Let’s get personal - the importance of knowing your target audience inside out

Posted by Abby Pearson on 28/10/2019, 15:46
Abby Pearson
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What is a target audience?

Whatever product or service you and your business provide - whether you’re a recruitment agency, shop owner, travel company, or something else entirely - you will have an ideal target audience of consumers. By definition, a target audience is “a group of people defined by certain demographics and behaviour.” These demographics could include anything from age, gender, where they live, what they do for a job, interests, relationships and so on - and it’s really important for the success and future of your business to ensure you know your target audience inside out.

Why is it so important to know your target audience?

According to The Marketo Engagement Gap report, 56% of consumers believe businesses need to have a deeper understanding of their needs. And in order to have an understanding of your consumer’s needs, you need to know as much about them as individuals as possible. The report also shows that 51% of consumers believe brands send too much irrelevant content; it’s amazing how frustrated people can become when they’re part of a target audience for social media sites when the product or service isn’t relevant to them, or when the company talks more about themselves than being customer-centric. And when this happens, it doesn’t put your business in good stead. Therefore, it’s important to develop your buyer personas to ensure you’re targeting the right people and focusing on their needs and how you can help to solve their problems, in order to build up a good reputation. It’s not about how big or powerful you are, but how you can solve your customer’s problems in a smart and efficient way!

Not only that, but publishing ads that aren’t relevant to your target audience for social media sites are far more expensive, and achieve a much lower relevance score than ones that are. In fact, a whopping 80% of marketers have said that target audience-tailored content on social media is more effective than non-target audience-tailored content. 

Combining all the above stats, it’s easy to see why knowing your target audience inside out is so important!

So how do you identify/define your target audience?

If you’re the creator of the product/service, you’ll know it like the back of your hand. If you’re not, however, it’s important that you do in order to think about exactly who your target audience is!  HubSpot has a great list of questions you can ask yourself at this stage to ensure you truly understand the value your customers will be getting out of your product/service, such as:

  • What need does your product or service fill?
  • Are there any problems or pain points it solves for?
  • Where can potential customers find your product/service if they need it?
  • What could potentially put people off using your product/service?

target audience for social media sites

Once you’ve asked these questions, you’ll probably end up with a reasonable idea of the kinds of people your product/service is aimed at - and this is a great starting point! However, it’s likely that this off-the-top-of-your-head analysis will be fairly generalised, and as we’ve mentioned previously, targeting a wide demographic gets expensive very quickly whilst running the risk of targeting someone inappropriately.

So once you have a general idea of the functions of your product/service and your target audience, it’s important that you analyse this audience further in order to start creating content that is relevant, and both attracts and delights. Thankfully, there are lots of different things you can use in order to achieve this!

As a starting point, our guide to creating detailed buyer personas (which you can download here) offers in-depth insights into exactly who you are targeting, helping to direct your marketing strategy and saving you time when it comes to your content creation.

Qualitative market research studies are also a brilliant way of understanding your customers or prospects better. Our research division Angelfish Fieldwork, for example, work closely with companies to recruit the best respondents for a multitude of market research methodologies to help them gain a greater insight into how their customers think and behave.

Audience Insights on Facebook is also a helpful tool, allowing marketers and businesses to learn more about their target audiences, including aggregate information about geography, demographics, purchase behaviour and more. Similarly, Instagram Insights looks at stats behind the gender, age-range and location of those interacting with your posts and stories; which of these posts and stories they see and engage with the most; reach, accounts reached, impressions, and impressions by day, and more. Google Analytics also offers some unique insights into a different range of factors such as demographics, interests, behaviour, geography, and technology used.

Finally, it’s also a wise practice to look at your main competitors and analyse the kinds of people they are targeting. Then you can take a look at the sorts of content they’re producing, and look at how you can do it better!

And once you know your target audience inside out, how do you ensure you’re reaching them?

Creating useful and relevant content that links back to your product/service is a vital first step to not only reaching but attracting your target audience. Whether you’re creating videos, podcasts or blog posts, keep the needs and demographics of your target audience right at the forefront, before linking it back to how your product/service can help. Don’t forget to utilize SEO tactics such as keywords to boost your content’s visibility along the way - oh, and make sure you avoid these top 5 content marketing mistakes!

The next step is using targeted posts and adverts on social media to get said content out there! According to AdWeek (2018), consumers now spend more than five hours a day on their smartphones, and Google found that 34% of online retail purchases now happen on mobile devices. So there’s no denying that the online world is the place to help your business thrive!  

When it comes to target audience for social media sites, the stats are just as astounding. Facebook alone influenced 52% of consumers’ online and offline purchases, up from 36 per cent in 2014, and the figure is only set to increase. Similarly, top brands on Instagram are seeing a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21%, which is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter - so when it comes to the online world, reaching your target audience through social media sites is an absolute must!

What next?

Here at Angelfish, we have successfully helped our clients reach their target audience by identifying your buyer personas and creating social media campaigns that target their demographics. If you’d like us to help you achieve the same, arrange your free one hour consultation with us today.

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Topics: Content marketing