The Best Way to Find Your Target Audience
A successful content marketing begins with identifying who you are talking to, trying to sell to or work with. This is key to getting the results you’re looking for. It’s important to take your time with this so you can identify who you’re trying to reach, what they look for, and what their pain points are.
What is a Target Audience?
A target audience is consumers grouped by behavior, demographics, age, and location. For example, female life coaches between the ages of 25 and 65.
Target audiences are the foundation of most successful businesses because it affects the decision-making process for content marketing strategies.
It determines where to spend your money on ads, how to satisfy your customers, and what products will sell.
Everybody knows about Vans. I love Vans. They’ve been around since 1966 with consumers all around the world. Their shoes are super comfortable and they come in many styles. Many people love vans too.
I was recently checking out their Instagram page to keep up with them and something stood out to me. Vans has a different Instagram page for each of its target audiences, and they have a lot of audiences.
Vans has an account for girls, another for skating, one for surfing, and there is the general Vans page. There is also a Vans account for several countries. Check it out for yourself and you will see what I am talking about.
Each of these different accounts resonates with a specific customer — a target audience. The skateboarding page is just for skaters, the surfing page for surfers, and the girl's page, well, is just for girls. I found this to be very interesting!
This strategy shows Van’s deep understanding of marketing to resonate with each of their target audience.
Big companies like Vans and others can afford to cater to each of their unique audiences, but having multiple audiences might not be for every business. A single audience can do just well.
Targeting a specific audience helps you reach the right people who can relate to your brand’s message and products.
Steps To Finding Your Target Audience
1. Know what you can do
Understand what you bring to the table. Before you target your perfect customer, you need to know what you do best and why a new customer should believe in you.
Ask yourself what a customer could use you for. What unique skill of yours is relevant to a customer. What skill do you possess that can help solve a pain point?
2. What makes you stand out?
A lot of other marketers can do what you can do. What makes you different? If you’re the same as your completion, that gives your target customer a lot of other options.
If they are not satisfied with your performance, what stops them from finding someone else? Someone cheaper who can do the same thing you can do?
If you lack a unique skill set that separates you from the competition, you will be always competing. Identify what you can do best that no one else can compete. Something that will be noticed and missed when it's no longer around.
3. Create a marketing persona
An audience, buyer, or marketing persona. There are so many names, but they have the same meaning. It is the first step to visualizing your audience as you write. A marketing persona is an idea of your target audience. When you picture an individual, you can properly tailor your content to them.
To create the perfect marketing persona, think about who may need what you have to offer and then create a persona to represent them. You can give them a name, age, location, and position.
Then as you map out your marketing strategy, you keep your persona in mind and ensure what you are doing fits who you are targeting. The best way to get started is to break it down into 4 different steps:
- What does your ideal target customer look like? How old are they and where are they located? Are they the owner of the business? Is their business successful or struggling?
- What would make them buy from you? What are their pain points and what do they struggle with?
- What is their buying process? Are they even looking to buy right now? Do they need approval from someone else or they make all the decisions?
- How can you get yourself in front of them? Where are they hanging out? LinkedIn? Quora? Facebook? What type of content do they look for? Blogs? Podcasts or videos?
You need personas to help you deliver content that will be most relevant and useful to your audience.Without a marketing persona, you will be playing a guessing game on what your target audience needs. You will only be creating content you know best instead of the information your audience is actually searching for.
4. Create a reader persona for blogs
As you did with creating marketing personas, you can create reader personas for people who read your blog posts. Think of the challenges your potential customer or reader may have, address them, and write content that offers solutions.
A reader persona is useful if you are trying to publish articles to a publication. Let’s say you are a new writer trying to get published to Better Marketing or any other publication. To write content that fits Better Marketing’s audience, you will have to understand the publication’s audience. Your reader persona for Better Marketing could be something like “Marketers or Salespeople between the ages of 25–45 or Seasoned Writers of all ages on Medium.’’
If readers or potential customers find useful content on your blog, it builds your reputation and they will have you in mind when they need specific guidance or are looking to hire a professional.
5. Use Google and social media analytics
Google Analytics is a great tool to learn more about your potential customers, obtain demographic details about your audience, as well as their interests. You’ll be able to see website insights and performance.
Facebook has an insights page similar to Google analytics where you see critical information needed to create a target audience. On your page’s dashboard, you can see demographic insights like age, gender, and location so you can understand who and from where your visitors are. Twitter also has an analytics page. Visually appealing content would thrive on Instagram.
Every platform is different and has a different audience, so looking at your analytics across all platforms can be helpful in your marketing strategy. By looking at what pages are captivating your audience, you can repurpose content that isn’t and promote the content that is.
Target audiences are important. If you don’t figure out who your audience is, you’ll find yourself shouting to everybody and talking to no one at all. Defining who your real audience is will help you focus not only on creating great content but on creating the right content that establishes you as an authority in your industry.
You have to know who you are and what you are capable of, then find the audience who can use your unique skill set. When your audience feels as if you are speaking directly to them and addressing their problems, you are more likely to convert them into customers or simply gain their trust. Great content can naturally attract an audience, but it does not guarantee the best audience.
For further reading:
The Difference Between Copywriting and Content Writing
And how to decide which one you’ll do best at