Defining your Target Audience (With Example)
Knowing your target audience helps your strategies and tactics be more focused, and thus saving you money and resources. If you already have an audience, it’s important to define it so you can have more targeted strategies towards this market.
What is a target audience?
A target audience is the group of people that have a need for the solution your business offers. This group of individual people has some traits in common that help you identify your target audience.
It might not seem important to spend time identifying and defining these traits, especially if you already have some time in your industry and know who your customers are. But if you avoid defining your target audience you might create long-term problems for your business. After all, many of your business strategies and tactics will depend on who you are selling to, including your marketing plan.
In this article, we will help you define your target audience.
How to identify your target audience
There are some indicators that make your target audience more identifiable. Here we will list some characteristics you should consider when identifying your target audience. Keep in mind every business is different and you may find that some of these characteristics don’t apply to your target audience, or you may find some other characteristics that define your target audience, research is a big part of identifying your target audience, but it’s worth it in the end.
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Demographics are the characteristics that you use to describe a specific segment of the population. Here are some of the most important:
- Family size
In addition to demographics you can narrow down your audience with location or geography. Pick a certain part of the city, a city, a state, a country, or maybe a radius around your store.
If you are an online business for clients worldwide, you might not need to set a location. This is where some of their characteristics don’t apply to some businesses. But you can still notice that some places buy from you more than others, you can use analytics tools to see where are your customers and maybe focus more on those clients.
Unlike demographics, a group’s psychographics are more difficult to guess or research through analytics on websites. These characteristics are more relevant to personality and will narrow down your target audience even further.
Here are some audience psychographics that you can specify:
These could be interests, hobbies, activities, and behaviors.
Your target audience may be narrowed depending on the opinion of your customers towards a subject. They may fit all of the characteristics of your target audience down to hobbies and interests, but their opinion could make a difference in their buying process.
You don’t need to identify every little aspect of your target audience, you have to find a balance where you don’t have a broad target audience that your marketing expenses are too big, or to narrow that you are finding a hard time finding your audience and spending more of the marketing budget on research.
Let’s look at a simple but effective example of a business with a specific target audience. We’ll see how they define their target audience and a simple strategy on how to reach them.
Example: Wedding photographer
Lucas is a wedding photographer that wants to run ads to get more customers. Running an ad on Facebook may look like a good idea, you get a decent exposure, it’s not that expensive, and may land a few clients, but no everyone on Facebook is getting married, so his ROI may suffer a bit. So he starts by defining a target audience.
He starts with the demographic aspects of his target audience. By doing some research he finds that the average age of people getting married is between 25 and 35. On the gender section, he feels tempted to skip it, since he thinks it doesn’t matter, but he does some more research and found that in most cases the wedding photographer is hired by the woman, so he writes that down in his target audience.
He can’t travel very far or else his expenses will go up, so he writes down his city as the geographic location. The family status is really clear so he writes it down as engaged couples. Occupation doesn’t matter as he is a very affordable photographer. So far, with these characteristics, he can make a more targeted Facebook ad and get a little more return on his ROI, but by narrowing even further he can better his strategy.
The interest/activity that is more relevant is wedding planning. And this is key to a good ROI on Lucas’s strategy. So far, his strategy was using targeted Facebook ads, but he notices that people that are planning their wedding don’t usually go to Facebook to do the planning, they use magazines, an event planner, or shop for wedding dresses and decorations. By defining his target audience he goes with a more targeted strategy: Partnering with wedding planners to recommend Lucas as a photographer, running ads on local wedding planning magazines, and partnering with wedding-related shops to put flyers on windows.
By defining his target audience he used his marketing budget more efficiently and got more return on his ROI.