Any marketing or advertising strategy starts by identifying, defining and optimizing your audience, whether your focus is raising awareness for your brand or promoting your products or services. When your target audience is broad, the results are less predictable. It’s like shooting to the sky with no target – most likely, you’ll hunt nothing, but there’s a small chance to hit a bird or a bat or whatever. When your purpose is feeding a family, the bat won’t do it.
And that’s why highly niche audiences and targeted market segments are much more likely to bring you results, no matter if we’re talking about advertising, social media, ppc or other promoting channels. Identifying these audiences will help you succeed and this both translates into more sales and less investments. Optimization. Here’s some of the most popular end efficient ways to correctly define and target your audiences:
By performing a simple SWOT analysis for your brand, product or service, you will identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that define the object of your analysis. Then, you can conduct market research in order to file your findings. Location and demographics are the starting point of this research. Will Miami billboards help you sell more in the whole country? Most likely, not. But you can use local advertising for a local audience and we’re not only talking about the location, but also about adapting your message to local interests and slang. For instance, if you want to advertise a casino in the City of Second Chances, your first choice should be Las Vegas billboards and a message that contains specific words and phrases, such as carpet joint, chalk or rake. Such slang is less likely to attract an audience in other well known gambling places, such as Atlantic City or even the European Monte Carlo.
This is how we get to psychographics. What does your audience value, how do they spend their free time, what lifestyle choices define them, what’s their personality like, how does their shopping behavior look like? Go further. Follow the market trends and the economic shifts, have an overview of your audience buying habits, identify their pain points and come with solutions. Motivate them – more than your competitors.
Once you know the pain points, it’s easy to analyze the purchase paths of your customers. What do they need, in order to solve their problems? What’s their purpose and how could you help them? Do they need more information in order to add to cart? If so, would a how to guide could help them enough or they also need product reviews and testimonials? Is the buying decision a life or death matter, is it seen as an investment or could they simply add your product to cart without recommendations? We all act differently when buying laundry hooks, cars or food supplements.
For the laundry hooks, we don’t care about the brand, but we could be interested in the material and the environment policy of the producer. When investing in a car, we need both brand and model references and all the technical specifications, from engine capacity, to the size of the windshield fluid container – even though the last one won’t necessarily have an impact on your buying decision. When buying food supplements, you need to know the ingredients and their benefits and side effects, you have to make sure that the producer has all the needed operating permits and documentation, maybe even a research lab and published (and recognized) studies. In other words, we’re looking for specific information when buying specific products. And so, our purchase path may be different, depending on niche.
Your current audience
When expanding to a larger audience or switching your strategy, knowing your existing customers may provide you useful information for further steps in your evolution. Pay attention to them, to what they do, to the habits they currently have, to the interests that catch their eye. Pay attention to where they’re coming from and where they’re going to. To the choices they make, not only in your niche of activity. Differentiate them and customize your message to each segment.
When advertising and promoting a brand, a product or a service, the first thing you should pay attention to is your audience: existing customers, past customers, further customers. Know their fears and hopes, speak their language, send your messages through the channels they’re currently using and enjoy the increase of both awareness and sales.