Marketing 101: Understanding your target audience
As a company or marketer, you may think you have discovered exactly who your target audience is but you might have figured out that you have missed an entire demographic. On the other hand, you might also realize that you are marketing to a demographic who really is not interested in your products or services.
Even for companies that have been around for generations, this is important to still conduct research because of the audience’s age. What was once the ideal audience for your company might have aged and now new consumers are taking their place.
This changes how a company markets themselves to their overall audience! New strategies will need to be implemented, but without understanding your audience, it can all falter. (Even save marketing dollars and increase lead generation).
So, what is target audience and tips to understand your audience.
What is a target audience?
A target audience is who the company is selling and marketing their products and services to. This is who all products and services are marketed to from SEO to Social Media Marketing strategies. Without understanding and defining a target audience, a company can be marketing its products to the wrong audience, which in return, shows lower sales, lead generation and wrong inbound marketing results.
It is important to understand that your target audience is not “everyone.” Even for companies who sell products and services who seem as if they are for “everyone” they really aren’t. This is a common issue that company owners, managers and sales people all believe in, but just because the product seems universal, doesn’t mean it really is.
There is nothing wrong with identifying, “what is a target audience.” Even grocery stores have certain target audiences who shop at their stores. What stores are known to be pricier and offer more variety? Who would be their main shoppers?
It would not be the broke college student, but the successful wife and husband duo might be a better fit.
No matter who your target audience is, it is important to hone in on this select group of consumers because they are the ones who are more likely to purchase your product and services than “everyone”.
1. Who are you talking to?
Yes, we spoke about this, but who are you really speaking to? Moms and dads are not enough for a target audience. Is it mom and dads in a specific geographic area with an income under X amount?
That is the thing with identifying a target audience, it is more than a broad overview, it gets down to the nitty gritty of an audience.
Here is a list of common questions that you should ask yourself when starting to identify a target audience:
- Who are they?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- Annual income?
- Social media channels they use?
- How do they spend their money?
- How do they spend time online?
This is the very first step in identifying that target audience which will ultimately help a company understand their overall marketing strategy that should be taken into account!
2. What are your website and social media saying?
A great place to start researching and understanding your target audience is your website and social media accounts! Where should you start? The most common analytics that are connected to a website is Google Analytics. As a Google Development Partner, OMG Austin uses Google Analytics on all client’s websites because it is free and can easily be added and connected with other Google services.
A company can use Google Analytics to find out which pages their consumers are most interested in on their website, their main interests, first languages, gender, demographics and geographical region. A company can also figure out exactly what devices are the most common, mobile versus desktop, their behavior, the most common browser that is used and so much more!
Google Analytics really allows you to get into the nitty gritty of understanding your target audience.
This tells our marketers that our target audience is mainly 25-34 years old who use Google Chrome as their primary search engine of choice and that their interests range from advertising to search engine optimization and media and entertainment!
The content that is shared on search engines should be geared towards those new decision makers in companies and entrepreneurs, assistants, project managers and others who fit in this category!
3. Create content they want to consume!
The most important aspect of understanding your target audience is that all marketing efforts and campaigns are geared towards that target audience. A campaign that is not speaking to this audience is just as bad as speaking to an empty room. This is because the audience is not connecting to the messages.
All content should be what your audience would want to read, but at the same time, make sure it uses proper SEO strategies. If you are a gardening company who offers X products and services, write the best blog about different types of soil for X plants with SEO and your target audience in mind!
4. Ask for feedback!
Social media platforms have created a free and easy way to not only listen to consumers, but get their feedback. What is most important to them at the end of the day? That promotion or understanding more about X notion. Maybe you have exhausted your audience with a certain topic and they would like to see more of X content.
Never be afraid to ask your audience, email subscribers, internal team and others about the type of content and what content they would prefer to consume!
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