You’re a great business with a great product. You have one problem, however. You don’t know your target audience or where to look for them. No matter how good your product is, your sales funnel will shrink faster than a wool jumper in a 90-degree wash if the people who want your product don’t even know it exists.
Target audience definition
There are billions of people using the internet the world over so unless you’re offering free 5-star luxury holidays it’s unlikely billions of internet users will be interested in your product, or service. But you might be lucky enough to secure just enough customers to generate a positive ROI for your company.
The real objective is to find a core group of like-minded people with common characteristics that will have a genuine interest in your product and you can direct your marketing efforts.
But to be successful in targeting your target audience you have to know and understand them – and that’s the tricky part. In this blog, we’ll explore 7 easy yet effective ways to help you find and connect with your target audience.
1. Talk to the customers you have
If you have a B2B business you already have a customer base so when you talk to them in person or email, or by phone, just casually ask about the types of publications they read, how they are kept informed about trends in their industry and the social media channels they are most active on.
Research social media platforms to get a feel for the communities and conversations that are suited to your business. Follow hashtags, keywords and mentions and do this frequently so you can prioritise the best channels to build your strategy.
2. Create relevant personas
Creating personas will be helpful to create a picture of who your audience is. Personas are fictional characters that we believe have traits of our customers. You can build a customer persona around things like lifestyle, interest, the social networks they use, and the purchasing power they have.
Personas are useful but a lot of research needs to be done to create solid personas that will accurately reflect the audience you are trying to reach and key information like age, gender, job title, and pain points will be beneficial in crafting them.
Get your team involved and do a brainstorming session to figure out how many personas you want to create and don’t forget to name them!
3. How to find your target audience online
Your target audience is using social platforms so the key is distributing your content to the right channels. Platforms you can use include LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram but rather than spread your efforts thinly by posting content to every channel post only on the channels where your content is receiving the most engagement.
Different channels have different demographics so it’s worth exploring the types of users that use each channel to make your marketing efforts more effective.
Google Analytics is also a great tool to learn more about your customers and see your website insights broken into different categories so you’ll get a quick understanding of how your content is being received and who it is interacting with.
4. Use ads to target audiences
How to target audience on Facebook
A filter button provides options like interests, gender, age and location to help you select audience types that fit your target persona. See here for information on the business platform’s audience selection tools.
How to target audience on Instagram
You can target your ad to a specific audience based on targeting options available on the business’s Instagram account. See here for a quick how-to.
How to target audience on Twitter
Twitter business has targeting tools to reach your audience type. See here for a comprehensive list of ways to reach the people you want to engage with. Tweets with hashtags get better engagement. 😉
How to target your audience using LinkedIn
Use the professional network for a precision targeting experience based on things like their job titles, the name of the company and their professional interests. More on targeting the right audience on LinkedIn can be found here.
5. Reach out to an influencer
Approach key influencers in your space who already have a strong following. These could be thought leaders on a podcast, or YouTube and will use their platform to drum up some positive noise about your business.
A Hubspot survey found that 68% of marketers’ companies work with influencers on social media.
Use the marketing tool BuzzSumo to help you identify influencers to support your content strategy.
6. Keep close tabs on the competition
Learn from your competitors. Monitor what they are doing right and use the platforms where there is successful engagement.
Also, analyse your competitor’s content to see what is resonating with audiences because the information you acquire could contribute to your marketing strategy and help your product or service stand out from your competitor.
7. Develop a content strategy
Once you have connected with your audience it’s important to create content regularly to manage engagement. Hubspot reports that most marketers surveyed post on social media up to six times a week.
Know where your target audience spends their time and observe the content you post so you can become acutely aware of what content your audience is reacting to. Google Analytics allows you to see how users are interacting with your content.
The old proverb comes to mind…
“If the Mountain won't go to Mohammed, then Mohammed must come to the Mountain.”
Think of your target audience as the mountain so the onus is on you to find a way to get your product in front of the people who might just want to buy it.
Successful marketing is about building connections and relationships with an audience that will lead to increased conversions and sales. In identifying your target audience you’ve made the first critical step in the journey to better understanding them.
Regularly interacting on platforms they use will create more impactful and meaningful engagement where you can learn what their pain points are, how to resolve them and create high-value content that fully addresses their needs.