Best Methods for Targeting An Audience

June 13, 2020

Targeting an audience is the key to building a business. Your target audience is the group of people that have put their faith into your product. They are the ones who are the most in tune with your product and will help send it upwards. Because of this, it’s critical that you target them in different ways than your casual viewers.   

With that said, it takes time to find your base. People are complicated beasts, and finding a niche for your product can change the game for your company. Here are a few ways that you can better understand targeting your audience.

Who do you want your target audience to be?

A person targeting an audience of friends and family watching a video together.

At first, most products start as something that makes your life easier. Now that you want to sell it, you need to figure out your target audience.

Before you even start targeting an audience, get to know everything about your product and your brand, and think about the image you want to make for yourself. Look at your competition and see who is buying their products. Do some market research to find out more information about the industry you are jumping into. If you are selling crab cakes, find out what kind of people are buying crab cakes.

Remember, your target audience is a group of people who will be most interested in your product. Get a clear understanding of what that group is before you try to sell it.

Test it with a Live Audience

A worker discussing information, possibly about targeting an audience, with her boss.

Similar to your product pitch, you should showcase your product to people. If you are comfortable talking to them about your product, feel free to run ideas past them and show them how your product works.

However, feel free to venture outside of your comfort zone when you’re targeting your audience. Try to find time to put together a focus group of fresh eyes to look at your product. Find a wide variety of people through online ads, social media, and even prior customers.

After handing out a consent form, start your pitch. The start of your discussion is crucial to creating a strong atmosphere for your product. Then, start the show. Let every person in the group use your product and encourage questions. Before the group leaves, hand out a form for more feedback.

A well-run focus group gives you direct feedback and communication of your product and your brand. Put time and effort into preparing for any group meeting so you’re finding out what types of people will fit into your target audience.

Talk to your Mentors

This is another group of people that you can talk with early on in your process. Anyone inside your industry that you’ve had positive interactions within the past can be a major help in targeting an audience.

Start by looking at people you have worked with before. Perhaps reach out to people at a local conference or a friend of a parent or someone in the industry. Establish an initial relationship that is not based on directly getting information, but on getting to know them. If you already have some form of a bond with the person, ask them about your product and where to look when you are targeting an audience.

You are starting a network between yourself and the professionals who will open doors for your product and your business. Make an effort to keep a good relationship with any early partners and seek out their advice when you need it.

Use Psychographics

Manager targeting his audience on his tablet.

For those unfamiliar, Maggie Butler of HubSpot explained this concept well. In short, psychographics is using demographic information to properly understand your target audience’s lifestyle and shopping behaviors. 

In other words, psychographics goes deeper into the statistics about a person’s background and habits and using that information to market your product. For example, researching basic information about the person, and then looking into their favorite teams or Netflix binges.

This information allows you to track the behavior of your audience, which helps you tailor your product to better fit your base’s needs. For example, if they are buying more of a particular fertilizer, then try to market your fertilizer to that group. If the data suggests that your target audience buys your type of product more often over the summer, have a July Jubilee Sale (side note: come up with a better name than a July Jubilee Sale). 

You can find out psychographic data in several ways. Researchers note that this data is acquired through social media, surveys, and website analytics. For your purposes, try sending out a brief survey to any small focus groups who use your product or early buyers. You may not have the funds to go deep in psychographics as a major company, but you can still do some basic research that goes beyond basic demographic information. 

Get Active on Social Media

In addition to psychographic research, social media will help you get to know your base in the most direct way possible. In the digital age, social media allows for direct communication between you and your users on a global platform. It is a tool that builds your brand in ways you cannot describe.

Through social media, you can have direct conversations with your target audience about your product. Also, you can gauge their reaction to your brand image through polls, likes, shares, and interactions. You can see what your competition is doing online to differentiate themselves and reach out to their consumers.

Keep in mind that one wrong tweet can send a bad message about your company. So, be sure to have a balance between being professional and interactive. Also, know that whatever you tweet from your account represents your company and your image. Think about who you are following and what you are interacting with online.

Remember, you have control over how you present yourself online and who you interact with. Make sure that everything you do online furthers your brand image positively and appropriately.

Key Takeaways

  • Never let down your audience. They will celebrate you and push you forward in your career; listen to them and make your product to their needs while maintaining your identity.
  • Stay up to date with the latest information regarding your field and your consumer’s buying habits. This can be done through surveys and social media. Your audience’s preferences change from time to time, be ready to adapt to their needs.
  • Take time to build an image that you are proud of and that your audience will connect with. Be consistent and promote your values through charity and admirable behavior.
  • Never forget where you came from and the people who helped you move up. Ask your friends and old co-workers for advice when an opportunity presents itself.
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