Defining Your Target Audience: 5 Essential Steps to Follow
Running a business is not just about introducing a high-quality product or service to the market and observing how well it performs in terms of attracting customers and generating sales. In order for your product or service to be viable, you must understand for whom exactly it is intended and what problem it solves in the first place. Knowing your target audience will help answer those questions.
In this article, we will lead you through the process of defining your target audience – one of the most critical variables in your digital marketing strategy. Apart from determining your target audience’s demographics and marketing psychographics, you also need to consider their shopping habits and what their expectations towards your product are. You could also take a closer look at your competition. Continue reading and learn how to find your target audience.
Step #1: Define Your Business Goals
Every company, including yours, needs a clear goal that motivates them to achieve their success. Aside from short-term goals like increasing customer satisfaction by 20%, you also need to think long-term and create a mission statement that will serve you as a compass to success. If you have a concrete idea of what you stand for, it might be easier to define your target audience.
For example, Nike’s vision is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world, and so their target audience is everybody interested in physical activity. If you want to, for example, sell luxury goods, then you will probably target a high-income audience.
Step #2: Develop Personas
Now that you have determined your business goals, it is time to take a step back and see things from your customer’s perspective. This will enable you to create personas that represent your ideal customer.
A persona is an imaginary character based on your research findings. It will include information such as age, gender, race, income level, education level, etc., as well as information on their household composition, lifestyle, and even the kind of car they drive. This way, you will be able to better understand your customers’ needs and how they behave when they are shopping online.
A good guideline is to create 3-5 personas that represent your best customers. For instance, for a business that enables people to buy nangs online, a local restaurant owner can be a great example of a target persona. Keep in mind that the personas should be based on real customers, not on stereotypes.
Step #3: Conduct a Research on Your Audience
To develop personas that are more than just descriptions of your ideal customers, you will also have to find out what exactly they expect from your product or service. A good way to do this is to create a questionnaire for your existing customers in which you ask them about their lifestyles and preferences. You should also use this questionnaire as a starting point for creating new personas based on their responses.
Another way to better understand your customers’ needs is by doing extensive research on the internet. Look at the content your target audience shares on social media, search for information on any forums where they participate in discussions, and check out their blogs. Look at how they behave online, which brands they like and dislike, and what topics they prefer to talk about. All these insights will help you develop personas that represent your target audience and determine their needs.
Step #4: Analyze Your Competitors’ Target Audience
Now that you have defined your target audience, the next step is to analyse your competitors as they are a great source of information. Being in the niche for some time already, they have conducted market research and will therefore have a better understanding of the target audience.
By analysing your competitors’ marketing strategy, you can get a clear picture of your potential customers’ needs, interests, and buying habits. You will also learn which marketing strategies are effective or which efforts are wasted. Moreover, you might study the problems your target customers are already facing, so you can offer them valuable solutions, increasing your business attractiveness.
Step #5: Determine Your Target Audience’s Buying Habits
As we mentioned earlier, the primary purpose of determining your target audience is to understand what kind of people benefit from your product or service. Therefore, you must consider their buying habits and preferences. If you realise that many of your customers buy the same products in bulk or prefer to choose other brands rather than yours, you need to adjust your marketing tactics accordingly.
For example, if you sell electronic devices, you need to know which devices are mostly purchased together. Additionally, you should also consider whether your customers prefer to buy online or offline, as well as how much they spend on average when making a purchase. Knowing these details will allow you to create a clear digital marketing strategy that will lead your target audience to make a purchase.
Defining your target audience is an essential element in every digital marketing strategy. It is all about understanding who will be interested in your product or service and why they should choose it over other brands.
Remember that knowing your target audience is not just about knowing who they are and their demographics, but also their buying habits and preferences. This way, you will be able to attract the right customers to your brand while keeping the focus on those who matter most to your business goals. Good luck!