As a marketer or business owner, understanding your target audience is vital. To put it simply, it’s the basis of everything you do with your marketing.
I know, I know. That sounds like a lot of pressure but your target audience is one of the few things you should have absolute clarity on before you start actually doing your marketing.
The other elements you want to have in place at the foundational stage of your marketing journey include:
- Your offer
- The problem you’re solving
- The transformation your product or service provides
- Your message
These are all essential, but I’m not going to zone in on them in this post. Today I’m talking specifically about the benefits of knowing your target audience, how to identify them and how to keep them coming back time and again.
Understanding your customers
You are going to have much greater success with your business if you know your audience inside out. How old are they? Are they male or female? Where do they hang out online and how do they like to consume content?
It might take some extra hours at the beginning to identify the demographics and behaviours of your potential customers, but if your marketing is tailored to your target audience from the get go, you will save yourself time in the long run.
And let’s face it, as women and mums in business, we don’t have a huge amount of time to spare. Which is why we need to ensure that our marketing is working.
For your digital marketing to be successful, it has to speak to the people you want to see it. It’s ok to appeal to everyone but you need it to speak directly to your potential customers.
So how do you uncover who these potential customers actually are?
Let me help you.
RESEARCHING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
The idea of ‘research’ sends many of us into a spin. It can be hard to get into the swing of things and often seems tedious or time consuming. But it can also be fun – truly! Plus, it really will help you to cut through all the noise online and narrow your focus to reach YOUR people and attract them to you.
To begin, I want you to dig into your current customer base. Who are they? Why do they buy from you and how did they become a customer to in the first place?
Try to build up a picture of their common characteristics by identifying:
- their age
- their gender
- their education level
- their marital status
- if they’re parents
- their income bracket
You want to find out as much as possible because it will help you to piece together who they are.
Once you’ve got a broad understanding of your current customer base, you’ll want to dig a little deeper and get to know them more intimately.
A survey is a great way to kick this research off. You can start with the entry level information listed above, but you can also ask questions about their interests, hobbies or purchasing patterns. If you want to get really personal, you could ask about their life goals or the things that keep them awake at night.
Once you’ve gathered this data, you’ll be able to create your
Ideal Customer Avatar. This will help you to reach an audience beyond your current database. Because to grow our businesses and continue to make sales we need to continuously add new customers into the sphere.
If you haven’t heard the phrase ‘Ideal Customer Avatar’ before, it’s essentially a way to create a profile of YOUR ideal customer. You can have multiple avatars but it’s best to start with one and get to know tham really well.
So give them a name. Determine their age, their job, if they’re married or have kids. Getting this granular will really help you to create content that connects with your target audience – because you’ll have your avatar in mind as you write.
Don’t be afraid of niching down precisely either. Even though you are targeting one particular demographic, it doesn’t mean that other groups won’’t see or engage with your message. But it does mean that your marketing will be much more targeted and therefore more effective.
What you have to be clear on though in your messaging. Do your customers know exactly how you can help them? Is it obvious on your website and social platforms? Try to keep in mind that you only have a few seconds to make an impression – so make it work for you!
The good news is that first impressions have nothing to do with how big your business is or how many followers you have on Facebook – if you’ve done the right research and crafted your message accordingly, you’ll connect with your target audience.
how do you make sure that you’re creating the right content for your target audience?
Content is king but if you’re not creating it for your target audience, it’s not going to serve your business in any meaningful way.
To make sure that you are creating the right content for the right people you need to research what they are searching for online.
There are a few ways you can do this. You might simply open up Google and start typing a sentence relevant to your industry and audience and see what comes up.
Or you could try the search bar in specific Facebook groups. Type in a keyword and see what questions are being asked and address them in your content.
SEO tools such as Keywords Everywhere will help you with search terms too. While a site called Answer the Public is a clever consumer insight tool that will show you what is being searched for in Google around a particular topic.
Most importantly, when producing content, make sure that it is targeted and useful. Always focus on the benefits rather than the features of your product or service.
The third bit of research you should undertake involves your competitors.
The purpose of this is to work out what makes you unique. Your audience needs to know why they should choose you over someone else, right?
So what are your competitors offering and at what price? What sort of content are they producing and how successful is it?
This will allow you to pitch yourself differently and help you stand out in the marketplace.
And don’t forget, if you are a coach or service provider and you are building a personal brand, then YOU are often the point of difference
People want to work with people, not faceless brands. Showing your target audience who you are is critical.
As easy as 1,2,3
So there you have it. The three areas of research that will help you to understand your target audience and start creating killer content for THEM.
If you need a quick refresher, these are the research steps I suggest you follow:
- Research your current customer base
- Research potential customers with a survey and common online searches
- Research your industry and competition
Now go do your research and create awesome content to draw YOUR people to your amazing business.
As always, thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out the audio version here. And please don’t be shy – I’d love to hear from you if you have questions!
Do you want to get results from your marketing? If you struggle with making money doing the thing you love, it’s time to act.