If you’ve ever taken a course in marketing or business, you know that knowing your target audience, who your customers are, is essential. This drives what you make/sell, how you market your business, and where. If your target market is young adults, using marketing on Facebook isn’t going to help you sell as well as if you were on Instagram or Tiktok.
A target audience is a particular group of consumers within the predetermined target market. They are identified as the targets or recipients for a specific advertisement or message, such as new moms between the ages of 28 – 35. Target audiences are a critical factor in most businesses’ decision making for marketing strategy, where to spend money on ads, how to appeal to their customers, and even what product to build and launch next.
These audiences are also used to create a business’s buyer persona, the ideal customer for said business. Many factors go into creating this, like, age, gender, location, career, etc.
All this information helps a business to understand how their customers are and how they make purchasing decisions.
Target audiences and target marketing don’t mean that you are trying to be exclusionary; instead, you are using your marketing dollars to the fullest. You can’t be everything to everybody, especially if you are starting out. By narrowing down your target audience and marketing to those specific people, you can make the most of your marketing budget. Once you have a core base of customers, you can begin to market to other subcultures of your target audience!
Here are three tips on finding your target audience:
1. Look at Your Current Customer Base
Who are the people that are currently buying from you? Who are the people that are engaging with you on your social media platforms now?
As you go through this, look for common characteristics, traits, and interests. These are a few things you may want to consider:
- Age: This doesn’t have to be specific; even a range is excellent. Figure out what decade or generation they are in. The needs and wants of some in their 30’s are very different than those in their 60’s, the same goes for boomers and gen z’s.
- Where They are in Life (Stage): Is your target audience at University? Are they new parents? Did they retire?
- Gender: If your customers identify as female, male, non-binary, etc., it is important to know. Statistically speaking, men and women purchase and shop in very different ways.
- Location and Time Zone: Where does your audience live? If you are located in Canada, but the people who buy from you most are in England, you need to know this. This will help you to schedule posts for their time zone and create ads that resonate with them. It helps you to figure out what hours you operate in your present location.
- Language: What language does your target audience speak? It may not be the language that you use or the language of the majority in their own country.
2. Look to Your Competition
Businesses that are similar to you will have a target audience that is also similar to what yours will be. Take away some of the work by looking at who they are selling to and who their target audience is.
You don’t have to go after their same customers, but you can see who they are selling to, and in the process, you may even find your own niche target audience. They could be reaching segments you hadn’t thought of or uniquely positioning themselves.
3. Choose Specific Demographics to Target
Once you’ve done number one and two, you can begin to build your target market. Look at the product you are selling and then think about how it is most likely to purchase from you.
As you build your target audience, see if there is a niche that you can market to. You should consider these factors as you choose your specific demographics:
- Education level
- Marital Status
- Ethnic Background
When creating your target audience, try not to be too specific and remember that you can have more than one niche target audience. If you do have more than one, ensure that your marketing is different for each, target audiences and target marketing isn’t a one size fits all.