How to find your target audience

How To Find Your Target Audience

Putting the time into finding your target audience is often missed by companies of all sizes. Business don’t put enough time and effort into finding and understanding their target audience which ultimately results in missed opportunities.

Knowing who your target audience is and more importantly, understanding how they tick and what they need should be a top priority when it comes to any form of marketing.

When we ask the question ‘who are your target audience?’ We are often met with the answer ‘everyone’. In the words of Julia Roberts, ‘Big mistake, big, huge!’

Target everyone = Target no-one!

Why does that make sense? You may be thinking that the more people you target, the better. You may also think that everyone needs your services.

Wrong!

The more people you target, the less people your message will resonate with.

As a social media marketing agency, we know that ALL businesses need to have a social media presence, but will ALL businesses come to us? No!

Why? There may be many reasons for that. Maybe they don’t appreciate the value of social media, it could be cost, personality or even that our values don’t match.

Not everyone will become our client. And that’s ok!

So, how do you find your target audience?

There are a number of steps you can take to identify your target audience.

Start with your ICA (Ideal Client Avatar)

 

Your ICA is your dream client. This is a person or business that are extremely unlikely to use your services right now but who you would absolutely love to work with.

You need to be able to visualise them. It could be a celebrity, or a well-known corporate business and you need to be able to describe them in great detail.

Ask yourself these questions;

  • Why do I want to work with them?
  • Why do they need my product or services?
  • How can I help them?
  • What are their pain points?
  • What challenges can I solve?

Make a list of their qualities, personality, values, activity, likes, dislikes. Compile as much information as you possibly can about them because although you may not be ready to service this particular client, your target audience is going to come from this information.

Look at your current client base

 

We often think that we need to go off on a tangent when we are identifying our target audience. This isn’t the case. Your current client base should be the first place you look when you are trying to understand what makes them tick.

Who have you already attracted into your business and why? Why did they come to you? How have you helped them? What are their pain points and how have you helped them to overcome them?

Don’t try and re-invent the wheel. Your current clients have already bought in to you and there’s a reason for that so start there.

How do you identify your target audience?

 

Much the same as your ICA, when it comes to your target audience, you need to break it down in to as much detail as possible. Even if you don’t think it’s relevant.

You are not going to know all of the information, so you need to think outside the box a little.

Your industry will depict the kind of information you need but think about things such as;

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Job title
  • Income
  • Family situation
  • Sexuality
  • Religion
  • Interests
  • Where do they hang out online?
  • Who do they follow?

 

This list is not exhaustive, but it is a starting point. Get stereotypical and consider the little things, such as;

  • Who in a marriage is most likely to make the final decision?
  • Will their income dictate their buying power?
  • Does having a family impact their priorities?
  • Does their religion mean that they can only be involved with certain products and services?
  • Can you find a common ground with their interests?
  • Does your product or service need to be location specific?

Start with this exercise and the rest will follow. This will help you to understand your audience and how to appeal to them in the right way.

You may discover that your target audience isn’t too dissimilar to you. After all, it may be that you created your product or service to solve your own problem so it’s likely that others have the same pain points that you did.

Where do you find your target audience?

 

This is a really important question because if you don’t know where to find them, how are you going to reach them?

Once you have identified who your target audience are, you should have a pretty good idea where you can find them.

Another questions to ask is ‘How do I find my target audience on social media?’ There is no point in putting all your efforts on different social media platforms when your audience aren’t hanging out there.

For example, if you provide a B2B service, it’s likely you will find your audience on LinkedIn. If your audience are single, twenty somethings, maybe look at Instagram or TickTok.

If they are in their thirties or forties, have a family and you provide a B2C product or service, Facebook maybe a better option for you.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t post on other platforms, but your main focus should be on the social media sites that will have the large majority of your audience.

As a side note, when it comes to creating the right content for your target audience, you may want to find out if they are a fan of YouTube. If so, they are likely to respond well to video content rather than the written word.

How do you write social media content for your target audience?

 

Once you have identified who you want to reach, you then need to consider HOW you are going to reach them.

Firstly, understand that it’s not about you. Everything you post on social media should be from your audiences’ perspective and not yours.

Bear in mind that you know your industry inside out. You know the jargon and you understand why someone would want to use your services but right now, your audience don’t. You have to communicate with them in a way that they can resonate with.

You need to emotionally connect with them. Ask yourself, have you ever bought a product or service after seeing them appear on social media? If so, what made you do it? It’s likely that something made you stop and think. You could relate to it. It understood your challenges and pain points and it seemed to solve the problem.

On the flip side of that, if you haven’t ever bought off the back of social media, consider why not? The answer to that is that no-one has managed to emotionally connect with you yet. No-one has solved your pain points!

Write a list of pain points and how you can solve them. Once you have broken them down, you will be able to communicate that message effectively on social media.

Don’t sell!!! The worst thing you can do is plaster your social media business pages with copious amounts of sales pitches. It will alienate your target audience immediately.

You are selling with every post, you are just doing in indirectly, without your audience knowing because you are providing valuable content and advice that helps them without the expectation of anything in return. This is called social selling.

Facts tell, stories sell!!!

With this in mind, list your key features and then next to it, list the benefits. The benefits are all your audience is interested in.

For example, we provide a social media content club. The features with this would be;

A social media membership club with a daily topic.

The benefit would be;

Consistent and engaging social media content

The benefit is what’s important. Your target audience does not care about the features!

Look to your competitors for inspiration. If they are engaging with their audience, there is likely to be a reason for that. Watch their tone and the type of content they are creating.

Groups is another great source for content ideas. If you are looking in the right groups, your audience is likely to be in there too. Look for the questions they are asking and then create posts and blogs around them.

Answering questions are a fantastic way to engage with your audience. If you’re really struggling, visit answerthepublic.com.

Finding your target audience and connecting with them through quality content is essential if you want to connect with the right people and really drive that business through your doors.

Otherwise, it’s just noise!

You know where I am if you need me!

 

Verity Wilkie
verity@imcprosolutions.co.uk
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