Much too often, we see copy and advertisements that are based on nothing. The key audience gets forgotten, which leads to content that completely misses its mark. When copy is written for no one in particular, it won’t appeal to anyone in particular. These types of content and ads cost time, effort, and money, without any payoff. What a waste. Your online marketing strategy starts with your target audience. When you know exactly who you want to reach, you can apply content optimization, making sure copy and ads are working for you. The more in-depth knowledge you have of your audience, the more precision you can put into your advertising. You’ll start to see higher conversion rates and better ROI statistics!
Defining your target audience
Start by defining the specific group of people you want to reach with your marketing message. This group is interested in your solutions and is very likely willing to purchase your products or services. The more specific you can be, the better. This way, you will discover the very core of your audience — those people who are most likely to lead to conversions after encountering your ad. Start with a broad base and then narrow down your audience in as much detail as possible.
This is where we often see companies fail. They think they know who their key audience is, but their target group is often based on nothing. Our advice is to conduct audience research, to analyze the data from social media channels and Google Analytics, and to take a close critical look at the results from previous advertising campaigns. Age, location, language, income, behavioral characteristics, demographic markers, interests, position, and more are all important information. See more tips below to help with your targeting:
- Determine who is already using your services or products by taking a closer look at your customer database.
- Look into your competitors.
- Determine the benefits (so not the characteristics!) of your products and services versus those of your competitors.
- Describe your key demographic: outline who your target audience is and which problem they have that can be solved by your service or product.
- Test! Conduct an A/B test to discover which advertisement gets the best response from your target audience. This way, you’ll gather even more valuable information about your target audience.
- Adjust where necessary. Gradually, you will gain even more insight into your key audience. Once you do, adjust your audience description and of course your online marketing strategy.
Now that you have researched your target audience, it’s time to target them in your campaigns. This will look different for each company or organization. For a plumbing company, that target group might include property owners, whereas pregnant women would be a likely target audience for an obstetrician. Other audience demographics could be:
- single men between 20 and 30 years old;
- dog owners;
- or retired seniors.
Sometimes a target audience will be considerably small (an expensive Italian menswear brand), other times it will be much larger (a toy store).
No matter who your target audience is, you should still break it down into segments within your campaigns so that you can reach people effectively. On Facebook and Instagram it’s quite easy to segment audiences, but in Google Ads things become a little less specific. That’s why it’s important to create content that is geared towards the type of audience you are aiming to reach. It’s possible that you have multiple target audiences. In that case, set up a different campaign per audience, so that you are providing solutions for their diverse needs. Always keep your key audience(s) in mind when you are writing content, photographing products, and filming your business processes.
Target audience is the first step
Now that the importance of a target audience is clear, you’re ready to get started. Who is your audience, what are their needs, what is the best way to reach them, and with which content? Once you answer those important questions, you’ll notice that your campaigns become more effective and drive more revenue. Defining and targeting your core audience is the first step towards success!