You probably know that the internet hosts over 4.6 billion people. With that many people, it can be hard to identify the right audience for your business. If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, here is what you need to know:
Not everyone on the web is going to do business with you. Chances are your potential customers or clients are an incredibly small fraction of global web users.
The good thing about digital marketing is that it allows you to target a specific audience, unlike traditional marketing platforms like radio or TV.
So, if you’re tired of wasting ad spend on uninterested eyeballs, learn how to find and target the right people across channels from Facebook to Google.
One of the prime objectives of marketing is to help you get more qualified leads, people that really need your product or service, no matter what channel you use to spread your message. If you don’t know about your buyers, there’s no way to efficiently sell to them.
What Is A Target Audience?
Before we dig deep, let’s define the term ‘target audience’.
Simply put, it’s the selection of prospective customers to whom you want to sell your products or services. The strategy is about segmenting the market, highlighting which parts of the market are appropriate for your product. If you offer more than one product or service, your business may need to attract multiple groups of potential customers.
Here is what Andrew Flanagan, an executive director at Lenovo has to say about this:
“ Audience targeting is absolutely essential as we design a campaign and think about the audience we are trying to reach.”
People who make up your target audience share some common characteristics including demographics, psychographics, buying power, and buying geography. The more you know about your audience, the better.
- What are their demographics (age range, interests, job titles, location, etc.)?
- What are their psychographics (preferences, lifestyle, attitude, behaviors, etc)?
Let’s say you sell or promote a B2B SaaS solution. Your target audience could be men and women, ages 30-45 who earn at least $500,000 annually. You can use more variables to further narrow down your audience.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you reaching the right people?
- Is your audience love to interact with your content?
No? If you’re not putting your content in front of the right people, your marketing efforts and budget are going down the drain.
Here is what you need to do to get it fixed and identify the right audience for your business:
1. Start With Your ‘Why”
Have you heard the phrase “know thyself”?
If you want to know others, start with knowing yourself. When it comes to business and marketing, you must answer the following questions before developing any marketing strategy:
Why does your business exist?
- Why did you start your company?
- What kind of problems do your products solve?
Did you know why so many companies fail? They lack clarity around these questions. Clarifying why your company exists will help you understand who your customers are.
2. Use a Funnel Approach
Your market selection process would probably look like a funnel – you start with a large group of people and then narrow it down. For example, if your product or service is location-specific, you can narrow down your audience based on their location. The second filter could be gender or age range and then income level and so on.
You’ll eventually identify the right audience for your business as you move through more filters. Facebook advertising gives you more control over how you target a specific audience using various filters.
3. Don’t Go Too Broad
A case study from Harvard Business Review compared Google and Yahoo to study how these giants diverge over the decades. It’s interesting to see how Yahoo tried to be everything targeting everyone, while Google focused on specific audiences exploring new possibilities over time.
So, if you want to be successful, find and serve the smallest niche you can. When you serve a small group of people, it turns out to be a launching platform where you can expand your audience and the scope of your work.
Pro Tip: Double down on your strengths and stop focusing on areas you’re not good at.
4. Define the Core Values of Your Products
You probably have a vague picture of your ideal customers who most likely to be interested in the core values your products or services offer. Let me explain this with an example:
Let’s say your company manufactures a foldable baby stroller. What kind of parents do you think would like to have that feature or value? Maybe the parents who travel frequently would be your ideal customers.
So, write down the core values your products or services offer and then identify people that prioritize those values.
5. Don’t Forget to Capitalize On Existing Data
If you’ve been in business for quite some time, you probably have some data or information to draw on. For example, what demographic groups like to do business with you or buy your products or why a particular group of people like a certain aspect of your business. You can gather plenty of insights by studying your existing customers.
Didn’t get my point? Let me give you an example:
Let’s say you run a fast-food restaurant. Now, what you have to do is just spend a few hours at your restaurant and observe: what kind of pizza each person buys, how old is each person that buys a particular drink, what are their ethnicity, what time of the day your restaurant receives the most customers, etc.
You can also go online and see what kind of people are visiting your website or interacting with your content on social media.
Now, use all that information to develop a better understanding of your prospective customers.
Pro Tip: Build a lookalike audience on Facebook using information such as email addresses of your customers or people who browse through your website.
- Study your competition to identify your prospective customers.
- Listen to your social media followers to understand their needs and concerns.
- Evaluate social media profiles of those who love to interact with your content.
- Build an ideal customer avatar.
- Run surveys to learn more about leads that converted into paying customers.
Understand your niche and own it. Once you successfully identify the right audience for your business, excite them with highly targeted content. That’s the only way you can establish a profitable and sustainable online presence for your company.