors reaching with their marketing game?

A great way to do this is by studying their social media as a research tool:

What platforms are they using? Analyze the way they engage with their audience and what kinds of posts are earning the most engagements.

Are your competitors going after the same niche markets as you are? Strategize on how your business is different, even if your competitors’ target market is similar. If they are reaching other market bases you hadn’t considered before, think about how your business might more effectively tackle a related market.

Craft a Mission Statement

Your mission statement puts the spirit and tone of your brand vision into words. When you begin creating content to engage with your target audience, any and all of it should be framed around your mission statement. You can also look at it as a company philosophy.

To help you craft a mission statement, consider the value your product will bring to your customers:

  • Will it make their lives easier?
  • Improve their lives?
  • Entertain them?

Your business will probably fit into at least one (or even two) of these categories. Then, you can consider the how and the why.

Don’t Be Afraid to Reevaluate

Going back to that point about assessing your customer base, be sure to identify any patterns and trends. After you start implementing your new marketing strategy, it’s important to revisit your old data and reevaluate if certain aspects haven’t improved like you hoped or have actually gotten worse.

Check and see if your demographics have changed, the quality and quantity of your social media engagements, and the sales data of specific products.

How do I analyze my target audience?

Need Help Finding Your Target Audience?

Finding your target audience isn’t easy. As you can see, it requires a lot of research, fine data points, accurate information, and often professional data analytics. At Digital Resource, our team specializes in creating hands-on digital marketing strategies tailored specifically for your business.

We can help grow your brand awareness online and help reach your target audience. Our services include responsive, custom web design, creative and engaging multimedia content optimized for SEO, paid advertising and expert analytics that gets results.

Want to learn more about how a full-service internet marketing company can help you grow your business? Contact us today for a free consultation!

Alexandra is a content specialist, graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She has a passion for literature and writing, and has extensive experience in content writing for digital marketing.

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