Guide to targeting audiences
Targeting audiences of people who are interested in buying the goods or services that you sell is the cornerstone of effective marketing, regardless of the industry you serve. Understanding your audience is a key part of this, as is knowing how to find your target audience and reach out to them in the way that they are most likely to respond to.
But what is a target audience, and how can you reach them? If you need help to define, locate, target, and reach out to your potential buyer demographics, we’ve got you covered. Read on for a simple guide to targeting audiences to get you off on the right foot.
Find your audience
So, who is your target audience? This is the very first question you need to ask yourself, and finding the answer takes time and research.
A target audience is a certain demographic of people who share a range of common traits, and who might be interested in buying what you offer, or that you may be able to create demand for within the group.
Target groups are made up of unconnected individuals that all fulfill certain criteria, and so to define target audiences and know what demographics to target, you first have to be able to identify them.
Target audience definitions can be grouped according to their shared traits – usually a combination of traits. This tells you how to describe a target audience in terms that you can work with. An example of a target demographic might be:
• Aged between 18-30.
• Living in the UK.
• Regularly using their phones to access the internet or find things to do.
• Sharing a common interest, or regularly visiting a certain type of website or playing a certain type of game.
This is a fairly precisely defined audience analysis, and different target audiences may be much broader than this, or even narrower again!
Define target audience demographics
How to know your audience and what they want depends on being able to define them, or recognize the things they have in common. This gives you the insights that you need to know how to target clients that will buy from you, rather than spending a lot of time and potentially, money taking a very broad or unfocused approach to marketing and hoping that some of the people you reach will buy from you.
Different target audiences want different things – and respond to different types of approaches too. Knowing your marketing audience types and the type of selling approaches that they respond to will enable you to ensure that you market your offerings in the right way – the most effective way.
Audience segmentation is important, because there may well be several different target audiences that are very distinct from each other, but that are all potential customers. Understanding target audiences and how they differ from each other will give you the necessary insights to know how to target customers in the most appropriate way.
These are target audience categories, and defining your audience in different segments and taking an individual, personalized approach to each segment is the best way to maximize your sales.
Target audience research
“Who is our target audience” is one of the most important questions to ask yourself when it comes to planning your marketing to maximize your sales.
Begin with your product or service, and think about the type of people who will be interested in buying it – and those that won’t. Ruling out people who won’t buy what you offer is just as important as determining who is your target audience, to ensure that you don’t waste resources that won’t return any profit.
Researching and selecting target audiences
Target audience marketing is about more than simply finding out who might be willing to buy from you – it also means finding the right approach to take to reach out to them. This involves finding out where and how they use the internet, and the type of angle or approach that resonates with them, so that you can tailor your approach to the one that is best suited to your prospects and so, most likely to boost sales.
Types of a target audience
How to define your audience is one of the first things to establish, and the parameters you set for this is up to you. Working with a very broad definition – for example, targeting either just men or just women with no other parameters – might seem like a good approach because your potential pool of buyers will be huge, but the more narrowly you can define your demographics (within reason) the more effective your final approach is likely to be.
To pinpoint your audience, beginning with a broad approach can be very helpful – and will give you a good place to start from to narrow it down. Some of the main metrics you might use to define your target audience include:
• Physical location.
• Level of disposable income.
• Means of accessing the internet.
• Browsing and search patterns.
• Purchase history.
• Pain points and needs that you have a solution to.
• Websites, apps, and games used regularly.
• Blogs and social media platforms used.
How to do a target market analysis
Finding your target audience and narrowing down their shared traits is just the start; you need to undertake a thorough target market analysis before you start to throw time and money at your target audience marketing.
The main factors to consider here are:
• Is your target audience interested in what you offer, or can you make them interested?
• Do they have the cash to buy it from you? Interest is one thing – lots of people are interested in luxury goods and high-flying lifestyles, but not everyone can really afford them!
• Can you identify where they hang out online, and how they use the internet?
• Can you reach out to them via the websites, social media portals, games, or apps they use in order to get the word out?
• Are you able to identify and tailor an approach that will resonate with them and drive sales?
• Do your goods or services follow through on their promise, and offer quality and value?
• Are your competitors successful in targeting your audience of choice, and can you emulate or better this success?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” you’re not ready to launch a campaign – so keep researching and fine-tuning your approach until you are.