Business Owners: How To Know Your Target Audience
What do you think about when you address your customers?
In your product descriptions, email newsletters, even customer support calls.
Your insinctual answer might be “my target audience”, but is it really what you have in mind? If you truly think about that whenever you write anything customer-facing, how well do you understand your target audience?
If your understanding of your ideal customer is anything less than flawless, you’re slowly missing growth opportunities at every step of the way.
So today, we want to change that. Let’s talk about creating a target audience for your online store.
The Benefits Of Understanding Your Target Audience
If you ask any marketer or business owner if understanding a company’s target audience is important, they’ll enthusiastically say “yes”. However, highlighting why it’s important can help you both create a target audience the right way, and utilize it in your business processes.
So here’s why you should understand your target audience:
- It helps you create and source the right products
- It makes it easy to develop your brand
- You can use it to craft content that converts
- It’s a point of reference for decision-making in all departments
- It can be used to optimize paid ad campaigns
And the list could keep going, but these are the most important aspects. However, just scribbling on paper that your audience “comes from an urban environment” or “responds well to light-hearted messaging” won’t lead to a true understanding of your potential customers, so let’s see what a target audience includes.
What A Target Audience Includes
When you write down “Target Audience” and start typing in a document with data corroborated from everywhere, the document should include demographic details like:
- Industry, or even job/position
- Relationship and family status
But these are just the basics, because to truly understand your target audience, it’s important to also consider motivations and personal sets of information, like:
- The type of message they respond best to
- Their values
- Their pain points and problems that you can solve
- Other products they use, especially from the same niche as your products
These sets of information are crucial to product development, and content creation, since they’ll dictate what type of products you sell, and the message you use to promote them.
After you take care of their motivations and pain points, it’s time to gauge information about the channel you’d use to communicate with your target audience. This will include information like:
- Their favorite websites
- The social media platforms they have an account on
- The social media platform they use the most
- What online medium they consume the most (podcast, videos, blog posts, etc)
Everything you’ve read so far can (technically) be outlined before you go into business, by getting the information available online, and through educated guesses. However, once you gather data about your customers from your own store, and through surveys, you can also update a target audience document with more specific information like:
- What type of Instagram posts your target audience appreciates
- What style should a “Buy” button be to incentivize your target audience to buy
- The length of a welcome email that converts the most subscribers
- The type of pop-up that convinces your target audience to subscribe
And any other detail crucial for your business processes. And since we mentioned that, let’s see how you can get the information to fill these details in.
How To Get Information About A Target Audience
Gathering information about your ideal customers will be hard if you don’t have a history of happy buyers to look into. That’s why your target audience will probably evolve along with your business, so be ready to modify the document you’re creating.
However, here are some tips to gather information about your target audience when you just get started.
First, analyze your competition. We don’t mean you should copy what they’re doing step by step. But you can look at what platforms they’re active on (and what platforms provide the most results for them), how their branding is constructed, and what their average audience member looks like. In general, just take the list of characteristics we outlined above, and try to get some information for each from your competition.
Second, you should look at other people’s research. Platforms like Statista constantly do research into individual markets, and all the influential platforms like Hubspot use well-made research as a link-building strategy. Take that research and correlate information from all sources to fill-in details about your potential audience.
Third, make educated guesses. If your research clearly concludes that a target audience values environmentally-conscious policies, you can safely infer that said audience will respond well to eco-friendly features, green tones in your branding, or public campaigns to protect the environment.
To truly tick every box on the target audience list, you’ll need much more than other people’s research and educated guesses. That’s why, if you can afford it, it’d really help to pay a survey company to analyze your potential audience for what they want and need. It’s not exactly a cheap thing, so this is something you can only consider if you have a big investment riding on your online store.
If not, you can always just invest in a survey company after a while, and update your target audience then.
Bonus Tip: Consider Creating A Buyer Persona
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, created from hard data about your target audience, and educated guesses about an ideal customer. It’s basically a very specific picture of your ideal customer, and it can help take very particular details, like what format of an ad to choose for your next campaign.
When it comes to creating a target audience for your online store, you should never set anything in stone. It’s an ever-evolving detail about your company, and it’s something you should always look to optimize.
However, we hope that our article can be an easy to follow first-step into creating a target audience. If you liked it, you can read more of our tutorials for ecommerce sites here.