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Defining Your Target Audience ShoesOptional

Branding Basics

Defining Your Target Audience

How to identify the ideal customer for your business.

Developing a well-thought-out brand is essential to executing a marketing strategy that works. Your brand becomes the guide for everything else you do. It sets the tone for messaging, design, and so much more. A lot of businesses find themselves with messy marketing that yields inconsistent results simply because they don’t have something to guide them as they go. Your brand creates a framework for you to follow as you market your business. And one of the most important pieces of your brand is understanding who your target audience is. 

Having in-depth knowledge of the people you are trying to help with your product or service has a direct impact on everything in your Marketing RoadMap. It determines the copy you write on your website. It points you in the direction of the kind of content you need to produce. Knowing the details of your target audience also helps you target Google and Facebook Ads so you don’t waste time and money putting ads in front of people who aren’t interested in your business.

Free Customer Avatar Worksheet

Click the button below to download our free customer avatar worksheet. By filling out this worksheet you will get a better idea of who your ideal customer is.

What is Your Target Audience

What is a Target Audience?

Your target audience is the specific group of people most likely to buy your product or service. The people in your target audience all have a pain point that your product or service addresses. They often share similar demographics such as

  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender

If you have several different products or services, you will most likely have a target audience for each one. Your target audience should be as specific as necessary depending on your business. If your business focuses on a very specific niche, you’ll want to make sure you define your audience to fit that niche.

How Do You Define Your Target Audience?

Defining your target audience will take some work. But once you get everything nailed down, it will improve the success of your marketing strategy.

Think About Your Ideal Customer

To define your target audience, start by simply listing the pain points, needs, and problems you address within your business. Make sure these pain points match up to one of your products or services. Take some time to think about the people who will benefit the most from your business. As you do this, start listing the details of the people you want to help. These details will be more or less specific depending on your business.

For example, a career coach may want to focus on people who just graduated from college and are jumping into their careers. You may create a course that helps them prepare for interviews and provides other career advice as they start looking for jobs. The people in this target audience will most likely be in the age range of 22-25. If you want to make things even more specific, you can focus on college students who are going into a specific industry, like education.

The details of your target audience should include more than just basic demographics. You also need to think about their attitudes and behaviors. Think about what is important to them.

Ask questions like:

  • What do they value most?
  • What problems do they have that aren’t being solved?
  • What are some things that impact how they make decisions?
  • What dreams and goals do they have for their life?
  • How does your product or service help them achieve those goals?
  • Do they have any misconceptions about your industry, product, or service?
  • Why would they hesitate about making a purchase?

Do Some Research

Once you have an idea about the problems your business is trying to address and who your ideal customer is, you need to do some research. Research helps you drill down deeper into the details of your target audience. You’ll learn more about the specific demographics of the people who are most likely to buy your product, their attitudes and behaviors, and where they are online.

If you have been in business for a while, you can use your current customer base as a starting point. Comb through the Google Analytics on your website. Look at the people who are interacting the most with you on social media. Pull a list of your customers and segment out the ones who have had the most success. Note the average age range, gender, socio-economic status, and other details that are relevant.

You can also look at your competitors for some idea of who is drawn to your industry. Look at their social media comment sections. What are customers talking about? What are their complaints and satisfactions? Are there any holes that your business can fill?

Another great resource for understanding your target audience includes websites like Reddit or Quora. They will have real content from real people and allow you to see recurring questions and concerns that need answering. We actually use these sites quite often when developing content ideas for our clients. For example, when doing audience research for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, we looked at a Reddit page specifically for people who are dealing with TMJ disorders. As we scanned through the different comments and discussions, we noticed many patients were dealing with the same issues. There were certain frustrations and pain points that their doctors were not addressing. And we were able to take this information and work it into our content plans.

Think About Who Your Target Audience is NOT

It’s just as important to think about who your target audience is not. Your non-target audience is the group of people who you don’t necessarily want to sell to. These are usually the people who are least interested in your product or service. They’re not the ones who you want to spend most of your time and money trying to reach. Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t help them when they need it, but you just know that your business won’t be an ideal fit for them for various reasons.

We like to use the 80/20 rule to help us gain perspective on who our target audience is and isn’t. This rule states that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. In other words, the people who will benefit your business the most only make up 20% of your customer base. In contrast, 80% of the people interacting with your business will only make up 20% of your profits. The top 20% of your customers are your target audience. They are the ones who get the most out of your business and return the favor by making up 80% of your profits. The other 80% of your customer base are not your target market. You will still do some business with them, but they shouldn’t be the main focus of your business.

Think about the types of customers that are the most frustrated with your business. Look at your negative reviews on Google and negative comments on social media. Are there any common factors between people who are dissatisfied with your business? You can also think about people who tend to cause the most headaches for you. Think about customers who tend to demand the most of your attention with little benefit to your business. Again, this doesn’t mean you don’t help them, but they won’t be the focus of your marketing efforts.

Using Target Audience to Create Customer Avatars

Using Your Target Audience to Create Customer Avatars

Once you have the details of your target audience written down, you can use that information to develop customer avatars. A customer avatar is a fictional person that represents the real people within your target audience. Customer avatars represent an even more segmented and detailed understanding of the people you’re trying to help with your business. Avatars help you remember that you are marketing to real, specific people. As you create content and develop your website, you can keep these avatars in mind.

Here are some things you can include when creating your avatar:

  • Name
  • Demographic information
  • Personality information
  • Attitudes and behaviors

With each of these elements, you can drill down into as much detail as you need. For help developing your avatar, download our Customer Avatar Worksheet.

Free Customer Avatar Worksheet

Click the button below to download our free customer avatar worksheet. By filling out this worksheet you will get a better idea of who your ideal customer is.