Finding your target audience is an essential step while setting up a business. Many small business owners confuse the terms target audience and target group.
Target Group are the people you want to benefit from the product.
Target Audience is the people you want to market the product so that it eventually reaches the target group.
For example, if you are a business that sells toys for children, your target group are kids while that target audience is the parents.
Knowing your target audience alone is inadequate for marketing activities. You have to dig a little deeper.
Start with the demographic
Go beyond defining the age group, gender, and locality of your audience.
- Assess the income bracket your audience should fall under to afford your product.
- After finding out the preferred gender of your audience, find out additional information such as marital status, kids and the decision-makers in the family.
- See if your products are ethically neutral. Your audience might be from the same locality but their purchase decisions might depend on their cultural background.
Move to psychographics
It is time to tap into your audience’s head. Know your audience’s:
- Likes and dislikes
- Preferences in TV shows and magazines
Being aware of this information can make you better understand how your product or service fits into the target audience’s life.
Choosing the best marketing platform for your business
Marketing now has two major segments, online marketing, and offline marketing. If you are a small business with a brick and mortar store then equal weight should be given to both these types of marketing.
Offline Marketing platforms:
TV ads bring in 71% of ad generated profits for a business and this number contradicts the common notion that online marketing has taken over traditional marketing. Similarly, other offline marketing activities like distributing pamphlets, conducting seminars, giving sample products and creating hoardings still work wonders.
Offline marketing is advantageous if your target audience consumes offline content like television shows, magazines, and newspapers. You can also make seasonal marketing choices. For example, the super bowl season is the prime time for TV ads as people who usually don’t watch TV are also glued to it.
Also, your offline content can be translated online easily, like the TV can be used for Youtube video ads and newspaper articles can be published in e-magazines and blogs. This can help you cover your mixed audience without any additional costs.
Online Marketing Platforms:
The world is going digital and typically it is assumed that if your business is not online, it does not exist. Irrespective of your target audience it is mandatory for you to be present in any one of the digital platforms.
Google Advertisements: As per a 2019 study 63% of people tend to click on a google ad. There are many types of ads you can choose from for your business and target audience.
Search Ads: They are helpful when people directly search for a service you provide or product you sell. For example, if you are provide plumbing services, you can place a search ad. When a person searches for ‘Plumbing service near me’, your business will come at the top.
Display Ads: These type of ads are useful if you run a retail store. These ads can be run on Google and external websites. If you sell clothes, you can always run your ads on fashion blogs and magazines for the audience of similar interests to see.
Video Ads: 80% of the people remember the video ad they have seen 30 days back. That’s a brand impact you can count on. Video ads can cost you a bit more than static ads but the conversions are high here. These ads are similar to TV commercials but placed in platforms where the current generation consume content.
Running paid advertisements as a small business can be intimidating as there is a budget involved. You can get small business funding to explore these options.
Social media platforms: Social media has become a huge part of digital marketing and this trend is only going to grow. There are many social media platforms you can explore for your business like:
Facebook: Facebook is ruling the social world with 2.27 billion active users. Women tend to use this platform more than men and the audience are generally middle-aged. As this platform caters to a wide range of people, you can promote your business here easily. Run Facebook ads to be visible to your niche audience. These ads perform best when you analyze your target audience and use all the data provided by Facebook like birthdays, marital status and music or movie interests to create the perfect list.
Instagram: This photo-sharing app has grown multi-fold from 2010 and we are not seeing a drop in the future. If your target audience is young adults and your business is selling products that can bring out aspiration, Instagram is your marketing platform. Instagram now has shopping options where you can tag the product pages on the images. Similarly, other features of Instagram like stories, IGTV can be put to good use.
Twitter: Twitter is considered as a news/information sharing platform. This is a place where people want to get into direct conversations with the brand. If you are dynamic young business who is ready to share industry news, product news or reviews and also converse in a witty and genuine way with your target audience, you can opt for twitter.
There are many other platforms like Pinterest, Youtube, Snapchat and LinkedIn that you can also explore for your business.
Email Marketing: Choosing email marketing as a part of integrated marketing is powerful and even as a stand-alone platform it works well. The click-through rate of a simple newsletter from a business is said to be 17.8%. If you are a retail store, you can always send the new arrivals and season trends to your target audience. If you are a service business, like an auto-repair business, you can always send tips on maintaining your vehicle or a reminder email to bring the vehicle for maintenance.
Choosing a marketing platform is not a short-term task. Collect data of your existing customers and see if you can find a pattern in their demographic and psychographic. This will be your persona of a target audience.
Similarly, your current customers might not be your aspirational target audience. Create a user persona for an ideal customer you will want your business to have and take this into consideration when choosing the platform.
Lastly, don’t be rigid once you have chosen a marketing platform. Go wherever your audience goes. If there is a new platform that is getting popular, be agile and explore the platform for your business.