Where’s My Audience?

It used to be easier to find your target audience.  Placing an ad in the local newspaper or going “big time” and advertise on the radio or local television were the general options because it was the locals who would visit your store or use your services.  Bigger companies would put out catalogs and sell their wares by mail-order.  The internet changed all that and expanded, no, exploded the consumer base, and made it simple to sell to the entire world.  

How, with the entire world of consumers available, do you find your target audience?

Who Are You?

Your marketing strategy shouldn’t be like throwing spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks.  That approach just wastes a lot of spaghetti and marketing dollars.  First, you need to look at your business and do a little self-reflection.  What is it that you make or do?  What is your company’s mission?  When you create content, whether it’s blogs, social media posts, or printed mailers, you have to understand your company’s voice.  Your voice is what speaks to your audience and will allow you to connect with them.

Who Are They?

Finding your target audience means locating those people who need your product or service whether they know it yet or not.  Look at your current customers.  Who’s buying your stuff?  Younger people?  Moms?  College grads?  Narrowing down the demographic that you’ve found success with will show you who you should be targeting.  If you sell hearing aids, maybe you don’t have a Snapchat account.  Look at your current audience’s age, gender, education level, occupation and income, marital status, ethnic background, and anything else you can identify as a commonality.  

What Are Their Habits?

Look at how your target audience spends their time and how they buy things.  Younger people spend more time on their phones than older adults so if you’re providing a product or service to them, focus heavily on social media advertising and content for your social media accounts.  Direct mailers are still an effective way to target many audiences.      

Who Else Is Competing For This Audience?

Take a good look at your competition.  Why would your audience choose you over them?  If you can highlight this for your audience, you’ll have an edge over your competitors.  What is working for them?  Often, you can learn a lot from the successes and failures of your competition.  

Content Is King

Great content will pull your audience in and whatever you create needs to be relevant to your business and useful and entertaining for your potential customers.  Fun content is great but if you want to turn those clicks into sales, you need to focus on creating the right content for your target audience.  Show that you are an authority in your field in your content.   

Don’t Narrow Your Target Too Much

Finding your target audience allows you to eliminate waste by not casting too wide of a net.  However, you don’t want to cast too small of a net either.  If you have too narrow a focus and concentration on one niche, you could miss out.  There could be other niche markets that you hadn’t considered and leaving a little wiggle-room with who you target may help you find them. 

If you take the time to examine your business and its current activities, you can create a marketing plan that is more efficient and give you a higher ROI.  It’s well worth the effort!