How do You Define Your Target Audience?
Suggested Reading: This article builds on the concepts discussed in the “What is your Content Marketing Strategy?” article. To start reading at the beginning of the Content discussion please click here. For an outline of all of the related “Content” articles please click here (coming soon). All articles are written such that they may be read independently and in any order.
Let’s Get Started (What will you learn?):
Why is it important to define your target audience?
What should you learn about your target audience?
What resources can you utilize to conduct research?
As a business owner it’s simply not possible or practical to appeal to everyone with your products and services. What sense would it make to run an ad to a group of people who aren’t and likely never will be interested in your products and services? Your target audience are the people who are most likely to be INTERESTED in making a purchase from you.
Identifying your target audience will save you time, money, and manpower. If you know your target audiences interests you can post content in magazines related to their hobbies. If you know your target audience is only willing to drive a few miles to visit your store you know which zip codes to send mailers to. If you know your target audience has disposable income you know you may be able to develop marketing that appears upscale and charge more for your products and services. These are just a few ways that you can utilize information that you know about your target audience.
When it comes to content marketing there are lots of choices as to where to place your content. Content can be placed in/on newspapers, television, radio, social media, websites, and more. Not only will most of these choices cost you money to get in front of your audience but you will also need to spend a great deal of time just to develop the content. Of the millions of choices, you’ll also need to spend time deciding exactly which ones to utilize to display your content and that also will require time.
To better serve your target audience you can conduct research to learn more about their lifestyles including the problems they face that your products may solve. One of the first places to begin your research is surveying your existing customers. You can learn a lot about why they have made purchases from you. Using their feedback, you can create content that appeals to prospects.
Online reviews about your products and services can provide a wealth of knowledge regarding what individuals like and dislike. Use reviews to improve your products and services and also create content that clearly describes the benefits.
You can learn demographic data such as age, gender, marital status, income, and education. You can also learn about the distribution of people in an area by studying geographic data. Psychographic data exists so that we may learn about the interests, attitudes, and values of people.
To access demographic, geographic, and psychographic data consider taking a trip to your local library. Many local libraries offer access to databases with proof of local residency. They can also provide guidance, with some offering educational courses, on what databases to utilize. If you were to seek use of these databases on your own you’d likely have to spend hundreds if not thousands to access this same information. Demographics Now, ReferenceUSA, and Business Insights are a few relevant databases.
Some information such as American Fact Finder and Census data is publicly available online for free. Some Industry Publications lists facts on their websites and in journals or magazines. A quick online search can yield lots of results as well.
Opinions about your company’s offering may change over time. The population in a region, or across the world, changes as well. For this reason, it’s wise to continually conduct research around your target audience. Strive to constantly improve.
One of your goals is to develop a product and/or service that people will purchase. Another important goal is to get in front of your prospect with relevant messages that will introduce and remind them of your offerings. Through adequate research learn what you can do to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right message and offerings.
Knowing your target audience can save you time, energy, and manpower.
Doing your research can give you better insight into the wants and needs of your target audience.
There is a wealth of knowledge available to you for free from a number of resources, including your local library.
What to Read Next:
What do you want your audience to do after viewing your content? (Coming Soon)
How can you measure the results of your content marketing strategy? (Coming Soon)
What information is collected about people and how? (Coming Soon)
What type of content should you utilize? (Coming Soon)