One of the biggest marketing mistakes a business can make is targeting an audience that’s too broad. Try to appeal to everyone and your message will get lost.
Instead, business owners need to define their target market profile in order to develop a marketing strategy that works. This will allow you to hone in on your niche audience that you know wants your services.
Learning your audience’s motivations will also inform you of changes you need to make to your products and services. Understanding exactly who you’re catering to will help you become a more well-rounded business.
You may be thinking, “Easier said than done.” Well, yes it is.
However, educating yourself is the first step. To help you out, we’ve pinpointed some key techniques for identifying your target audience.
Let’s get into it.
What Exactly is a Target Market Profile?
Your target audience is the demographic that most likely needs your product or service. These are your current and potential customers.
In order to market your product effectively, you need to identify what type of people your target audience is. If you own a tractor supply business, you won’t be targeting females in high school. Clearly defining your audience allows you to adapt your marketing campaigns to focus in on your demographic.
Knowing your audience will also allow you to be creative with the tone and feel of your marketing material. Everything from web content to your social media presence can be tailored to appeal directly to those who want your services.
Think of your target market profile as the characteristics that define your audience.
Now, how do you identify what those characteristics are?
Look at Your Current Customers
A good start is to examine your current customers and use this as a baseline. This will key you into who needs your product. You can then focus your marketing strategy on this audience.
When looking at your current customers, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is there a primary gender?
- What is the age group?
- Where do they live?
- What profession?
- What’s the average income?
- Do they have common interests?
Once you’ve answered these questions, ask yourself how you’re currently reaching them. This will show you what’s working and what you need to improve on. You may even find that some of your marketing efforts aren’t needed.
Knowing your audience also provides insight on how to speak to them. This is important in creating the right type of appeal when producing marketing materials.
Evaluate Your Products and Services
When building your target market profile, it helps to analyze your product or service. Looking at the features of your product will give you a clearer picture of who will be seeking it out.
Start by writing down each particular feature of your product. Next, determine the benefits of each feature. Think about all the things your product or service provides.
Once you’ve determined all the possible benefits, write down the types of people who have a need for your product. For example, if you own a hardware store, contractors and plumbers would be on your list.
The information you get from this may seem too general to be of any use. But you’ll be surprised how much more familiar you feel about your client base after going through this exercise.
Put Together a Buyer Persona
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. It’s based on research of your existing customer base and includes demographics, purchasing motivation and buying patterns.
Creating a buyer persona will provide a great deal of insight into your target market profile. It will help you understand what areas to focus marketing efforts on. This will help pinpoint your most valuable customers and generate promising leads.
When creating a buyer persona, ask yourself why your buyer needs your product. What is their motivation for contacting you?
Be as detailed as possible. You can even create a storyline around your buyer to gather insight into what type of person you need to be targeting.
A fictional buyer persona helps identify opportunities to market to the real-life version.
Check out Your Competition
Once you’ve defined your customer base, you need to look at how your competitors are reaching the public. Examining competitor marketing tactics is a great way to determine if there is a gap that you can fill.
Go online and see who’s ranking well for certain keyword phrases. What seems to be working for your top competitors? What isn’t?
Your competitors will have a similar target market profile as you. Looking at their marketing materials may reveal they are missing out on a certain demographic. This is a great opportunity to reach the potential customers they are missing.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Conducting small surveys is a great way to refine your target market profile. They also allow you to stay current on what consumers are thinking when it comes to your niche industry.
When doing this, the most important thing to consider is what you want to learn. Asking the appropriate questions will provide invaluable feedback.
Find out where your customers first look for products and services. What motivates them to make purchases? Who in the household is making the buying decisions?
Learning these things along with basic demographic information will define why there is a demand for your services. You’ll also get valuable information about where consumers are looking first when they need something.
There are many online survey programs that aid in generating and distributing questionnaires to your customers. You can easily integrate them into social media profiles or email them after a sale.
Use the Power of Social Media
Social media has undoubtedly changed the way information gets delivered. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can’t be ignored by business owners and entrepreneurs.
Aside from reaching customers, social media is a great way to gather information. Social media has made it easier to engage with your audience. Doing so can inform you as to what’s working and what’s not.
Polls and surveys will engage your customers and let you know how they felt about your services. Reviews are now common on Facebook and LinkedIn and will show you how many people are receptive to social media.
Many social media polls offer analytical tools that will provide information on demographics. Think of this as killing two birds with one stone. You’ll get valuable information to build a target market profile and also find out who responds the most to social media marketing.
The Right SEO Keywords
Organic search will most likely be the biggest source of traffic to your site. It’s important you know which terms are working and which ones aren’t. You should also know why those terms are being used.
Your target market profile has a direct connection to the keywords that need to be on your website and blog articles. When people search for products and services online, they typically use a regional signifier. For example, Lake Norman Pest Control near denver nc may be a search query used for an exterminator in the Denver, NC area.
In addition to the region, they will use keywords to describe the service needed. Knowing what terminology your audience uses with regard to your product will help.
There are many online keyword research tools that will help generate relevant phrases. You may also consider using the details of your target market profile and working with an SEO specialist.
Speaking to Your Audience
A primary reason you’re defining your target market profile is to establish an appropriate mode of communication. Your audience should define the look, feel and tone of your marketing material.
For example, the tone a law firm takes is totally different than that of a coffee shop. Take this into consideration when preparing web content, blog articles, and social media posts.
In order to connect with your market, you need to speak their language. Aside from your tone, the actual verbiage you use is important. Use phrases that appeal to your target demographic to establish a sense of familiarity.
A lot of the information that will determine this can come from social media. Look at reviews and comments to see how your audience speaks. Are they casual or professional?
If you write blog articles, which you should, how do they feel to the reader? Your target audience will determine if you can take a playful tone or need to be all business.
Let Your Audience Help Grow Your Brand
Your customer’s needs will most likely change over time. That means if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you’ll need to change as well.
Creating a target market profile is one of the best ways to stay connected to the people who need your product the most. This relationship will also provide valuable information about how you can change in order to better serve your clients.