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So here goes!
We all talk and act a different way depending on who we’re around.
The way you speak with your grandmother over afternoon tea will be vastly different from the way you talk to your boss or chat with your friends at a pub.
So, in a sense, the idea of knowing your audience is something that’s built into all of us.
When it comes to marketing, this concept is similar except you’re doing it on a larger scale.
Obviously, it’s a bit different from the difference between your grandma and your work friends. Because of the size of your audience, in marketing, it’s impossible to personally know all your (potential) customers.
While we’re not asking you to do the impossible and get to know everyone on a one-to-one basis, there are ways to make your business feel more personal to visitors.
Customers will respond to a more personal experience with your brand. Convenience is a massive factor for consumers. Things like personalised recommendations and vouchers stand out as making their lives just that little bit easier.
Plus with email and social media marketing, some might say that the opportunities to get personal with your marketing are greater than ever. These avenues give you a chance to speak to your customers in a way that’s almost as good as sitting down for coffee.
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How Does Targeting Help My Business?
As well as making your customers’ experience smoother, a strong understanding of your audience can make your business run better and more profitable.
For marketers and business owners, targeting and segmentation help to deliver a more focused campaign from their web design and ads through to their content marketing.
After all, there’s no use trying to please everyone all the time. Part of identifying your target audience is knowing who makes the most valuable customers and targeting them. In this article we’re going to look over the following topics to understand how to make your marketing more focused for your audience:
● The types of customers
● How to identify a target audience
● How to build a buyer persona
● How to write for your audience
Being able to spot and identify the different types of customers will help you build your targeting strategy.
1. Casual users. These customers will only use your service or product once or twice. For example: in my case, I never undertake DIY projects but have still needed to buy a screwdriver on one or two occasions.
2. Core users. These will make up the majority of your customer base. They’ll buy fairly regularly. For example, they might be the kind of person who likes to take on DIY projects – maybe building a shed or fence every month and enjoys upgrading to flashier power tools.
3. Power users. These are like the regulars at bars, pubs, or restaurants. The kinds of people that walk in, ask the waiter about their children and then order “the usual.” In the context of the DIY business, this person buys tools in bulk for a building company he’s operating. Power users are rarer and should be prized highly. They’ll be interacting with your brand a lot and will be invested in your business.
Focusing on core and power users will make up most of your strategy. Look at who your strongest customers are and find out what they have in common so that you can attract more high-value customers.
2. How To Identify Your Target Audience
If you’re just starting out you’ll have to use a bit of common sense and guesswork. You might want to start by thinking about people you know and asking yourself if they would make good customers. If the answer is yes, try and figure out what categories they fit into.
You can also use the process of elimination. Start writing down people who wouldn’t be good customers and a clearer picture of your ideal customer will start to emerge.
You can then start looking at similar businesses and analysing their audience and marketing to see who they’re targeting.
Understanding your target audience becomes a whole lot easier after you start getting a few customers. Once you’ve got a bit of an audience you can use analytics data to get a clearer picture of who is interacting with you the most and compare this with your target audience model.
Of course, the best way to find out who your buyers are is to get the information straight from the horse’s mouth. Creating marketing surveys can give you precious insight into your audience that you couldn’t find out otherwise.
3. Building a buyer persona
A buyer persona is a collection of the attributes of your ideal customer compressed into a fictional person. The process of creating a buyer persona is kind of like building a Sim.
You can start simple with their demographics by identifying things like:
● Marital Status
Then you can get more specific and get into what’s known as “Psychographics.” This deals with the customer’s mindset, personality, and finding out what makes them tick. The kinds of problems and desires they have will give you an idea of where your business can fit into their lives. Ask yourself:
● What are their pain points?
● What motivates them?
● What are their likes and dislikes?
Try and walk a mile in your buyer’s shoes. Do they have pets? Are they the kind of person who watches football? It might not seem immediately relevant but for marketing and brand voice it’s crucial to have a sense of the subjects that interest your customer base.
4. How To Write For Your Audience
To write for your audience you need to be able to think like them. Whether you’re writing blog posts or product descriptions, you should be speaking to the customer in a way that makes them feel understood.
Let’s take content marketing as an example. When coming up with blog and video ideas, you need to write things based on your target audience’s interests. Your content should be catered to and curated like a niche magazine for your buyer persona.
So, if you run a local landscaping company, you might know that a lot of your customers care about the environment. Consequently, it would be a good idea to write a blog post on preserving biodiversity.
Your brand voice should also be built around your target audience.
The way different age demographics and professions expect to be talked to will differ widely. The way you talk to the 15-19 streetwear crowd will be radically different from the 30-39 middle-class tech nerd. The wrong voice can go down like a death metal concert in a nursing home.
5. Reviewing Your Target Audience
Once you’ve got an audience underway, you can analyse them to gain a more specific understanding of who they are and how they interact with your brand. While your buyer persona work is very important, you should constantly update and improve on it using the data of the actual people.
You can do this using something known as segmentation. Segmentation is an amazing tool that lets you divide the visitors on your site into segments based on things like age and location, as well as more specific factors like whether or not they made a purchase or how long they spent on the site.
This is a great way to measure user engagement and the success of your marketing campaigns as well as discovering new audiences you might not have otherwise known you had.
Here are just a few examples of the amazing metrics offered by segmentation:
● Behaviour – Possibly the most important. This data shows you everything from how long people spend on your site to whether or not they made a purchase.
● Conversions from the source – Knowing which people make up the bulk of your conversions is important, but monitoring where most of your customers are coming from adds a depth of insight. For example, you can look at how much of your converted traffic comes from organic vs paid search for example.
● New Users – This is an important metric to measure growth by and also lets you see which specific pages on your website are drawing in the freshest traffic.
● Device Used – Mobile traffic largely outpaces desktop traffic and you can verify this for your site using segmentation. This is useful to keep track of as you should be optimising your site and content for mobile if it makes up a majority of your traffic.
● Blog/Non-Blog Traffic – Blog pages generate a lot of traffic by being at the top of the marketing funnel, however, this high volume can skew your conversion numbers to look lower. Checking these segments can give you a more accurate metric of your conversions.
Get Up Close And Personal
Customers expect a certain amount of personalisation in marketing. Putting time and effort into knowing who your customers are will help you appeal to their interests and build stronger relationships with them.
With digital marketing, companies have the chance to get more personal with their customer base and this makes for a more effective marketing strategy.
There’s a lot of work that goes into a solid audience-led strategy. To get started on your plan, download our free template that walks you through identifying your audience step by step.
Download Our Ideal Audience Workbook
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