Defining your target audience is arguably one of the most important things you can do as a small business owner. With a well-defined target market, you get to save time and money that you would otherwise be spending targeting anyone who might be interested in your products or services. If you want to compete effectively with other big brands, you need to target a specific niche market and do research to know your audience. This is much more effective and cost-efficient than spending your marketing dollars on targets that are too general.
Here are some of the simple ways you can understand who your ideal customers are, so you can have a good starting point to create strategies for marketing and driving sales for your business:
Understand who your target audience is
To make sure you’re delivering your message to the right people, it's important to understand who your ideal prospects are. Audience research involves identifying the demographics, behaviors, and interests of the people who are most likely to benefit from your product or service. Ask yourself these questions to help you identify which customers to target:
- What is the age range, hobbies, and location of my target audience?
- What is the problem that my product/service helps to solve, and who can benefit from this solution?
- Where does my audience live, and what time zone are they in?
- Does my target audience include parents? Students? Working professionals?
- What does my audience like to do in their free time? Do they use social media often?
All these questions will give you more clarity on the type of people you should be targeting, and let you focus your message to a smaller audience for a more cost-effective campaign. You can also work with a business coach who can help you identify your ideal demographic and who can suggest tested strategies for reaching your audience.
Check out the competition
Who are your competitors and what products do they offer to customers? What prices do they charge for their offerings? You need to understand these things about your competitor if you want to stand out. Maybe there's a niche market they're not targeting yet. You can find plenty of opportunities to create marketing strategies and improve your chance of success by looking at what your competitors are currently doing or not doing.
Know your existing customers
Compiling data on your current customers is another great way to narrow your marketing and sales focus. Dig into your existing customer base and try to identify some common interests and characteristics among your customers and social media audience. Who are your customers and why do they buy your products? Which ones engage the most with your marketing content?
You can also use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or social media to pull out relevant information about your current customer base. CRM systems store data on your website performance, as well as information about your existing and potential customers including name, company, address, age, and even behavior like emails opened and products previously purchased.
Many CRMS and business social media accounts have built-in analytics that provide crucial insights about your audience, so be sure to manage these tools correctly to reach and engage with your audience better.
Use social listening
Social listening is the process of tracking social media and the web for any mention or conversation about your brand and your products.
Social listening tools take keywords related to your brand, and search the web and social media platforms for these keywords. These tools collect and analyze mentions from social media channels, blogs, news sites, and other web sources. Many tools even offer analytics and reporting features, giving you more actionable insights about your target consumers.
More notes on Social Listening:
Imagine you run a small restaurant, and you hear customers giving great feedback about the food, but saying they wish the place were cozier so they could feel more relaxed while enjoying the food.
You start to wonder if this is a concern for a lot of your customers, and whether you should start making changes that your customers will like.
This is the power of social listening: it gives you a lot of great insights that you can use to understand how your customers feel about you, so you can make changes or continue doing what they already like about your brand
Ask yourself: "What are the benefits of my product?"
It's no secret that everyone wants solutions that will make their lives easier. Whether it's a tool that automates business processes, or a home device that lets you control items around the house, the selling point of any product lies in the problem it helps to solve.
Now, think about what problem your product promises to solve and who can benefit from this solution. Also consider the features that are most important for people of a particular age range or profession. The answer to these questions should give you a good idea of the people you should be focusing your marketing efforts on.
No matter the size of your business, you need to accurately identify your target audience so that no money, time or resources are wasted targeting the wrong people. Doing this upfront will give you a clear idea of the right marketing strategy to get your brand message out there.