How to Determine Your Target Audience

businesswoman identifying target audience

What is a Target Audience?

A target audience is the group of people you want to reach with your online presence. Knowing your target audience helps you narrow down where and how you focus your marketing efforts. Your target audience is not everyone – they are the people most invested in your content, products and services. They typically have one mutual characteristic, which could be an interest, a demographic or the way they communicate. It is also important to note that you can still sell to everyone, but you cannot target everyone. Identifying your niche and using audience research helps you create relevant content, messages and ads. This can lead to higher conversion rates and better social media Return On Investment (ROI). 

Tips & Tricks to Determine Your Target Audience

1. Gather data on your current customers and audience

Looking at the characteristics of your current customers, you are able to compile these similarities and shared characteristics into at least one profile. Similarities could include:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Language
  • Spending power and patterns
  • Interests
  • Challenges
  • Stage of life

Understanding who is already buying from you can help you to better understand who would be most likely to be interested in your content, product or services in the future. 

2. Conduct social listening research

Social listening is an easy way to find out what conversations are being held online about your business, industry and products. When you monitor relevant keywords and hashtags, you can reveal what people are saying about your company and competitors online, even if you are not tagged. 

Social listening can also be used to do some deeper research into your target audience. Monitoring keywords and hashtags may lead you to other relevant keywords and hashtags that your target audience uses to help you find more relevant users. 

3. Check in on the competition

It is very likely your audience overlaps with your competitors, so checking out what they’re doing can be very worthwhile. You can learn about mistakes they’ve already made, how they position themselves and see if they’re reaching audiences you haven’t thought of yet. It can also be beneficial to see what type of posts are doing well for them and which ones are not. If something is not working well for them, think of how you could improve it. Putting this together with the data you collected on our current customers can help you to broaden your audience reach to groups you may not have considered before. 

4. Understand what your target audience is looking for from your social channels

To accomplish this, you need to understand how what you’re offering makes your audience’s life better, easier or more interesting. Once you have this understanding, it is important to consider how you can create value for your audience with your social channels. To do this, you should consider; What your audience’s main purchasing barriers are & how can you help them overcome their barriers?; Where is your audience in the buying process? Are they researching, looking at reviews or ready to buy?; What is the kind of content that your audience typically engages with? If you are not able to determine this yourself, or need further clarification, you can always ask your audience through a survey. 

5. Monitor your own content

Look back at previous posts or use an analytics tool to see how your posts have performed. See what is working well or resonating best with your audience and what your audience is engaging with. When you compare how different content performs, you can see what your audience really wants to see. 

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