Many business experts will argue that your target customer is the most important part of your marketing plan. Knowing your target audience allows you to draft a strategy that will reach the customers most likely to purchase your goods and services, and result in solid conversions. Understanding your target audience enough to target them takes quite a bit of work, but it can be accomplished with a little dedication and a few tips that set you on the right path.
1. Join the Conversation in Your Industry
As a startup, you want to bring something new and exciting to the game that no one has ever seen before. However, you also want to fit into the prefabricated infrastructure of industries that has specific audiences in mind. This will make your job easier in the long run, since the target audience is mostly defined in each industry.
For that reason, it’s important to join the conversation in your industry rather than starting a new one from the start. Address what your competitors are talking about, and come up with new and innovative solutions for customer problems. Once you’ve established yourself as a competitor in your industry and developed your customer base, you can begin to look outside the box for opportunities to shine and introduce a new conversation for your customers.
2. Solve a Problem
Customers come to you because you can solve a problem for them, whether that problem can be solved with a good or a service. Because of that, everything you sell should begin with a question: What problem will this solve for my target customer? Once you’ve answered that question, you can use the answer as a marketing tactic.
3. Understand Customer Demographics and Psychographics
Demographics involve information surrounding your customers’ physical well-being. They include things such as geographic location, age, median income, occupation, and family size. Your psychographics involve information regarding your customers’ psyche or habits. They include things such as shopping habits, values, opinions, hobbies, and general lifestyle.
Gaining a clear picture of customer demographics and psychographics is the key to both creating and marketing a product or service your customers are interested in purchasing. It helps you to take the problem solving element to the next level. Everyone needs clothing, for example, but which specific customers need the clothing you’re offering, and why will they buy it? The information gathered from an analysis of demographics and psychographics will answer that question.
4. Direct Their Attention and Actions
Close the deal by telling customers what to do as you direct their attention and their actions. There are several ways to do this including:
- Direct the eye with a linear website design
- End every page with a compelling call to action
- Use pop-up technology to collect emails or invite users to a specific page
- Integrate social media to grow your audience
- Utilize unique website design to grab and hold audience attention
There are plenty of ways to lead the audience eye and promote action when you understand your target audience.
5. Interact with Customers
You need to truly know your customers if you want to market to them. This goes beyond simply responding to social followers when they comment on your page. It involves reaching out specifically to those who have or are most likely to make a purchase. Begin by using the right social media platforms for your business. Facebook, for example, is the most conducive social platform for marketing real estate, while LinkedIn is most conducive for marketing specifically to entrepreneurs.
Then, any time your customers make contact with you, reach out to them quickly and efficiently. When they make a purchase, send a thank you email that encourages them to come back. When they engage on social media, answer their questions in a timely manner, and ask more questions to continue the engagement. The more you interact with your customers, the more they’ll come back and tell their friends.
Focusing on your target audience will be one of the best ways to avoid joining the 80 percent of small businesses that fail within the first two years. Develop a strong strategy for marketing to your target audience, and stick with it for optimum results.