Finding your target audience can be a tough wall to crack. Even though it is a standard marketing practice; many webmasters don’t put enough time in identifying their target audience but can you really blame them? It is a time-consuming process indeed; however, the time you save on not doing proper research will find you later on, when you’ll have gaps in your work.
Let’s break down the process as a reminder to the experienced and a guideline to the inexperienced.
First of all, it’s safe to assume that we should start from the tip of the iceberg.
Who are they?
Marketing expert and strategist Tommy Walker answers:
- Marital Status
When looking at these elements; you can begin to assess the demographic that fits the profile to match your services. Of course, there is not a single combination; you should have one or two main markets to target and have a small handful of secondary markets; depending on your flexibility. For example, if you are an education provider referring clients to Brokers, your target audience will probably be a little tighter than an Affiliate who is providing rebates.
So now that you’ve evaluated a complete profile of who your services would be perfect for; you can begin to tailor your content to meet the core of what they want. From that point on you can adjust your marketing strategy according to the results you get and optimize your approach.
Remember you don’t have to target all identified potential profiles in one go; there should be a focal type of customer but not limited to. The secondary profiles you have identified will follow the main consensus, and this will happen naturally after you have gained the credibility by your focal market people.
- First: main target audience
- Second: people that will follow the already tailored content
Example: You are an EA provider for Forex traders, and you would like to target people with a high equity.
Where would you find them?
Obviously people with a high equity flock in sophisticated areas, so maybe you might go on LinkedIn and get yourself noticed there. That being said it’s noteworthy to mention that you shouldn’t take instant messaging/ email marketing too literally as it poses a threat to your dignity if abused. People don’t like to be bothered, especially if your approach is not personalised.
The great thing about linkedin is that you can find authentic leads and usually you can guess if they’re your target audience by spending under 5 minutes on their profile. Sounds simple right? Well, you can simplify the process but reaching results is no piece of cake.
This brings me to my next point. The easy step is assuming your target customer, but the follow-up can make you or break you.
You need to actually monitor the patterns of your assumed target audience. Keep an eye out for the following:
- Websites they share
- Events they attend
- Popular hot spots
- If they are using a forum
The smartest thing to do once you’ve evaluated content is see which sources overlap the most; what do you find commonplace amongst many potential clients? These values can give you insight on where you can promote online as well as offline. Not only that they can give you insight on how to promote. Examine the influences in the content and see how often the same themes overlap and use this to enhance and develop your own content from the considerations you make.
In this sense you can really focus on your online and offline presence in a way that proves your understanding of your target profile and enables you to communicate your service as flawlessly as possible.
Now, if you really want to take your marketing campaigns to another level then you need to empathize with your target audience. What does this mean?
How to empathize with your target audience?
The empathetic examination: key to marketing mastery. You need to dig a little deeper, no don’t stalk, but follow their activity online. See where your target audience is shopping, reading and watching. That’s where you place your ads. Aside from gaining a marketing insight; you also gain perspective on your TA’s profile/s which can help shape your content, making it as resonant as possible to the appeal.
In this way you can gain additional insight which can ultimately drive the rest of your marketing campaign in a communicative, engaging manner.
Now that you have identified who your target audience is and you have examined their activity online, it’s time to also examine their intentions.
Why do they do what they do?
So you’ve researched on where these people come from, their marital status, where they hang out, what they buy, what they listen to etc. Wow…it really seems at this point that maybe you know too much. At least you know enough to mildly understand some personality traits. Right? And this is where psychology comes in to play. Tommy would call this ‘Psychographics, ’ and it starts with the recognition of the following traits the whys:
Let’s look at an example, psychographics in action. Let’s say that you’ve been doing your examining, inspecting the web for traders and have noticed a correlation in stress ball (and related product) purchases.
This would indicate that the people in your market are pre-occupied by the stress involved, maybe even losing a hair or two!
You can now incorporate this piece of information into your marketing strategy and let your TA know that you too are concerned about their stress and your services can limit that.
This is one example in many that you may find. This represents a ‘trend on the thoughts’ of your TA. Many other trends may suffice, for example a form of humour may correlate and this would prove a trend in attitudes. That is also something you can incorporate. For all the whys in their behaviour there is an organic way for you to communicate with those whys or the ‘motivations’.
There you have it, a little step by step guide on how to reach your target audience. It’s not rocket science! Do your homework, study the people you want as your clients, and you will win your way to their hearts!