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Woman reaching target audience online.

How to Define Your Target Audience in Digital Marketing

Digital marketing helps grow your business. But how do you do it strategically, in a way that minimizes your investment of time and money while maximizing conversions?

All marketing works best (or even only) by creating genuine human connections. You could have the best creative, the smartest key messaging, the biggest marketing budget, and the greatest product, but if you don’t know who you are actually talking to, or you’re not making a memorable connection with your ideal client, all your efforts will be for nothing.

Rather than pumping more money into a marketing strategy that’s not working as you wanted it to, take a step back and focus on finding your dream client.

Ready to start driving sales? Speak to our team today.

Who is Your Target Audience?

The best way to stop your creative assets disappear into thin air is to define your target audience. That’s right, instead of broadcasting your message to everyone and their dog, you need to talk to the right people. That means fewer than you might actually believe.

Obviously, while we all want the maximum number of customers, trying to appeal to everyone on the whole internet will simply not work. For one thing, your product or service won’t be relevant to everyone. For another, they might not resonate with your brand.

Knowing who you are talking to and why you are talking to them is the beginning of any successful digital marketing campaign. It all starts by defining your target audience and talking only to them. A target audience is, in essence, a subset of people who share a set of common characteristics that is most likely to purchase your product. This could consist of their age, gender, location, interests, etc. It’s your job to figure out who that is.

What Information Do You Already Have?

To define your target audience, you’re thankfully not starting from scratch. You probably have a pretty good idea of who is buying your product. You may even have a mailing list or a little bit of data. We recommend looking through all the information that you have about your current customers. You can do this! Here are a few characteristics to keep in mind:

  • Locations: Do they live in a certain area? Do they purchase from anywhere?
  • Interests: Do they care about the environment? Do they love to travel?
  • Lifestyle: Do they have children? Do they regularly talk about a certain hobby?
  • Communication: Do they even open their emails? Do they prefer social media?
  • Income: Single income with kids? Double income and no kids? This is important.
  • Gender: Do you notice mostly women or men purchasing from your business?
  • Education: Are they college-educated or learned a trade?

Write all of this down to start defining the group you need to be targeting.

How Many Target Audiences?

The next step is to define whether all that information fits into one group of people, or whether there are several groups with different characteristics. After all, the world is a big place and multiple different groups of people might be interested in your product. For example, it is perfectly possible that your business will attract first-time homebuyers and stay-at-home moms with three kids. That’s why a list is so helpful in identifying trends.

Time For an Imaginary Friend

The easiest way to approach this target audience is to create an audience persona. An audience persona is essentially your new imaginary friend who perfectly matches your ideal customer or customers. You can even give them a name! Not only does it make it easier to define that elusive target audience, it’s also much easier to talk to them.

For example, how would you feel about writing a message to a group of people who care about the environment, are between 28 and 35 years old, try to eat healthily, and love road trips. I’m sure you will be able to do this. But it might take you a few minutes of head-scratching to get something on paper. What if you’re writing a message directly to Jessica, who is 31 years old and who is always posting about her healthy food on Instagram and seems to be on a road trip to a beautiful forest every weekend. A bit easier, right?

Now it’s time to do the same for your customers. Maybe it’s Robert, the 52-year-old construction company executive who needs new equipment. Or Sarah, the 24-year-old new mom struggling to transition to motherhood. Or Bruce, the 64-year-old aerospace engineer organizing his finances before retirement. You get the idea.

Analytics Are Important in Defining Target Audience

Want to hear something surprising? The people seeing your content on Facebook or website might not be your ideal customer. Alternatively, it’s possible that the people buying the most from you might not be the people you originally had in mind as your target audience.

The best way to confirm your target audience and your marketing efforts align is to look into your analytics. Both Google and Facebook gather a vast amount of data about anyone who visits your website or who engages with your social media. Thankfully, they let us in on a little bit of this data. Here are a few ways to get the best out of your analytics.

Google Analytics

Anyone who owns a website can use Google Analytics. While a normal user may know Google as a search engine, website owners can gain a wealth of knowledge from the platform.

Google Analytics essentially tracks the movements of all website visitors and gathers data along the way, which is mostly used to optimize Google advertising. It can help you figure out how long people are spending on your website, where they are coming from, what search term they are using, who your audience is, and so much more.

To find this information in Google Analytics, go to the “Audience” tab. The most interesting tabs here will be the following:

  • Demographics: Here you will find the age and gender categories.
  • Interests: This is gold! Look at the overview to see which broader categories your audience is interested in. You can also dive deeper and look at both the Affinity and In-Market audiences tabs to gain a deeper understanding of the people who visit.
  • Geo: Here you can find the location of your audience and which language they speak. The latter might surprise you! This can open up a lot of doors for you.
  • Mobile: Find out whether your audience is visiting your website on their phones or from the desktop. This is important so you know where best to reach them.

Facebook Analytics

Another great tool to look into your audience is through Facebook Insights. Facebook is known to provide some of the most advanced segmenting options when it comes to targeted Facebook Ads. This, of course, means that they track an abundance of data. Head to your Facebook Insights now to find all the juicy info about your followers (and lurkers)!

To find your Insights, you first have to navigate to your Facebook Business Page. Click on the “People” tab to find out more about how old your followers are, where they live, and what language they have set on Facebook. Look at the “Posts” tab to discover what times they are online and what posts resonated the most with them. You can also see how your audience is growing, what type of posts your audience loves the most (photo or video).

You can even see what actions people are taking on your Facebook page. Are they clicking on your website or on your Action buttons, are they getting directions, or are they clicking on your phone number? Combine this information, and you now have a pretty good idea of who is following you and whether all of that content is achieving your business goals.

Compare Analytics and Target Audience

Now that we know who we want to reach (and have even created a few audience personas) and we know who sees our website and social media, we can see whether those audiences align! Did you get it right? Awesome! More than likely, though, this will be an opportunity to improve your digital marketing strategy by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Is my target audience following me on Facebook, or have they not found me yet?
  • How can I tweak my message so I speak more directly to my target audience?
  • Is my target audience reading my blog posts and visiting my website?
  • How can I make my website better so that it appeals more to my target audience?
  • Is my branding in line with what my target audience likes?
  • How can I use my website to solve my target audience’s problems better?
  • Are my analytics showing me that there is an untapped audience out there?

Want to maximize ROI by reaching the right people? We’ll help you find them.