Are you a business owner looking to promote your brand, increase traffic to your website and boost sales? One of the most important ways you can achieve this is through targeting and attracting the perfect audience for your business.
A target audience is the particular group of consumers you are creating your products/services for and who are therefore most likely to invest in your business.
You can think about the target audience in terms of demographic factors: How old are they? What is their sex? Where are they based geographically? Alternatively, your target audience may be from a range of ages, backgrounds and locations, but are united by a common interest.
Thinking about target audiences can be a little daunting. You’re in the right place, though, as we’ve collated all our knowledge for establishing, finding and engaging your target audience so your business can thrive!
By the end of this blog post, you’ll know…
- The benefits of knowing who your target audience is,
- How to determine who your target audience is,
- How to connect with your audience,
- How to keep them engaged in the long term.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF KNOWING WHO YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS?
Identifying your target audience has endless advantages:
- It makes your marketing efforts more efficient.
- It helps you tailor your products/services to the customer.
- It builds trust and loyalty between business and customer.
1. IT MAKES YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS MORE EFFICIENT
An astonishing $37 billion every year is wasted on advertisements that fail to engage their target audience. It is expensive and time consuming to market your business without having an idea of who exactly you’re marketing to. Your marketing strategy should therefore be informed by your knowledge and understanding of who your target audience is and how they interact with your business. This will mean your time, money and energy is not wasted and your business can thrive sooner through targeted marketing campaigns, and you won’t be wasting time on trying to attract people who aren’t wholly interested in your business with generic marketing campaigns.
2. IT HELPS YOUR TAILOR YOUR PRODUCTS/ SERVICES TO THE CUSTOMER
If your business is going to blossom and you’re going to beat the competition, you need to know what people want and need from your business. Having a good sense of who your target audience is will allow you to tailor your business to the people you have created it for, as understanding who they are, how they live and what they need from your products/services will give you direct insight into where your business fits into their world. This means you can develop your products/services in direct correlation to the interests and values of the people you are targeting, so they’re more likely to be responsive to your business and you’re more likely to retain customers in the long term.
3. IT BUILDS TRUST AND LOYALTY BETWEEN BUSINESS AND CUSTOMER
Having tailored products/services will mean your consumers are more likely to trust in your business – the only way you can achieve this is by establishing and getting to know your target audience. Customers want to feel valued, and the best way to ensure you’re doing this is by showing that you understand their wants and needs and you are a business they can rely upon to do just that.
So we know it’s important to know your target audience, but how exactly do we establish our target audience?
HOW DO I DETERMINE WHO MY TARGET AUDIENCE IS?
Before you can start engaging with and getting to know your audience, you have to establish who it is you’re trying to target. A toy company for children will attract a very different audience than a beauty salon, so it’s important to know who you’re trying to sell to before you start thinking about planning a marketing strategy to attract them.
Firstly, think about your brand and who you created it for. You might have a specific age range in mind for your audience, or a category of people you’re intending to sell to. If you’re a clothing company selling garments for men, women and children, your target audience is likely to be very large and diverse, whilst a business selling sewing materials will probably attract a smaller, more specific target audience.
Once you have an idea of who you want to target, ask yourself some questions to try and craft a broader picture of your audience. This is the process of establishing a buyer persona, which goes further than establishing demographic information and rather looks deeper into the customer to provide a detailed image of who they are. What sort of lives do they lead? Do they have a family? What jobs do they have? What are their wants and needs? Is there something missing in their lives? How does your product/service fit into their lives?
All of these questions can be answered by doing thorough research. Ask questions and listen to the response – you can use surveys on your website or do short interviews with your current customers to grow your understanding of who your customer is. Ask them questions about themselves, their goals, their professional and personal lives. Customer feedback is another great way to hear directly from your customers – when they buy a product, ask them for a review by providing a feedback form via email or on your website. Not only will these audience insights tell you more about what your target audience needs, they’ll also shine a light on whether you’re targeting the right audience and whether your products/services need to be modified to suit your target audience better.
You can also look to your competitors and analyse who they’re attracting and whether this is the audience you’d also like to target. Make use of the hashtag feature by identifying the people who are engaging with your competitors (aka, your ideal customers) and researching what hashtags they are using and following, so you can develop an understanding of the kind of brands and product/services they are interested in.
Having a good idea of who it is you want to target opens the path for being able to attract them to your business, as you can tailor your marketing content to suit their behaviour on and offline.
Now you know who your audience is, the next stage is determining which channels will be the most effective channels for placing your marketing efforts so you can maximise engagement with your target audience.
Let’s look at how to reach your target audience…
HOW DO I CONNECT WITH MY AUDIENCE?
Where and how you interact with your audience is not a ‘one size fits all’ concept. Remember, different people interact differently, so use your insights into your audience to inform where you’ll be communicating with them.
You may find that your audience engages better with visual and video content than with written copy. You can test this by trialling both methods and monitoring your analytics to see which form of communication receives the most engagement. The same can also be said for choosing which platform you’re going to channel your energies into: do you get more website clicks from your email newsletter than you do your Instagram bio? Knowing how and where your audience engages with you will ensure you’re choosing the place that suits your business and your audience.
Here are some of the channels by which will help you reach, communicate with and market to your target audience…
Here at CANDESCENT, we can’t get enough of email marketing! Amongst other things, it opens a direct channel of communication between you and your interested customers without any competition from an algorithm (like you’ll find on social media platforms). It’s also super time efficient, as you can automate your email sequences so personalised emails are triggered by actions taken by your customers. We’ve got a whole blog post all about email workflow for guidance on automating your emails.
