It’s no secret that every type of business needs clients (or users) in order to survive. Usually, the more, the merrier. We want everyone to use and like our products, subscribe to our newsletters and comment on our social media posts. We’re convinced our product will change everyone’s life or at least make it a bit easier.
With this attitude, we often forget about one of the most important rules in marketing: If you want to reach everyone, you will reach no one.
Taking a step back and focusing on finding people who’re truly interested in your product and the services you provide should be key.
Imagine your business as a real person. In order to develop a deep connection between you and other people and gain their trust and loyalty, you need to show them that you have similar values, speak the same language and understand their needs. You’ll then be able to create more successful campaigns and reach audiences that engage with your content. So here’s where the target audience comes in.
What is a Target Audience?
Put simply, your target audience is a group of people you want to sell your product to. You should gather as much information as possible about them in order to do this well.
Here are 5 steps for getting to know your target audience:
1. Define ‘You’
Make sure you understand what you’re bringing to the table. It’s not only about listing your features but also about presenting the real benefits of using your product. What needs does your product or service fulfill for a potential customer? How does your product or service change the industry? What’s unique about your product? Do you offer anything different than your competitors? By answering these questions, you’ll be able to define your statement and better resonate with your potential audience. Before you put yourself out there, you need to make sure you know your strengths.
2. Audience Research
- Ask the existing audience – If you have an existing customer database, set up an online survey and ask for feedback. If people like using your product, they will be happy to spend a few minutes answering some questions. You can gather information regarding your product and their motivation for using it. Also, get to know their age, location, interests, motivations, habits, etc. Just make sure the survey isn’t too long. Respect their time and balance open questions with some closed ones. Questions should be easy to understand, and the process needs to be transparent.
- Check social media analytics – Social media channels provide us with specific data regarding page followers. For example, using Facebook Insights, you’ll be able to find out who your followers are and where they are from. You can also learn about their interests and integrations with other social platforms, like Twitter. If your customers follow your social media channels, it means they care about your regular updates and want to connect with your brand on a deeper level. It’s your job to show them you know how. If the data that you find on your social media profile aren’t sufficient, you can always use Google Analytics, if you have it connected with your website. Go to “Audience” report and find out more about your page’s visitors.
- Review competitors – Check how your competitors communicate with their audience, see what online channels they are using and how they engage with their followers. You’re in the same industry, so knowing your competitors’ strategy and analyzing their behaviours gives you a deeper understanding of what people expect from using and connecting with your product or services.
- Talk to your Customer Support Team – If you have a dedicated team or person within your company responsible for communicating with customers daily, these are the people to go to when it comes to defining your target audience. They already have a great understanding of your customers’ needs and desires. This information is gold for building a proper overview of your recipients.
3. Build your personas
After gathering all this information, you’ll have a better understanding of whom you’re talking to. Now it’s time to build user personas. Choose the most common characteristics for your personas. Give them names and ages and describe their interests, values, attitudes, ways of spending free time, desires and expectations towards your product or service. Treat them as real people. Print out their images on the wall and imagine you’re talking to them while preparing your next Facebook post.
Make sure to define the way you communicate with your audience. Are you talking to students or young professionals? Do you want to sound more official, or are you allowing some slang or inside jokes? Set up communication guidelines, define content strategy and choose the right online channels for your campaigns.
4. Start testing
Apply everything you’ve learned to your first social campaigns. Test your approach and see how your audience resonates with your messages. Do the visuals match the tone of voice? Is the language appropriate for your target group? Remember to be consistent across all channels; otherwise, you’ll send your customers the signal that you’re a confused brand that changes faces based on circumstances. So keep testing different creatives and adapt according to your customers’ needs, but make sure you don’t lose your brand identity.
5. Revisit your research
Check your analysis and data regularly to see how trends are shifting and how they affect people’s behaviour. There might be some new online platforms coming out that are worth testing. Others might slowly fall out of favour, so you need to monitor the situation and revisit your strategy often.
If you want to learn more about how MONSOON can help you define your target audience, contact us. We’ll make sure to create a personalized online marketing strategy for your business that aligns with your customers’ needs.