Why should you spend time figuring out who your target audience is? How is that beneficial to your business, and how do you know who fits in your perfect target audience?

Let’s start with the basics.. What is a “target audience”? Your target audience is the particular group of people who you are trying to sell your product or services to. These are the people who you want to relate to, stand out to, or ‘target’ in your marketing. For example, if you are a piano tuner, your target audience is probably someone who is an adult and has their own piano, is an avid piano player, and has similar interests to other piano players (i.e: piano music, piano cleaner, piano tuning, piano movers, etc.) It’s crucial to knowing your target audience so you don’t waste marketing money and time on targeting the wrong group of people. Back to the piano tuner example, you don’t want to waste time targeting people who don’t own, or even play, the piano. You would be wasting money, time and energy on reaching out, to or trying to grab the attention of, that audience. This all sounds great, but how do you know who your target audience is? How do you figure out that perfect audience?

Who Has Already Purchased from Me?

In order to determine who would fit into your target market, it’s important to note who has already purchased from you. Knowing what your previous customers needed from you and how you were able to help them will increase your ability to determine your target audience. People who have already worked with you are your target market. They are the customers who were searching for your services, found you online or elsewhere, called you and decided to use your business. Think about what your previous customers were like: male, female, young, old, what were their interests and hobbies? Answering these questions will really help you to narrow down who your target market should be.

What Problem/s do I Solve?

Knowing which problems you solve for people is a surefire way of figuring out who will spend money with your business. For example, you don’t want to direct your ads to college students living in dorms, if you are a home insurance company. They don’t need your services and therefore, they won’t spend money with you. Try to incorporate the problems you solve into your ads and your website. Be sure that your message is clear and your audience is aware that you are there for them because you can fix their problems.

How Do you Sell your Product or Service?

It is important to recognize where the majority of your business is coming from. Have you tried several different outlets and determined which is best? If not, this is  a great thing to test. Try placing ads on Google, Bing, Facebook and ask customers where they found out about you. It doesn’t hurt to determine where your business is coming from and where you are most likely to gain business from. Try doing some form of A/B testing and find out what speaks best to your target audience. This is a great way to determine how you want to move forward with your marketing budget.

Research Competitor’s Ads

This might sound strange, but it’s a very smart thing to do. Your competitors have the same target audience as you do, because you’re selling the same thing. It doesn’t hurt to look into what your competitors are doing and find out what is working for them. Allowing them to spend their time doing research you can learn from as well is awesome! Search your competitors’ websites and see what messages they are trying to get across, what images they are using, and what types of people they are trying to target in their ads. This will give you a great place to start.

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!