When sitting down to set up a marketing plan establishing who is your target audience must be part of the core foundation of any strategy. Even if your product appeals to a broad range of prospective customers, it does not make sense to market to everyone.
So, what is a target market? To identify your target market, you need to identify the people who want or need what you’re offering.
Targeting, or “segmenting” these people means you’ll be able to build your plan for the right audience, efficiently using your resources to impress and attract your potential customers. Defining a specific target market allows a company to hone in on factors to reach and connect with customers through their sales and marketing efforts.
Your customers are more than a name in a database. By segmenting your followers and client base allows you to build posts to specific audiences based on needs, expectations, location, age, and behaviours.
Narrowing your audience down to things like gender and age is essential because this will give you the ability to run different social media campaigns/images geared to men vs. women including age-appropriate filters drawing them to purchase your item. You might think you are catering specifically to men when you are selling to wives and girlfriends who are shopping for their fellas.
Here are three steps to follow when identifying your target market:
- Identify why a customer would buy your product or service
- Segment your overall market
- Research your market
- There are specific characteristics you should consider when determining your target audience.
A benchmark that describes a precise part of the population that would purchase your product. These can include:
- Marital Status
- Educational Level
You can also narrow down your audience based on geography or location. You can pick a neighbourhood, city, province/state, or country. You can also specify via distance. For example, you can target customers within a specific radius of your city. Alternatively, you can target customers within your town and the cities that surround it.
For those who want to run an online business for customers or clients worldwide, you might not need to set a location. Still, it’s possible that as your business grows, you’ll see some cities or countries where most of your customers are located. You can specifically target those areas later or switch to other locations that can bring in new customers from places you want to expand in.
Unlike demographics, a group’s psychographics is more challenging to guess externally, since these are more relevant to their personality. Here is some audience psychographics you can specify:
- Interests and lifestyle
These could include topics of interest, hobbies, regular activities, and behaviours. Some examples:
- Healthy lifestyle devotee
- Sports enthusiasts
- Motivational buff
- Racing Admirer
You can also specify what your ideal audience believes about a topic or issue, for instance:
People who value shopping local rather than large big box stores, or people who are concerned about a specific issue such as climate change, educational reform, or environmental issues.
You must look at the different social media channels and find out where your target audience is spending the most amount of time. Surveys are an essential component of content marketing best practices. It is a good idea to survey your real customers and ask which social networks they prefer. As part of your survey, ask your current customers the following questions:
- What is your favourite social media site?
- Do you regularly read blogs? (please, name them)
- What sorts of people do you follow on social?
When identifying your target market, you need to use at least two characteristics from the above list to determine your audience. When you use two distinguishing traits it narrows your market rather than using a broad-spectrum approach.
Regardless of the size of your business, anyone can effectively identify an under-serviced-market. By focusing resources on a specific customer segment, a small business may be able to better serve a target market than its larger competitors. Once you know whom you are targeting, it is much easier to make decisions on your marketing allocations.
Thanks for reading, until next month!