Expert Tips For How to Identify Your Target Audience for Small Businesses
As a small business owner, you know that one of the keys to success is identifying and targeting your ideal customer. But what if you’re not sure who that is? In this post, we’ll give you some tips for finding and understanding your target audience. By the end of this, you should have a good idea of who your digital marketing is trying to reach with your product or service. Let’s get started!
What Is a Target Audience?
A target audience is a particular group of people that fit certain criteria to mean they most likely will buy your product or hire your service. These are exactly the people you want your ad campaigns to be placed in front of. We’ll get to the specific categories of criteria a little later in the post!
Advantages of Targeting in Marketing
Knowing exactly who your product or service is aimed at reaching can be critical in maximizing your digital marketing budget. Sharpen your marketing strategies, develop deeper customer loyalty and better brand awareness, attract higher quality leads, and focus on who will most likely give you the biggest ROI. Niche targeting has never been more powerful!
What Are the Types of Target Audiences?
Market categorizing or ‘segmenting’ can break down into 6 basic types: demographic, geographic, psychographic, behavioral, needs-based, and transactional.
Demographic – The most popular type of segmentation, this type defines the more literal aspects of who the audience is, depending on a B2C (age, gender, ethnicity, profession, education) or B2B (industry, company size, and position, job tenure) context.
Geographic – Sometimes where someone lives can affect their purchasing choices. It probably wouldn’t be very useful to run Google Ads for surfboards in Scandinavia, right? This could be as general as a continent or all the way down to a specific district or zip code.
Psychographic – Interests, values, hobbies, attitudes, lifestyle. Apple is well known for marketing the idea of minimalism and attainable luxury for the modern, forward-thinking consumer. That’s psychographics!
Behavioral – How has your audience previously interacted with your brand? What is their awareness of your brand? Have they made any purchases from your company already? What about their product knowledge?
Needs-based – This one’s pretty straightforward and also breaks down further into 4 sub-categories: problem-solving (low-carb products for diabetics), emotional (anti-aging skincare products), functional (ride-sharing apps), and value-based needs (products for vegans).
Transactional – You know those offers for free shipping on orders over a certain amount? Or those ‘We miss you – here are 15% off your next order’ emails you get after not shopping at a particular store for a long while? Yep, that’s transactional segmentation.
7 Tips for Identifying Your Target Audience
Now, how to actually figure out who fits into those targeting types…
Audit Your Current Customer Base
Look at who all has already bought your product or service. What do they all have in common, or maybe what’s different among them? Are they all of similar ages or from similar regions? Why did they decide on using your company? Use your social media or send out customer surveys to get started!
Research The Market
Research your market as a whole to find what may be missing. Is there a particular untapped crowd that your company can speak to? Focus there to refine your unique product value messaging.
Study Your Competitors
Who are your competitors targeting? There could be a lot of opportunities to learn from what works and doesn’t work for them. Maybe your competitors are overlooking, again, an untapped crowd or marketing channel.
Dive Into Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a savvy marketer’s secret weapon for all the insights you can gain into your site visitors’ habits and interests, how they’re discovering you, and what they’re engaging with most.
This step is for after you’ve done your initial segmentation work. Take all that great data you gathered and use it to create identities for your customers. Maybe base them around familiarity with your product crossed with the general demographics of your audience to then target how you speak to their more specific needs. We at Agency Partner Interactive recommend crafting 3 to 5 different personas.
Rethink the idea of “Everyone”
It’s impossible to actually appeal to every single person – not even puppies or pizza can do that – but the idea can still lead you to a useful mindset! “Everyone” really can just mean you have multiple audiences and may need to approach each with a different type of marketing. Odds are there will be lots of overlap, too!
Evolve Evolve Evolve
Understand that this is a never-ending process. People change, markets change, needs change, your company will probably also change. Be ready to refine and optimize and re-refine and re-optimize your audience targeting so long as you’re in business.
It’s clear that knowing your target audience is essential for small businesses. By understanding who your ideal customer is, you can create a more effective marketing strategy that reaches them where they are. You can also tailor your products and services to better meet their needs. If you’re not sure how to identify and segment your target audience or need help reaching them, contact our team of experts at Agency Partner. We’d be happy to help you develop a plan that targets the right customers and helps your business grow!