How do you find your target market, and why does it matter?

Two very important questions for any small business owner. Your ideal audience is a particular group of people that will need, want, and will be most likely to buy your product or service. The folks that could buy from you not once, not twice, but several times during their lifetime.

Why should you care about finding your target market? Well, it’s just smart marketing. You’ll be able to create your content around their needs and interests. And delivering information that solves their problems and speaks directly to customers will increase your conversion rate.

If you haven’t defined your target market, here are five critical steps to finding it:

  • Outline the problems your products and services solve
  • Create an accurate customer persona
  • Use social media metrics to understand your followers
  • Run specific targeted tests through paid advertising
  • When in doubt, get a survey out

Reflect on the Problems Your Product or Service Solves

It’s best to take off your business owner hat and think like a consumer. There’s a big difference. Mostly because your solution isn’t the only solution out there.

Consumers look at function, style, or price, among other things, to make a purchasing decision. As a business owner, you have to ask how your product impacts a person’s life.

For example, a vacuum cleans carpet. But to a consumer, a vacuum that can remove dog hair off a couch and can help their child’s allergies are much better selling points.

The problem: A child struggles with allergies from the family pet.

The solution: The child doesn’t have to stop hanging out on the couch because all the dog hair is off the furniture.

The Right Way to Create a Customer Persona

Much a of persona stems from what we just discussed; how your business solves a problem. You need to create personas that outline more than the age and location of your ideal customer.

  • Identify demographics like age, gender, job title, income and education
  • Also think about psychographics like opinions, interests, values, and family life
  • Add frustrations and problems as its own category

CoSchedule has an extraordinarily detailed persona template to use, which you can find here.

Use Social Media Metrics to Understand Your Followers

Every social media platform has data available for organic posts. There’s even more information available if you have a business account.

These insights can help you understand how fans interact with your content. Look at engagement metrics like reactions, comments, or shares to determine content worth. Your Page insights can offer more demographic data like age, gender, and even at what time the majority of your followers are on social media.

Here’s how to access insights for the top four social platforms: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.

Run Specific Targeting Tests Through Paid Advertising

Paid advertising can be incredibly useful when it comes to finding a target market. But there’s a proper way to do it, and it’s more scientific than you think.

A/B testing means changing one element at a time to see how it affects the ad. You have your constants like age or gender. Then you have variables like interests and job titles. Here’s a simplified example,

Test Audience A

Uses your subscriber list for retargeting purposes

Age: 25 – 45

Gender: male

Location: California

Test Audience B

Uses your subscriber list for retargeting purposes

Age: 25 – 45

Gender: male

Location: New York

The goal here is to find out if males between the ages of 25 and 45 who already know your brand respond to your retargeting offer better in California or New York.

Use UTM tracking in your ad URL to measure the results in Google Analytics.

Send Out a Survey

Feedback from customers is one of the more direct ways to understand your audience. But sometimes it’s hard to get people to act. Enticing survey-takers with a promo code or a free gift can help your chances. If you think that a survey might be the best way to go, here are a few more tips.

  • Keep them short. You can run several surveys during different time periods, but do not send out one with 30 questions.
  • Make questions easy. If someone needs more than 30 seconds to answer, the question is too complicated.
  • Use multiple choice. Multiple choice questions are simple, and you can most likely add an open field as a choice.
  • The amount of information you can get by listening to customers is priceless.

The Summary

Understanding your target market is an often missed step before developing content. Having a firm grasp on your ideal audience will help you create content, optimize communication to customers, and increase your bottom line.

  1. Think like a consumer when doing a problem/solution analysis of your business.
  2. A customer persona lists details, especially interests, and struggles.
  3. Organic social media channels have insights that reveal a lot about the habits of your followers.
  4. Gather data from paid advertising.
  5. Surveying your audience continues to be a direct way to get information as long as you simplify the process and reward participants.

Need some help identifying your target market? We make that part of our process and would be happy to help you make it part of yours. Get in touch today.