Find Your Audience: How To Define & Reach Your Target Audience
You’ve got a great product. You’ve got a great business. Now, it just comes down to getting people interested.
Identifying your target audience is the first step to meaningful marketing. In this article, we’ll take a look at how business owners can expand their sales by reaching the right audience with the right message.
The Importance of A Target Audience
To speak directly to someone, you need to know who they are. And unless you’re speaking directly, your message will be lost in a sea of annoying advertisements.
We’ve gotten so good at blocking out ads everywhere they exist. People only bother to pay attention when it’s obvious the message is meant for them. To get past the filter, you need to speak to a specific segment of people based on demographics, interests, motivations, or some other deciding factor.
Start by looking at your current and past customers or your audience on social media. Who are your messages already resonating with? Who else do you want to reach? Consider these factors to help you define your target audience:
- Demographics: Start by looking at the statistics of your current audience involving location, age, and gender identity.
- B2B Demographics: If you’re selling to professionals, consider their industry, business size, and job titles.
- Interests: What hobbies, professions, and interests do your customers share? This could be directly related to your business or something adjacent.
Creating A User Persona
Now it’s time to put a face to your target audience. Pick out just one representative from your target audience and give them a name – this is your user persona or buyer persona. You can even choose a relatable celebrity with traits you’d find in your target audience. This exercise will help you step into the audience’s shoes and create more compelling messages. After deciding on a buyer persona, consider the following before creating your brand messages:
- Motivations: Why would this person buy your product? How does it align with their interests, goals, and values?
- Challenges: What would stop this person from becoming your customer? What are their hesitations, fears, or obstacles in terms of your business?
- Buying Behavior: What is their buying process? Is the purchase decision influenced by research, brand loyalty, or impulse?
- Communication Preferences: What communications does this person enjoy? What annoys them? How are brands able to reach them on a typical day?
Be Where Your Audience Is
What media does your buyer persona consume every day? You should be advertising in those places. With messages that speak to their specific hesitations, interests, and behaviors, you’ll grab their attention and deliver your most impactful message yet.
Here’s where to start to figure out where to find your audience:
- Local Audiences: You can reach individuals in your city with outdoor advertising like billboards, transportation advertising, and local sponsorships. To target a particular demographic within your area, look into buying a radio or magazine ad – they’ll have insights into the specific demographics of their audience to share.
- National Audiences: To step into the world of national advertising, try ads on streaming services, niche magazines, and satellite radio.
- Audiences By Interest: The best way to advertise to an audience based on their interests is through digital advertising. There’s just no beating Facebook and Google ads, thanks to their algorithms and information about user activity.
- B2B Audiences: Buy ads in trade publications, set up a booth at a trade show, and be present in professional organizations. You can also use LinkedIn to reach this audience online.
- Hyper-Local Audiences: Make sure your brick-and-mortar location is clear with signage that can be seen by traffic driving by. You can also target specific areas with direct mailing, such as Every Door Direct Mail.
- Other Promotions: If you can think of a brand that shares your target audience, find a way to partner with them. This can look very different, but it could include sponsoring events, appearing on podcasts, or exchanging shout-outs with another business.
Digital Tools For Selecting Your Audience
When advertising digitally, there are so many ways to define who will see your ad. You can set demographics and interests that align with your brand’s target audience. As the ad runs, algorithms will tweak who sees your ad based on how users interact with it. Optimizing your audiences will also help you lower the cost of your digital ads.
- Selecting Demographics: Each platform has their own ways of understanding demographic information of their audience. This includes location, gender, age, income bracket, education level, marital status, and more.
- Selecting Interests: We spend an increasing amount of time online, where we engage on social media, search, watch videos, read articles, and more. Every little online interaction is evaluated by algorithms to give companies like Facebook and Google a very accurate depiction of our interests. Thanks to that, we can target our audiences by interests like specific products, services, music styles, brands they follow, jobs, industries, etc.
- Platform -specific targeting: Each platform varies its offer and the accuracy of its targeting depending on its own characteristics. For example, Google knows what you are searching for, Facebook knows how you interact with brands, and LinkedIn knows what you do for a living. It’s important to understand the scope of each platform when planning your digital strategy
- Limitations: Platforms like Facebook and Google adhere to advertising laws for specific industries. You won’t be able to target housing or hiring ads by anything other than location. Ads about health must not be misleading and can’t promote negative self-perception. In all ads, you can’t assume personal attributes about the reader. You can read more about Google Ads Policies and Facebook Ads Policies.
Remarketing: How To Use A Foot In The Door
After your digital ads have run for some time, a few people have clicked through to your website. Is there any way to turn that interest into a purchase?
Platforms like Google, Facebook, AdRoll, MailChimp, LinkedIn, and more offer the option to run remarketing ads. These ads will be displayed only to the people who have interacted with your brand online in some way. These interactions include visiting your website, engaging on social media posts, watching a video, or opening an email, among others. Now you have your foot in the door and it’s time to close the deal.
With a digital remarketing campaign, you can craft your message to be more direct. The audience knows your brand name and what you offer, so tell them why they should act now. You can use time pressure, offer a discount, or directly answer your buyer persona’s main hesitation.
Want To Nail Your Message?
At Liquid Creative, we craft targeted messages that speak directly to your audience on any medium. As your full-service marketing partner, we offer everything from digital advertising to public relations work. Contact us today to get started!