5 Helpful Tips For Identifying Your Target Audience

By Shelby Ballou

If you’ve recently launched a business, you’ve probably spent a lot of time planning and strategizing. Part of the planning process involves deciding who your target audience is. Your products might appeal to just about everyone, but targeting a giant group of people would be expensive and ineffective. You need to pinpoint your target audience in order for your marketing efforts to be successful.

Defining a target audience might feel like you’re excluding a lot of people who could potentially be interested in your product or service, but that’s not true. You’re simply choosing where to spend your time and money wisely. Focusing on a narrower target audience will allow you to interact with that segment on a deeper level.

Here are five helpful ways to identify your target audience.

1.) Take a look at your business plan.

Study the goals you’ve set for your business, and analyze the products or services you offer. Think about how your products or services provide a solution for your potential customers. Also, consider what makes you stand out from the competition. Next, think about what you need to know about your potential customers. What are their characteristics, hobbies, and/or priorities? As you study your business plan and decide who you want your target audience to be, remember that it’s all about the customer.

2.) Do plenty of research.

There are a lot of existing sources that can help you gather information about your industry, the market, your competition, and your potential target market. Search around the web, and see what you can find.

If you’re unable to find any valuable data, you may want to conduct primary research (surveys, interviews, and focus groups). However, primary research is very expensive. This should only be a consideration if you have the appropriate budget.

3.) Develop a customer profile.

After gathering or conducting research, create a customer profile. This is a detailed description of who your typical customer might be and includes in-depth demographic and psychographic information. This information is vital for developing an accurate customer profile.

4.) Find out where your audience hangs out online.

Find out which websites your target audience visits and which social networks they’re active in. Do they check their email frequently? Are they addicted to certain apps? Knowing where your audience hangs out online will assist with the successful delivery of your message. If your target audience doesn’t frequent Facebook, but you spend a lot of time and money promoting Facebook posts, you won’t get the results you want.

5.) Monitor and evolve.

After you identify your target audience, it’s important to perform constant research to stay knowledgeable of market and industry trends.  It’s also important to study how your target audience evolves. Before you start marketing to your target audience, make sure you know how you’re going to track sales and interactions. This information will help you identify trends and patterns, which will help your marketing efforts evolve as your business grows.

[Original post here.]