Why Do I Need A Target Audience?
If you’re wanting people to be interested in what you have to offer, you need to determine your target audience. You may be asking yourself, “Do I really need a target audience?” Well, if you take your work seriously and want people to deeply care about what you do, then the answer is yes.
Pandering to the masses may be able to bring you more awareness, but it results in more apathy, less engagement, and less conversions. By trying to attract everyone, you’re not interesting to anyone in particular. No one really cares about what a generalist has to offer because they know it’s most likely not for them.
Your solution might very well be a great solution for many people, but it needs to be targeted to a specific group of people for anyone to care about it. A target audience is a point of entry for many people. A target audience is a handle for a specific group of people to grab a hold of. By targeting a focused demographic, you allow your content, services, or product to grab hold of someone. If they really like it, then the word of month referrals will spread organically.
How Do I Know Who My Target Audience Is?
We likely already know our target audience, but we just need a way to articulate the specifics of who they actually are. Some factors to think about are age, location, gender, income, level of education, occupation, ethnicity, religion, marital status, and number of children. We’ll dive deeper into each one of these in a minute, but I just wanted to introduce them first.
We tend to generalize groups of people rather than getting very specific. This is why it’s difficult for us to pin down a specific target audience. You can look for these specific factors in any data you have from your past consumers as well. Knowing these things will help you in making tailored content, services, and products for those people.
Get An Idea of Your Audience By Observing The Market
You can start getting an idea of who you will be targeting by looking at the existing market. Discover who in the market is actually able to consume what you have to offer. For example, if you’re selling trendy T-shirts that cost $50, you have to understand who’s able to spend that kind of money on a T-shirt. What is the general audience for people T-shirts?
Then, discover who’s interested in your type of product. Pre-teenagers and younger children may be interested, but might not be able to afford the $50. Middle-aged adults and older adults might be able to afford the $50, but lack the interest in that type of product. The people interested are probably teenagers and young adults, who are interested and able to spend $50 on a trendy T-shirt. Observe the people who are buying from your competitors who offer something similar to you.
Lastly, thoroughly define how you’re different from the people selling similar products. We know what you offer: $50 trendy T-shirts. However, which people are interested in your unique product specifically? Are they men, women, teens, young adults, etc.? Are they people who are interested in hip-hop music, sports, and reality TV? Finding your niche and unique value proposition will help you differentiate yourself and increase your chances of succeeding in your market.
Create A Persona of the Consumer
The goal of targeting is to get to know your customer better than they know themselves. This will give you the ability to understand their struggles, appeal to their interests, and speak to their language. The more you can appeal to them, the more that they’ll trust you and assume that you have the best solution for their needs. A great way to achieve this is by creating a persona that represents your ideal consumer.
Create a character that represents your ideal consumer based who you’re targeting. A persona will serve as the compass for your efforts and help attract more people who are similar to your persona. You can determine your target and create a persona by uncovering and defining several factors:
What is the ideal age of your consumer? Determine the age group first. Are they children, teenagers, young adults, etc.? Then, if you have to pick one age for your ideal consumer, what age would they be? Use that age for your consumer persona.
Is your reach local or global? If local, where does your ideal customer live, and what are some aspects of local life? If global, is there a specific country, region, or geographic culture that you are more targeted towards?
Are you targeting males, females, or both? Men and women often view the same solution differently depending on how it’s positioned. If it’s possible target either men or women, it can often increase conversions drastically if it speaks to one of them more strongly.
What income bracket is your target audience in? Are they making $20,000 or less? $60,000 a year, $100,000 a year, etc.? This is not just about how much they’re willing to pay for your product or services. This helps further define the type of solutions these people are seeking and allows you to further speak their language.
Level of Education
Does your target audience have a high school education, some college education, a four-year degree, a gradate degree, etc.? Are they self-taught, or do they specific certificates showing their expertise? This gives an ideas to the set of values your target audience holds, and allows for further tailoring.
Does what you have to offer speak to people in a certain industry or job? This also allows effective targeting based on their values and needs. This information can possibly be cross-referenced with income and location to gain insight into their job market. This can provide information about how well regarded they are in their respective industries, which further clarifies the type of the solutions they seek.
What ethnicity might have the strongest connection with what you have to offer? People often hold different beliefs and values based on their ethnic background. If it’s possible to cater to a specific ethnicity, it can give insights in their culture, value systems, and ideas of what they might be looking for in their lives.
Does your target audience hold any particular religious beliefs? Similar to ethnicity, the religious beliefs of your target audience can play a big part in determining their values and beliefs. This can also be a great way to define the dos and don’ts of your efforts to better appeal to your audience.
Are the people you are targeting single, married, divorced, widowed etc.? This leads to insights into what these people value and importance they hold in that person’s life.
Number of Children
Does your target audience have children, and if so how many? The number of children is important to be factored into the rest of equation. It’s a way to understand their available resources, value systems, and how they view potential solutions. This plays a big part in determining their available expendable income as well.
Define Your Target Audience As Best As You Can
Of course, you likely won’t be able to define every aspect of your target audience, which is completely fine. Targeting lies on a spectrum from being universal to being specialized. It’s okay to lie between the two extremes; the fact that you’re thinking about these things is the most important part. The world’s a big place and many people often seek specific solutions over general solutions—That’s why it’s best to be as targeted as you can be.
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