3 Steps to Define Your Target Audience
Whether you’re selling an incredible health foods product, you offer the highest quality family entertainment in town, or you’re on the leading edge of battery research, you have an audience. If you think, however, that “people who eat health foods” or “people who use batteries” are your target markets, you may be missing out on a huge opportunity to market yourself!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in marketing is to over generalize or broadly define your target audience. To get you started, I’ve collected some expert advice, sourced from Raven Tools, Ken McArthuer, and Amy Portferfield, and put together 3 steps that will help you clearly define your target audience.
“When it comes to growing a business, few things have more power than a narrow focus. Too often business owners want to be many things in order to capture as much business as possible.”
“In order to persuade your audience to consider, try or purchase your product, you must, beyond all other requirements, know that audience.”
1. Articulate who you are
What does your business/nonprofit offer? In what ways is it unique compared to places like you?
What is the purpose of what you offer?
Do you offer a solution to a problem? If so, what problem does it solve?
What does the current customer receive/buy from you?
2. Create a customer profile
For this step, you want to be crazy specific. As online marketing giant and best-selling author Marie Forleo said in her interview with Amy Porterfield, the first step in building your client list is “Know who you want to reach.” She gave this example of audience definition
- WOMEN – WAY too broad
- STAY-AT-HOME MOMS –better. more specific and narrows down a certain segment of the population
- STAY-AT-HOME MOMS WHO ARE STARTING A HOME-BASED BUSINESS– wonderful! you’ve addressed a unique audience with a defined need.
Determine the demographic of your customer: age, location, profession, interests, income, marital status
Define the problem your customer has. Is he or she missing something? What is important to them?
Decide your reach. Are you trying to reach nation-wide, state-wide, world-wide? Or maybe a hyper-local approach is the best.
2. Engage in online conversation.
Who is reaching your target audience already? GO THERE: Blogs, Social Media, Networks, Resources. Take notes on what they are doing.
What value can you add to those ideal customers that these other sources do not offer? What is already out there that you can add your own twist to?
Conduct a social media-based survey of potential or current customers, asking things about what they are interested in, what they care about, or problems they need solved.
Keep up with trends and news in your industry. Keep track of other organizations’ audiences.
Here are some paid resources we found that can help you in your endeavors to define your target audience.
DemographicsPro: Twitter demographic analysis by user or hashtag. It outlines gender, age, race, income, location and brands used. $30 – $400 per month based on number of followers
Raven Tools – Social Monitor: Social Networking monitor for keywords. A part of greater social media tools package for $99 per month. No contract.
B-School: Marie Forleo’s online business training school. It contains an intensive audience-defining course along with other courses to help you grow your business. Thanks for reading our concoction of (hopefully) helpful tips! Please let us know if you have any questions or if there is some way we can help you engage your audience.