Need more customers? If you haven’t figured out who your target audience is yet, that’s a problem that may never go away.
Target audiences are the people who would be most interested in your product. Your target audience informs almost all of your advertising decisions, including the voice/tone of your messaging, where you should display those messages, and what channels you should use to communicate with new and potential customers.
Defining and reaching out to your target audience are your first steps towards greater success in your business. Whether this is your first time establishing your target audience or you’re trying to attract a new audience, here’s how to find your target audience in four steps.
Step 1: Define Your Target Audience
Who is your ideal customer? Figuring out who you’re trying to talk to is the most important of these four steps—how could you persuade something to do anything if you didn’t know their needs and concerns?
So how do you define your target audience? We recommend using buyer personas. Personas are essentially a character description of the ideal consumer who would purchase your product.
Painting a clear picture of your customers will help you empathize with who they really are: people. Your customers aren’t just a performance metric, they are real people with real needs and problems. Here’s how you can start to paint that picture:
To start crafting your persona, you can characterize them using several different factors, including:
- Relationship status
Do Your Research
Now, for your buyer persona to be an effective tool, you have to put genuine thought and effort into picking these characteristics—as fun as a mad-lib buyer persona sheet sounds, it won’t do you any favors.
To cultivate a proper customer persona, you need to do some research and answer some questions. For starters, consider who has bought your product in the past. If your previous customers used their email to order your product, you can send out a customer survey with demographic questions to better understand who your customers are. Even after you’ve developed a thorough persona, you should continue to use customer surveys to keep your finger on the pulse of your audience.
You should also think about the need/desire your product is meant to satisfy. This involves a big-picture mentality. For example, when someone is in the market for a camping tent, they are really in the market for a comfortable camping experience.
Create Your Persona
After researching your customer demographics, you can put it all together to create a buyer persona. It should look something like this:
Business Owner Tim
- Age: 45
- Gender: Male
- Marital Status: Married with kids
- Homeownership: Yes
- Education level: Master’s Degree
- Job Role: Online business owner
- Region: Florida
- Average Income: $110,000
- Favorite Social Media: LinkedIn, Facebook
“Tim has owned his eCommerce business for over 10 years. He enjoys facing challenges head-on and is always looking to expand his business to stay ahead of his competition.”
Tim has a college degree and an MBA and has a large network of professionals, business partners, and colleagues whom he consults with regularly.”
In his spare time, Tim listens to business podcasts, reads nonfiction books, and spends time with his family in the outdoors.”
Feel free to get as detailed as you want when writing about your buyer persona—the more you think about it, the better you can understand their purchasing behaviors.
Step 2: Create the Right Messaging
Now that you understand who your target audience is, you need to let them know who you are with your brand messaging. This messaging should present you as an industry leader who can fulfill the needs of your customers.
To build your brand messaging framework from top to bottom, there are a few things you should have handy:
- Target audience
- Brand promise
- Positioning statement
- Mission statement
- Tone of voice
We’ve already gone over what you need to know about your target audience, so let’s hit the other points.
Your brand promise communicates your value and what customers can expect when they interact with your company. The better you can deliver on that promise, the more customers will trust your brand.
Your positioning statement defines how you fit into the market. This is where you can include a unique selling proposition, detailing what benefits customers can gain from choosing your services or product over your competitors. When crafting your positioning statement, consider the pain points of your target audience—how can you do a better job than your competitors at solving their problems?
The last two points inform customers of what to expect from your brand. Mission statements tell them what your ultimate goal is. Your mission statement should describe what you hope to accomplish with your company, what your core beliefs are, and how your actions are informed by those core beliefs.
Tone of Voice
All of the previous points help you figure out what you want to say, so now it’s time to figure out how to say it. What kind of tone would best reflect your core beliefs? Should you go for a more playful tone or something more cut and dry? A good rule of thumb: your tone should match the tone your buyer persona would use.
Step 3: Show up Where Your Audience Is
You should have a general idea of where your audience goes online when you create your customer persona. In our example, “Business Owner Tim” frequents LinkedIn and Facebook the most. But knowing where they are isn’t even half of the battle—you have to figure out how to get your ads to show up where they are.
In our experience, four tools have helped us find our audience:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a must-use tool if you hope to have any impact on your digital marketing. SEO uses relevant keywords and phrases that people frequently search on search engines to target your ads. For example, if you own a roofing company, you might try to target longer keyword phrases like “how to clean my gutters.”
By implementing keywords into your webpages, your brand can show up on your audience’s search result pages. This is a great digital marketing tactic since your messaging won’t be in their face—they’ve come to their search engine with a query, and you’re offering a response.
Google Analytics is the perfect data collection tool that lets you witness customer behavior for your audience that uses Google (which is the majority of people). With this tool, you’ll have access to a variety of data points and charts, which will help you paint a better picture of who your target audience is and where they are online.
We briefly mentioned them earlier, but social media platforms are ripe advertising opportunities. There are over 3.78 billion social media users worldwide, so using it for your advertising can quickly give you access to much more of your audience. Plus, many social media platforms have their own analytics tools, which give you insight into who is engaging with your posts on each platform.
Lastly, backlinks are an SEO-assisting tool that lets you connect to other websites via hyperlinks. Other websites will link to your website if they consider you as a trusted resource (or if you know how to build links). These links should be attached to web pages that relate to your industry, which means people that are already interested in your services can find your website. Backlinks will effectively do all the work for you by inviting your ideal customers to come to you.
Step 4: Referral Programs and Reviews
Once you find your core audience online, you still don’t have an excuse to rest. Your newfound audience can now help you with word-of-mouth marketing (telling their friends how great you are). You can encourage this practice by asking for online reviews or establishing a referral program.
New customers will have an easier time trusting your company if you have a higher star rating on Google. The only way to get a higher rating is by providing excellent service to your customers and encouraging them to leave a review of their positive experience. Their positive review is, effectively, their endorsement of your brand, which can inspire other people to go to your website and buy your product or service.
To get more customer reviews, consider taking some of the following initiatives:
- Offer rewards for leaving a review
- Send out emails to previous customers using marketing automation
- Post on social media to ask people to leave a review
Referral programs are a way to incentivize customers to tell their friends about your company. That incentive may be an online coupon, free shipping, or even a free purchase from your online store. Referral programs show your customers your appreciation of their help in raising your brand awareness.
Find Your Audience with Big Leap
As long as you know what tools to use, finding your audience doesn’t need to be a chore. But, we understand if you’ve been too busy to put in the work. On the other hand, if you partner with Big Leap, we can do all of the heavy lifting and find your perfect audience for you.
If you want help finding and connecting with the right audience, contact Big Leap today.