How to Define Your Target Audience in 5 Simple Steps

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While it would be nice to be able to sell your product or service to all consumers, this isn’t a realistic approach for most brands. The kind of products or services people want or need depends a lot on their demographics. In order to understand and leverage this information, your business needs to first figure out who your target audience is and how you can reach them. In this article, we define what a target audience is and share five steps on how to narrow down your business’ target audience.

What Is a Target Audience?

A target audience is the group of consumers you aim to sell your products or services to. When defining a target audience, you will come up with core demographics and behaviors to create buyer personas.

By knowing your target audience, you can come up with marketing strategies to reach them where they are. For instance, let’s say you are a mid-range snowboard company that caters to young adults who are adventure seekers and don’t have a big budget for leisure activities. Your marketing and pricing needs to cater to this audience with visuals and language that is action packed and exciting and offers affordable gear. You might also target snowboarding gear forums ad spots or social media geared toward young people, like TikTok.

How to Define Your Target Audience

While there are many strategies to define and understand your target audience, these five steps are the foundation of this important process:

1. Gather Consumer Data

Start gathering data about who is buying the products or services your company offers. If you already have a customer base, work on getting to know them. You can do this by sending out buyer surveys or even chatting with them one on one. You can also use tools like Google Analytics to capture age, location, gender, and other demographic data from your website.

If you are an emerging business, start asking around to learn who would be interested in your product. Start with family and friends, and then move onto larger groups of consumers by sending out questionnaires and holding focus groups.

2. Research Your Competition

As you continue your consumer research, start looking at your competitors. Ask yourself: Who are they targeting in their branding and marketing? Who seems to be interacting with their brand? What types of consumers are in their visuals? These questions can help you glean useful information from your competition, which you then can use to refine your own offerings and messaging to stay ahead of the curve and differentiate your brand.

3. Use Social Listening

Social listening is when brands pay attention to what consumers are saying about their brand or similar brands via social media. By observing what consumers are actually saying, you can start to get an idea of what types of people are going to support your company and who may not be as interested.

Along with manually doing social listening simply by checking out different hashtags, mentions, and comment sections, there are plenty of social listening tools your company can utilize. Sprout Social and HubSpot both have social listening tools, though there are countless others to explore too.

4. Ask the Right Questions

When creating a survey or questionnaire, ask questions that are going to help you better understand your audience. Keep your surveys concise and straightforward to keep people engaged and improve your chances of more completed surveys. Here are some useful questions to get you started:

  • How old are you?
  • Where do you live?
  • What is your gender?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • What is your income level?
  • How much would you be willing to spend on X?
  • What do you do in your freetime?
  • What matters most to you?

5. Create a Buyer Persona

Once you have gathered all of your consumer data, it’s time to create a buyer persona to help you visualize your target audience. Essentially, a buyer persona is a fictionalized person who would be your ideal customer. In your buyer persona, you can include all of this person’s core demographics, give them a name and background story, and even use a stock photo to visualize them further.

You can create several buyer personas, especially if you have different tiers of service or ranges of products to offer. This exercise can help you envision what characteristics you want to target with your branding and marketing.

Do you need a website that will reach your target audience? Give us a call at 920-214-4025 or reach out here to learn how we can help!