Regardless of how good your marketing content is, it won’t do much if it falls into the wrong audience. For your efforts to bear fruits, it’s important to spend some time learning about your customers, and understanding who your target audience is. From who they are to what they want, and how to best engage them.
Researching your audience is vital to developing an efficient content strategy. Understanding the customer will not only help you appeal to them better, but it will also help you determine the right message, medium, and even the timing, for any and all marketing efforts.
In this small guide, we’ll provide you with our top tips to help you get to know your audience better. Let’s get started!
What is a target audience?
A target audience is the group of consumers who are the most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Therefore, it’s the group of specific people that your marketing campaigns and content should target, much as the name implies.
This means that these people are the most likely to positively respond to marketing messages, as they’re predisposed to be interested.
The factors that will define your target audience can vary. It could be a specific age group or gender, or it could be a specific location. Sometimes it’s determined by income or lifestyle. But what’s certain, is that interests and needs will be very likely factors.
In some cases, the target audience can be quite broad, which can seem easier, but it brings about fiercer competition from other brands. In other cases, the target audience can be niche, which requires a greater understanding of who the customers are.
Of course, you can have target audiences within the target audience. For example, you could sell pink clothes, which would most likely require targeting a female audience. Or you could sell pink ballet clothes, which would then require specifically targeting ballet dancers.
How to determine your target audience:
To determine who your target audience is, you have to analyse consumer habits and market trends relating to your brand and similar. For this, it’s vital to collect data from your customer patterns, until you figure out the common factors. This should eventually allow you to create an audience persona, on which you can then base your marketing efforts.
Here are some of our tips:
Look at your existing customers
One of the best ways to determine the type of consumer you should target is to analyse the consumers that already use your brand. Who are they? Break them down into demographics, and figure out what they all have in common. Chances are, others like them will also be interested!
Keeping an eye on who your competitors are targeting is a great way to utilise their market research for your benefit. But also, it can help you develop strategies to win over their consumers, so they become yours!
Conduct market research
Market research will provide insight into who your industry benefits, and how. This will further help establish who you should be targeting, but what’s more, it can indicate potential business opportunities. Your brand could fill in a market hole, by targeting a part of the audience that hasn’t been targeted before.
Use the right tools
There are many tools for helping determine your target audience. Google Analytics, in particular, is great for collecting data about your site’s traffic. This can show you what parts of your content your audience is engaging with, and which ones don’t have as much appeal.
Create a persona
Using your data, create a ‘persona’ of your target audience to help develop a stronger understanding. Identify things such as their age, gender, location, occupation and income, and some of their favourite hobbies. Giving them a name is not necessary, but it makes it more fun!
How to research your audience:
Once you’ve determined who your audience is, it’s time to research them to gain a better understanding of who they are, what they want, and how you can appeal to them as a business.
Here are some of our top audience researching tips:
Deconstruct your consumers
Similar to what you would do when defining your target audience, break them down into demographics and get a good picture of who they are. But most importantly, figure out why your brand appeals to them and why they need or want what you provide.
Ask existing customers about their experience
This is a great way of getting reliable information for your audience research. You can create customer surveys on your site, or interview customers to get feedback on their experience of your brand.
Research the competition
Analysing your competitor’s audience will provide you with insights on your own potential base of consumers, and how they compare. Look at their reviews, their social media engagement, their marketing campaigns, and more, so you can take those things into account when designing your own.
Ask the audience directly
Focus groups, polls, surveys… There are many ways to directly communicate with the audience and ask them what they want, and what works for them. You can do this through your own brand mediums, or you could even invest in third-party information.
Experiment through trial and error
Sometimes experience is truly the best teacher. You can implement different experimental strategies to test how the audience responds, using the data to refine future marketing campaigns and business strategies.
Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an online brand’s best friend. Although it won’t give you all the answers, this tool can help you understand the behavioural patterns of those visiting your site. Information such as what sites they are coming from, what location your consumer base is in, or even which content is gaining the most traction. It all helps paint a picture as to what your audience is doing and how they engage with your site.
Researching your audience will allow you to develop a better understanding of your customers, and what they want from you. Marketing is much more efficient when it is targeted, and doing so will improve your brand’s communication with consumers, making it all the more appealing.