If you were put on the spot, could you describe your brand’s target audience? How much detail could you give? If you feel like you might be at a loss for a quick answer, we can help!
Why understanding your target audience is important
Knowing your target audience is critical for brands of all sizes. It’s neither effective nor realistic to market to everyone. While your product might have broad appeal to a wide variety of people, marketing that casts too wide of a net typically doesn’t work well because of its lack of focus. You can’t be everything to all people, so pick a group of customers you know are already buying and loving your product or service and target other likeminded individuals. Effective targeting lets you focus your marketing message to one that resonates and keeps your budget efficient, since you’re only spending to advertise to consumers likely to buy and not wasting resources on those who will never become customers.
How to identify your audience
If you don’t feel like you can confidently describe your target audience or you think that it could be refined, it’s never too late to better define your customer base and home in your marketing efforts. Here are a few of our best tips for better defining your audience.
1. Think critically about your current customers
If you’re an established brand, a great place to start is to look for patterns and trends among your current customers. If your brand is just starting out, think about your product offering and imagine your ideal customers. Ask yourself:
- What is your most popular product or service? Which one is most profitable?
- What type of customer sees the most benefit from your product or service?
- What problems do you solve for those customers?
- What makes your brand or product unique in the market?
2. Dive beyond the demographics
It is helpful to know the demographic data of your target audience—how old they are, are they male or female, where they live, etc.—but to really target them effectively you also need to know their psychology. Learn what your audience cares about, both as it relates to your business and beyond. Is there a subset of your audience with unique concerns? Are your competitors speaking to those concerns? By understanding your audience on a deeper level, you might be able to identify openings in the market that you can own.
3. Utilize social media and social listening
To get to know your audience better beyond their demographics, start small by interacting with your customers on social media. Meet them on the platforms where they already spend time and engage in conversations and listen to what they are saying to you and each other. This is a great way to learn more about their priorities, needs and the problems they are looking to solve.
4. Create spaces for customers to interact
If you have the resources, you can take your social listening a step further by creating or hosting a space for customers to interact with each other where you can garner free research and learn more about them. Facebook Groups is an easy-entry tool to start trying this out. Or a great example of this is the lifestyle subscription box brand FabFitFun. They created a message board section on their website where members can chat with each other about a wide variety of topics from the products in their boxes to hobbies they enjoy. This gives the FabFitFun team a great resource from which they can tailor advertising messaging and make their product better align with the desires of their most loyal customers.
5. Re-evaluate over time
Continue to check in with your customers, pay attention to your advertising data and ask yourself honest questions. Over time, your market and audience might shift, and you want to be in the know when that happens, so you’re not caught on a back foot.
Having a clear target audience that everyone on the marketing team can readily define makes everyone’s job easier and leads to better results. It will help you refine your messaging, determine better ad placements and can even help hone your product.
Want a fresh, outside perspective on your audience? Engage B&Y for a Body & Soul discovery session. We help teams get to the root of who they should be targeting and what your marketing goals should be through a series of interviews so you can start creating more effective campaigns.