But you need an email list before you can send emails, right? The best place to start with establishing an email channel is obtaining email addresses. This can be done through an opt-in form, which you can host on your website. When people enter their emails, they’re signing up to receive emails from you, so you can start to communicate with your target audience. Encourage people to give you their email by using ‘lead magnets’, such as “Enter your email to get 20% off your next order!” or “Want the latest gossip? Sign up to our email newsletter!”
If you want to know more about how you can grow your email list with lead magnets, you’ll love our FREE Guide, 5 Lead Magnets to Grow Your Email List FAST, which has tonnes of tried and tested ideas!
It may be that social media is your preferred choice of marketing tool, as your audience may be super engaged across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Social media gives you access to a large audience and offers an opportunity to boost brand recognition and the potential to reach a new, diverse audience.
Growing a social media presence is rewarding, but there are some things to note. The algorithm of any given social media platform is in control of who sees your posts, monitoring how people interact with your posts and sharing them with the accounts they feel will be most interested in them. Sadly, this means your content will not always be shown to every single one of your followers – you may have 10,000 followers, but only a small percentage of them get to see your content. In comparison, your email list may only have 500 people, but you know your emails are going to be sent to every single one of those 500 people.
This means organic (free) social media advertisement is not as effective as paid social media advertisement; to get the most out of your posts you may have to consider investing financially in your platforms so there is a greater chance your posts will be seen. Bear this in mind when thinking about how you want to interact with your target audience, and consider growing an email list to maximise the likelihood of your target audience receiving the information you’re sending out and ensure your time and money is used to the greatest effect.
Struggling to decide whether email marketing or social media marketing is the way forward for your business? Check out our blog post comparing the two marketing channels to help you decide.
So, you’ve established who you want to target, and you’ve determined how you’re going to communicate with them. All that’s left is making sure they stay engaged enough to become customers and, in the long term, repeat customers…
HOW DO I KEEP MY TARGET AUDIENCE ENGAGED IN THE LONG TERM?
Here are our top tips for ensuring your marketing strategy is on point when engaging with your target audience…
- Nurture your audience by providing valuable, personalised content.
- Be consistent.
- Strike a balance between promotional and personal.
- Remind them of the benefits.
- Use automated abandoned cart emails to win back customers.
1. NURTURE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE BY PROVIDING VALUABLE, PERSONALISED CONTENT
Having a solid understanding of your target audience allows you to nurture your audience by sharing personalised, individualised and useful content that they are more likely to respond to. Rather than creating generic content that your customers may or may not be interested in, think about the most effective way to present the information so that it intrigues and sparks curiosity in your target audience. Everything you create for your target audience should be created with the intention of giving your customer what they want.
Emailing is the best platform for nurturing your audience. Whilst a post on social media has less of a ‘personalised’ effect as you are catering for an audience that may be interested in several different aspects of your business, you can segment your emails through identifying what the individual customer is most interested in, so that you’re sending customized and relevant emails they’re more likely to respond to. This is an effective way of ensuring your marketing efforts are as efficient as they can be, and that you’re engaging your target audience in a productive way.
2. BE CONSISTENT
Communicating with your target audience on a regular basis is vital for keeping your target audience engaged. Avoid sending a tonne of emails and posting on social media everyday before going silent for a month; instead, set yourself a manageable schedule of when content will be published so your audience knows when to expect emails and social media posts from you. Setting an expectation of when you’ll be communicating with them will ensure your audience knows you care about them enough to prioritise chatting with them on a frequent basis.
3. STRIKE A BALANCE BETWEEN PROMOTIONAL AND PERSONAL EMAILS
To keep your target audience engaged, you’ll want to give them a balance between sales emails (telling them about your latest product/service launch, any sales you have going on etc.) and personal emails. These emails have a different tone and angle, and may include details about your business’ history or some personal information about yourself. It is this quality content – which can’t be found anywhere else – that will remind your customers that you value them as individuals and you’re not abusing the channel of communication to bombard them with promotional emails all the time.
4. REMIND THEM OF THE BENEFITS
Over time, customer interest may wane. This is where you step in and remind them of all the great things they’ll be missing out on if they decide to leave!
Keep them engaged by using your insights of what they have purchased before or taken an interest in on your website to send personalised emails with the benefits of your products/services and show them that you value their customer loyalty. You could also combine this tactic with rewarding them for being loyal customers, such as through monthly discounts; this is a great way to show their presence in your business’ community is appreciated.
Encouraging people to see the positives they are getting through your business is a great way to remind them of why they loved you in the first place. This will keep them coming back for more!
5. USE AUTOMATED ABANDONED CART SEQUENCE TO WIN BACK CUSTOMERS
Consistent, personalised engagement is key for every customer, but even more so with customers who have left something in their cart. Don’t let your ideal customers go forever – instead, win them back by using an abandoned cart email sequence.
An abandoned cart email sequence is triggered when someone leaves an item in their online shopping basket without finalising the purchase. They’re a great way to remind the customer what they have left behind in their cart through a personalised email; it may be that they got distracted before checking out and need a little encouragement to finalise the purchase.
It may be that your customer changed their mind and wasn’t totally won over by the product/service they put in their basket. This is a good opportunity to share similar products/services that they may not have found yet but could be interested in – remember, they’re the person you ideally want to sell to, so don’t let them go too easily.
Always end abandoned cart emails with a ‘call to action’, such as ‘Take me to my basket now!’ with a link doing just that for a final push of encouragement.
Overall, there is so much value in understanding and engaging with your target audience. It’ll make your marketing strategy incredibly effective, and will allow you to nurture the customers who are dedicated to your business. This will mean more interest and more sales in the long term.
We’d love to know whether you’ve been communicating with your target audience and how it’s been going – let us know on social media @WeAreCandescent!
Image Credits: © Anna Shvets / © Social Squares