In the vast world of small business marketing, it can be tricky to determine where to start when planning your next small business marketing campaign. Defining your target audience is a crucial first step when it comes to planning your next marketing move.
In this blog post, we’ll define target audience and examine why it’s necessary, key examples of target audience advertising, and how to properly identify your target audience.
Already know what a target audience is and just looking for some guidance?
A target audience is an identifiable group you want to target in your messaging, marketing, and advertising efforts. This is different from a target market, which identifies as the overall, broader potential customers for your business.
Your target audience is a more specific, niche group of people within your target market.
In the small business landscape, it’s easy to get swept away in the idea of marketing to everyone. Having a target audience is crucial to long-term marketing success for your small business because it means you can tailor the right messages to the right people. These targeted messages and advertising can significantly impact how effective your marketing is.
We’ll guide you through the process of learning about target audiences and how to choose the right target audience for your small business.
A target market is an overall customer base; a target audience is a specified, identifiable group within that base. Ideally, you’d sell to your entire target market, though it’s no easy feat. By singling out a target audience, your advertising and marketing will prove more effective and fruitful in the long run. Let’s look at some examples of target market and target audience.
If you’re a coffee shop owner, your target market is anyone who drinks coffee. Your target audience would be a smaller niche within your target market with a common interest or trait. That might mean healthcare workers or people who live in a specific area of town.
Your car repair shop’s target market is anyone who owns or drives a car; your target audience might be owners of vintage cars.
Regardless of the type of business you own, separating your target audience from your target market is an essential part of marketing.
By having a target audience, you can pinpoint exactly who you’re trying to introduce your product or service to. This means that it’s easier to craft a message that you know will resonate with that group. You’re able to locate their pain points more easily and create messages centered around how your small business can make their lives better.
Crafting targeted messages means that your message is more likely to be successful. Targeted marketing is preferred by 80% of consumers, with digital targeted marketing increasing CTR (click-through rates) by 670%, according to Gitnux. These specific audiences can give you a better idea of how much you should strategically devote to your marketing budget.
When you know the specific demographic you’re trying to target, it makes it significantly easier to decide how to market to that group. Questions like, “Which platform should I post this on?”, “What time of day should this go live?”, and “What medium should this advertising be?” all become much easier to answer.
Is there a segment of customers that you’re lacking? When you select a target audience, you can focus on the customers you haven’t been able to convert yet. If you notice a certain demographic steers towards your competitor, you can create a campaign that will resonate with them more.
By creating a tailored campaign, you’re standing out from other businesses that try to market to everyone. The specificity of campaigns created with target audiences in mind increases the likelihood that your brand is remembered.
You can create a target audience based on many different factors, but these are common demographics most businesses should consider:
Typically, factors like this have a large impact on the day-to-day of consumers, so when you advertise towards these niches, it speaks well to potential customers.
Is there a group of people you want to appeal to more? Is there a time of day when you would like more business? This is a great place to start when considering a target audience because it allows you to really picture where you want your business to grow.
Is there a group of people that primarily prefer their products or services over yours? This might be a gap that you can close with targeted marketing.
Buyer personas are made-up customers that can help you make marketing decisions and plan a digital marketing strategy. You can create entire marketing campaigns around appealing to a specific persona, so creating them is a worthwhile investment. It allows you to think realistically, “How would this persona react to this platform vs this platform?” This involves creating daily routines, likes, dislikes, goals, and aspirations to truly flesh out these personas.
It seems counterintuitive, but deciding who you don’t want to appeal to can help clarify your message and allow you to focus on audiences who will understand your brand. This approach prevents wasting resources and marketing efforts on the wrong audience.
Learning more about those who already have experience with your business can help you learn where you can grow. This can help you find market opportunities you may have missed and get an outside view. It can also strengthen your bond with existing customers by showing you value their opinion.
Find what aspect of this target audience your brand can appeal the most to and create a campaign around this messaging. Be sure to ask for opinions along the way and re-evaluate as you go. If something isn’t working initially, it’s okay to rework it as you learn more.
This ad from the Home Depot targets their customers who work early hours. The customers in the ad have different jobs and reasons for being at the store early, but they are all early risers with projects to finish. It’s a great example of connecting a target audience based on a niche shared experience.
This ad from Bounty is another example of using a target audience to expand who you advertise to. If you’ve ever seen a Bounty ad, you know that they typically center around younger families, but this ad campaign had an older target audience. It targets an audience that Bounty often doesn’t include in their regular advertising.
This Pepsi ad targeted consumers living in Atlanta for the Super Bowl. This was heavily targeted towards the city of Atlanta, not only because the Super Bowl was taking place in Atlanta, but also because Atlanta is notoriously the home of their biggest competitor, Coca-Cola.
Creating a target audience is an important part of small business marketing. It allows you to spend your marketing budget wisely and create a greater connection with niche groups within your audience.
Looking to get real results with small business marketing? EarthLink Business can help! We’ve helped hundreds of small businesses grow with our variety of digital marketing tools and small business internet. From website building to custom branding, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call to find out how we can help your small business grow.
Creating a target audience is an extremely worthwhile investment when it comes to small business marketing. It allows you to handpick which audiences you want to grow and connect with on a deeper level.
Want to make the most of your small business marketing? Let us help. EarthLink Business offers everything your business needs to make the right connection with your target audience.