Knowing your potential customers is key to effective marketing. If you do not tailor your messaging to the right target audience, even your best ideas can prove fruitless. Before you kick off your marketing campaign, it is essential to research who your target audience is and what would catch their attention. We have put together 5 tips to help you focus in on the audience that can grow your business.

Why Bother?

You might assume that by not limiting your audience, you can ensure that no potential customer feels excluded from your messaging. After all, the wider your reach, the more potential customers you have. Unfortunately, this is a pitfall for big and small businesses alike. Research suggests that in practice, the opposite is true.

According to a report by Infosys, 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalised, and 59% say that personalisation influences their shopping decisions. There is no point in losing potential clients because of frustration about generic marketing when you can easily allocate a little bit of time to shaping a strategy. In fact, if your marketing strategy is made with your clients in mind, they can find your company more easily and will be more likely to use your products and services.

77% of customers have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that provides a bespoke service or experience (Forrester)

1. Create Your Target Audience Persona

Here is a useful exercise: think of your ideal client. Note down who they are and how they act. What are your customers are like? Who needs your products or services and who is most likely to use them? Are they individuals or businesses? What are their demographics, interests, challenges, motivations and goals? Do they have a specific characteristic which you can capitalise on? Your answers will form the basis for identifying the target audience that will grow your business.

90% of companies using personas have gained a clearer understanding of who their buyers are (ITSMA)

Companies which exceed goals are 7.4 times more likely to have updated their personas in the last 6 months than those who have missed their goals (Cintell)

2. Consider What Makes You Unique

How can you meet your audience’s needs, and why would they pick you over a competitor? Write a list of your distinguishing benefits, whether they relate to your company, your products, or your services. These are your unique selling points (USPs) that set you apart from your rivals. Depending on what makes you unique, your target audience could change. Two wholesalers may both sell noodles, for instance, but their target audience will still vary based on the distinguishing traits of their product and delivery.

3. Use Data and Analytics

Make the most of data and analytics. Tools like Google Analytics, LinkedIn Page Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights can help you understand your customers better. They allow you to gather data about audience demographics and the performance of your social media platforms and posts. You can also discover which traffic sources provide the most engagement for your website. If you create a customer database, you can use that as the springboard of your analysis.

With the help of data, you can create better, more refined content and devise a better marketing strategy to boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

Google Analytics is used by 67% of the 10,000 most popular websites (BuilWith)

53.9% of websites use Google Analytics, which has a traffic analysis tool market share of 84.2% (W3Techs)

4. Interact With Your Audience

No one is in a better position to help you learn than your target audience itself. Get in touch with your customers and ask questions that are directed at understanding their needs and motivations. Find out about your own selling points and shortcomings first-hand. You can gather feedback through online surveys or even through a series of simple phone calls. (Make sure you create a questionnaire beforehand so that you get the outcomes you need.) By taking your customers’ opinions on board, you can create improvements that your future clients will benefit from.

5. Use the Right Social Media Channels

Just knowing your target audience is not enough; you have to put your findings into practice. The next step is to determine where you are most likely to find these people. Think back to your target audience’s persona.

  • What social media channels do they use?
  • What kind of content would highlight your USP?
  • What kind of content appeals to your target audience?

Once you have your answers, you can find the right platforms, and plan content that reflects what they want. For example, if your target audience is business professionals, LinkedIn is probably the best place to find them. If you are offering a service, your target audience will respond well to case studies and testimonials. You can even utilise social media to see how similar businesses connect with their target audience and take a page out of their book.

83% of customers are more interested in purchasing a product or service when they have received a verbal recommendation from a friend or family member (Convince & Convert)

Knowing your target audience is invaluable to your marketing strategy. You can use your research to boost your business’ chance of success. Personalising marketing content does involve a time commitment, but those who invest time into identifying and catering to their target audience will be rewarded.