Here, at the JARVEE’s blog, we often talk about interaction with your target audience. Whether we are referring to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other form of social media interaction or marketing strategies, target market or target audience has always been an essential element in what we do, and what we advise you to think about.
I have realized only recently that we haven’t given enough time or space to helping you identify your target audience, which is an omission I intend to rectify. We all presume that everyone knows everything about the basics because we talk about much more complicated things all the time, but the truth is that most people still have certain problems with exactly those things some of us take for granted.
So, without further ado, let’s jump in this list of questions designed to help you determine who belongs to your target group.
#1 – Who did you have in mind when you thought about making or selling your product or service?
Before making a decision of going into a particular business, one must have thought about different aspects of it, including things like supply and demand and potential competition. The target market is one of the first things to think of in such situations. If you had a particular group in your mind, and your business hasn’t been exactly booming, maybe you will need to reconsider after reading the following questions.
#2 – What do you want your target audience to do?
It is crucial to determine whether what you need is direct payments, purchasing your products or service, volunteering for your organization or an event you are planning or raising awareness about the causes you are representing.
#3 – Who is most likely to fit into what you need them to do?
You need to consider which demographic group is most likely to buy your products or donate to your cause, or whatever else you need them to do for your business to be successful. If you have market research information about your field of business, try to match what you know about age and interest groups with your own marketing message. From age and gender, which are never to be underestimated, to their marital status and having children, to which part of town they live, all of these factors need to be taken into account. Not only that, maybe, more importantly, education and income levels, as well as their profession, have become increasingly significant in targeting audiences in the past decade or longer. It all speaks of a particular lifestyle your desired customer/end user is leading.
However, please beware of getting into race-driven marketing. It is something that might have been successful in the middle of the 20th century. Nowadays it is just a sign of being out of touch with consumers. I strongly advise you against it.
#4 – What is your target customer like?
This means that you need to know what your target group members tend to like, dislike, enjoy doing, where they eat, what they eat, what are the hobbies they are interested in, what values they cherish and attitudes that they have. Also, it is highly important that you know which lifestyle you are targeting.
Think about the web as a big city, like Los Angeles, where you have series of billboards (your ad, your social network post, any content you placed online) and locations (web pages, social network pages, blogs, forums, and similar) where those billboards can be seen. Think about your content as online billboards for your business. It is very important that they are seen, yes. We all get that. What is even more important is that they are seen by the very people who will respond to them positively. Positively for your business. That means that, for example, you will put a fast-food related billboard next to a fast food restaurant, or a place where many people who tend to eat fast food live, work, or commute. Like a low-income neighborhood or downtown with a lot of tourists.
On the internet, this translates into putting a cookbook ad on the page devoted to recipes. Posting a funny cat/baby video to pages followed by stay-at-home moms is a similar thing. You will not post a BMW commercial on a website for those searching for a job.
Of course, I put it very plastically. You need to take serious market research data into consideration before doing anything.
#5 – What do they need and how can you offer that to them?
Sometimes it is more important to understand your target frustrations and needs than to have a great and catchy viral video with your product in it. However, you have to be really clever about using it. Mostly it depends on your experience. The more subtly you put it or veil the message that you get their need, the more are they likely to choose what you are offering. They don’t want to know that you saw through them. They need to think it was their own idea, and that will make them feel better, and at the end make them come back for more.
You also need to think about what is it that you can help them with, and is what you offer better than other solutions?
Are you offering a peaceful vacation in a child-friendly environment? Great, target those families with both working parents who have small children. Use a specific visual language or wording to appeal to them. Offer incentives for families with more children. Try to beat your competition with value for money.
#6 – What is it that makes them spend money?
This is a tricky one. You need to think about how your product or service integrates with what your target group is willing and has the possibility to spend money on. What will it take to make the purchase? Are those emotions, necessity, lust for adventure or feeling beautiful? Or is it something else? Whatever it is, your product needs to be aligned with their trigger.
If you are selling lingerie, go for those who want to feel sexy. Use special dates and holidays to remind them that they want to be sexy. If they had already liked your page, it will be a piece of cake. When everyone else is getting gifts for Valentine’s Day, why wouldn’t they?
If you are selling tools, target those handymen that will eventually need to fix their son’s or grandson’s bike. Or if you are offering software, remind people that they need to keep their business and private affairs safe and that they need to go along the tide or they will lose touch.
#7 – Have they been your customers in the past?
If this is true, it will make it easier for you to keep them as customers by offering solutions for similar problems, and products similar to those you have already been offering, just now slightly improved. It is important to build brand loyalty with the consumers you already have. In time, they usually become the most consistent customer base and the go-to target group. Identifying your existing consumer base as a target group shouldn’t be taken for granted though, because you need to keep working to keep them interested in your products and services, and also stay cool and in line with their ever-changing lifestyles.
#8 – Where do they get their information?
I don’t mean just the news. I mean any information. If they use Facebook, that is information. So, what social networks does your target audience use? Which websites do they visit? Which magazines do they read? Do they like watching the Vampire Diaries or are they into True Detective?
This is important because media, including social media, is the best way of interacting with your target audience.
#9 – Did you choose the right target group?
One thing you should always have in mind is that you should never try to please everyone. That is the shortest and most certain path to utter failure. Instead, focus on a group with which you will have the most mutually beneficial relationship. It is not only about making money, you need to grow, and your consumer base needs to grow with you. In order to achieve that, you need to have their best interest at heart as well. This way, brand loyalty is born, and you get a strong target group that is constantly growing.
When we don’t consider making a quick buck but look at the grander picture, you need to ask yourself: Are you really giving this target group what they need? If so, you did choose a good target group to start with.
However, the next thing you need to ask yourself is: Is this relationship mutually beneficial? If you are offering something to a group, but you are not successful enough, fiscally speaking, you need to change your path. Either change the target group and your marketing strategy to a more affluent one or change the product/service you are offering to make it more lucrative.
Is your marketing message reaching them? You could have done everything right, except have the right marketing strategy or message and fail miserably because of it. No matter how great your product is, or how much the target group you were aiming at would need it if the marketing message is poorly executed, failure is imminent.
Now that I have let you in on some of the more basic, but very relevant stuff, I hope that you will be more able to identify your target audience in the future. Not only that, I hope that you will know which social networks to use, and what kind of content to create for them, all so that you target group would react to all of it and get engaged and interested in what you are offering or representing. Not only to sell a product, knowing your target audience is crucial in building your brand.