If you are a business owner and offer a given product or service, you can choose to improvise and promote your brand in an intuitive way. However, you are just taking shots in the dark and hoping it works… The target audience – and more specifically defining it – will help in developing effective marketing strategies, which will increase the recognition of your company and bring more profit.
In the past, in order to perform targeted surveys, it was necessary to hire specialist interviewers or a company that does non-participant observation to study consumer behavior, which was thoroughly ridiculed in, for example, the Swedish movie “Kitchen Stories”. Currently, you can also cooperate with various types of research institutes that support the business world, but instead of spending a large amount of funds, it is better to use generally available knowledge and specialized tools that are available for free or for a small fee. With a dose of determination, anyone can become an expert in defining the target group.
Target Audience – It All Depends on the Size of the Business
When you run a small business, you often know your customers and their needs. In this case, questions like – “how to define the target group?” or “how to reach the target group?” don’t make much sense. However, the issue becomes more complicated when the company is of a considerable size and most of its potential clients are completely anonymous. And how to attract people you don’t know?
This will only work if you properly target and create models of customers (so-called persona) who may be interested in your product or service.
A teenager who can be influenced by crazy internet marketing has completely different needs than a middle-aged woman who prefers calmer advertising content. A solid, personalized message can hit the recipients’ sensitive points, evoke emotions and encourage them to engage, which is a crucial part of the relation between the company and the client; this is what content marketing is based on.
Person? The movie?
No, we will not discuss another well-known Swedish film here, but the basic issue related to defining the audience. Persona is a model of our ideal recipient, its characteristics, which include such issues as gender, age, education, place of residence, preferences, worldview, marital status, life practice, current needs or level of life satisfaction. The company cannot afford to create content (such as SEO-compliant articles, video content marketing) that do not meet the expectations of the recipients who would be interested in the products or services you offer.
You should think about your personas as close friends who you want to meet and make their lives a bit happier by fulfilling their consumer dreams. Everyone lives in their own closed world of beliefs, in their own bubble. Young people will not be interested in maternity-related content, and their parents will find the rebellious advertising campaign just dull.
That is why it is so important to always be a few steps ahead of your audience, trying to oversee the potential trends. For this purpose, it is worth gaining knowledge, reading the trade press and portals, following the content placed under the hashtags important from your point of view, reading comments on social networks and opinions, and of course using tools to define the target audience.
Target Audience – Two Basic Tools
Thanks to individual, specialized analytical tools, you can get to know the characteristics of your target group in great detail. The most popular tools to help target audiences are:
Facebook Audience Insights
Virtually every modern company uses social networks, because this is where they can meet and make close contact with their customers, presenting the latest promotional materials. Facebook gives you great opportunities to peek behind the curtain and check the details on people who have received your company posts and how they reacted to this content (whether it was hidden, liked or shared).
In addition to basic information about the target group, such as gender, age, place of residence, thanks to this system you can also check the relationship status of your fans or pages that they like. This helps you plan your strategies and collaborate with famous people or companies with whom you share your fans.
However, when publishing video content marketing on Facebook, it is worth paying attention to whether the video is watched to completion or is it abandoned by viewers at some point. Such information may help in better content targeting and allows you to create content that will please, amuse or evoke emotions in your recipients.
Thanks to this platform, you can check what type of people your website visitors are. What are the characteristics of customers who quickly leave the website or those who stay a bit longer or make a purchase? Google Analytics allows you to verify, e.g. the age, gender, interests, and industries they are close to, as well as how they navigate your site. It is worth setting your promotional activities for people whose visits to your website usually end with a purchase.
At the beginning of your business journey, it is worth working out your target group by making a series of marketing tests. Sometimes you can opt for advertising texts written in a light, informal style, and other times you can choose more serious content (although even funeral services can be advertised in a fun way). The recipients of your marketing strategies will show you the right path through their positive or negative reactions or no response at all. Reality can surprise you sometimes and you may find that your target audience is completely different than you might have expected.