Defining your target audience is one of the things that many people skip right over. It’s tempting to go straight to creating content, which is the one of the best parts of social media. But if you don’t know who you are creating that content for, your message isn’t very impactful. The first rule of marketing is that you have to segment the market. If you are trying to speak to everyone, your message is resonating with no one. That’s why every successful marketing campaign begins with clearly defining a target audience.
The more you can hone in on your target audience – who they are, what they’re interested in – the more targeted and impactful you can make your messaging. Identifying your target audience helps you to know:
What social media channels to be on
What to post about and what topics to be covering
What words or language to use to grab your audience’s attention
How to effectively target your audiences with ads or boosted posts
It’s crazy how you can reap all of these benefits just by defining your target audience - and it’s a lot easier than you think! Here is my simple process to identifying your target audience!
1. Define your audiences
There are two audience categories you should pay attention to: your current clients or customers and those you hope to reach, or your dream clients. Grab a pen and some paper and let’s list them out!
Start with your current audience. Who are your clients? Break them down into customer segments. For example, if your business is a private school, your audiences could be teachers and staff, students, parents, alumni and donors.
Next, write down new or potential clients that you want to attract. If you are a new business or just starting out and don’t have clients, make a list of your dream clients. Who do you want to work with? Who are you hoping to reach?
2. Develop your audience
Now that you have these audiences listed out, write down as much as you can about each one. What are their interests and passions? What are their demographics and where do they live? What are their pain points? Bonus tip: try to use the words they use to describe their problems, not your own words. This will help you to better understand the way they think - and help you to reach them with your marketing.
It’s okay if you don’t know everything about your audiences right now - but you don’t have to stay in the dark. The more you understand your audience, the better you can connect with them. The next step in the process is to write down all of the things that you don’t you know about your audiences.
Now, do some market research. “Research” may sound scary, but I promise that it doesn’t have to be! It’s as easy as getting together with a friend that falls into that category and asking them some questions. You can also call or email a current or potential customer with a list of questions - people are usually very willing to help, especially if you make it easy on them. You can even join a Facebook group with people that fall into this group and see if you can ask them some questions. And of course, you can always do Google searches. Spend time on websites that your target customers frequent often and look at what your competitors are saying to this audience type. This market research might lead to some new and great ideas.
4. Align with your audience
You should now have a pretty clear idea of not only who your target audience is, but also what they are like. The last step is to see how you can best connect with them. List out the ways that you can help them - what solutions (products/services) do you offer that help alleviate their problems? In what areas can provide helpful and relevant education? These are the topics that you should be covering - and what you should be talking about.
Your social media content should build your reputation and develop a relationship with your target audience. The main goal is to earn their trust and respect, and every post should give your social media audience something of value. Defining your target audience will tell you where and how you should be sharing your story.
Taking just a little bit of time to identify your target audience makes the rest of your content strategy SO much easier. Now that you know who you are speaking to, you can go ahead and get to the good stuff - creating that content!