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Apr 17, 2016

How To Define Your Target Audience

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Finding the correct definition of your target audience is mandatory to any kind of business, leave alone those based on the online world. With so many people out there surfing the web every day might sound impossible to decide what is the best niche to choose nowadays.

Still, if you don’t do it, you will probably be wasting valuable resources due to lack of focus. So, let’s see what you have to do in order to define your target audience correctly, and, increase your business’s results, as a consequence.

Understand your product or service first

First of all, you need to have clear in mind what you are selling online. What is your product or service? What makes it better than what your competitors have to offer? What are its unique features? You should also think about how your client can buy it (your payments and delivery processes). Does it mean that your client has to be based on a specific location?

You will need these answers so you can better understand who is your target audience from your point of view. Some things might be very obvious – for instance, if you sell working outfits for women, you are most certainly dealing with an audience of females from 18 to 65 years old. But other essential points might be really tricky, so be aware to not stereotype – thinking that cars are solely a men’s interest, for example.

Find out who need what you have to offer

Getting from where we stopped on the topic above, it is time for you to think who actually need what you are offering. And here we aren’t talking about what you think or wish, but the reality of the facts.

No matter how much you wish to have a popular product, it won’t happen if it is too expensive. Same for services that require that the client goes to your facilities in person – only people fairly nearby you will make this trip, except if you have something really unique to offer.

There a few ways to find out more about your real target audience, but the most used are benchmarking and research.

By benchmarking, we are talking about checking what our competitors are up to. Who do you think is their target audience? It might not take more than reading their About Us or Clients section on their website to figure this out, as their clients might be explicitly mentioned there. Or you might need to visit their facilities and see it for yourself.

But research is the favorite here. You should always conduct some kind of research to get to know your target audience, and it can be done through questionnaires or surveys, for example. If you have Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics connected to your website, it will also give you several tips on this direction.

Describe your target audience and their motivations

As mentioned by Jayson DeMers, you need to be able to describe not only the basics about your target audience but also their motivations. To accomplish it, you will need to ask yourself (and them) about what makes them buy your product or service, which problem they want to see solved.

Take a look at this infographic, produced by arcstone, and learn how to create detailed audeince persona for your business.

Audience persona creation guide infographic

And as you know, the real deal is usually much deeper that you think. Taking again the example of working outfits for women, the goal here is not be dressed to work, but stand out in the workplace. They might be looking for clothes which will give them confidence, and also keep them comfortable throughout the day. So you start to understand that you are selling confidence and comfort, not fabric.

Of course, it is important to write down their average age, gender, the area of residence, interests, profession, marital status, and so. But bear in mind that much of this information might change at any minute, and it won’t necessarily implies that they will stop buying your product. Because what counts is their motivation. Here, you can also get some tips from writers as there are plenty of articles about it on the web.

Remember that you have more than one audience

Now that you have it all much clearer in your mind, it is important to you consider that you might be dealing with more than one target audience all the time. And that your second audience might have a bigger or smaller impact on your sales depending on the nature of your business, but you will certainly find them somewhere.

We are talking here about influencers, those people who will have a saying on your client’s decision-making process. It can be their partners, family, or friends. If you are in a B2B business, it can be their boss. These people will say to your client what they have heard about your product, and if they think it would suit them or not. So, you have started guessing why you need to please them too and to write engaging content that motivates them to speak well about your product.

This understanding becomes essential if you are dealing with products for children, for example. Your primary target audience is the little ones for sure, but it is their parents or relatives that will make the final decision. So you should make sure that your message will reach them as well and in a very positive way.

To sum up

Defining your target audience is easier that you think, but you shouldn’t ignore its importance to your business. If you don’t know who are talking to, you can’t adapt your product or service, and your message won’t reach your clients.

So spare some time today and start analyzing your target audience. It will give you a better understanding of your business, perfect your customer service, and increase your results and profits in the short, medium and long term.

AUTHOR: Diana Beyer is an experienced and self-driven specialist who is passionate about writing. Her purpose is to share some value among interested people. She is always seeking to discover a new way in personal and professional development. You may contact her through Twitter.

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