First Rule in Marketing: Identifying Your Target Audience

Famous publicist, David Ogilvy said, “Advertisers who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore the signs of the enemy.” Do you know you’re marketing to? Neglecting to understand your customer base will ultimately end in failed attempts to earn business. Before you start creating a content strategy, make sure you’ve identified your target audience so you can advance your brand.

Do you know WHO you’re marketing to? Identifying your target audience is crucial to finding success in your marketing plan! Click To Tweet

Target audience is defined as “the primary group of people that something, usually an advertising campaign, is aimed at appealing to.” In content marketing, identifying this group of people is the first step to any strategic planning. Instead of writing copy and creating ads for everyone, start creating content specifically for your customers.

Who is your current audience?

To determine your target audience, the best way to start is by analyzing your existing customer base. Use Google Analytics or social media reports to assist you in gathering detailed information about your website visitors. If you don’t have any existing data, use surveys or competitive research to discover what will hold value in your industry.

Knowing which users are engaging on your website or social posts will give you a clear picture of your target customer. This person will care about your brand and remain loyal to your future campaigns. Key characteristics such as age, gender, education, profession, and interests will ultimately define your target demographic.

How does market research compare?

Once you have a basis for your target audience, set aside time to research your industry. What are your potential customers looking for? How can your brand help them? Knowing why a buyer would desire or need your product should be the backbone of your marketing efforts.

As you solidify an understanding of your industry, pay attention to your competitors. What language are they using in their content marketing? What solutions are they providing? Determine how your competitors are attracting the target market and use that data for your own marketing strategy.

Pro Tip: Use primary research methods like surveys, interviews, or focus groups to get to know your customers better.

How will your target audience change?

Once a customer’s needs are met, what more of a reason will they have to stick with your brand? To combat the changing tendencies of users, it’s important to keep defining your target audience. The demographics can change every couple of years, especially for small businesses that are new to a community. Stay ahead of the curve with thorough testing and constant monitoring of your target audience.

That being said, It’s also important to think about your follow up efforts. If someone bought your brand’s product or service, how do you plan to remarket to them? What other ways can your business provide benefits and value? Knowing the scope of your target audience’s goals will help you plan effectively.

Looking to the Future

Understanding your target audience is crucial to successful marketing strategies. If you’re not sure WHO you’re trying to attract, any advertisement or social media campaign will end up falling flat. Instead, identify your target audience and start gaining momentum for your business.

What kind of person are you marketing to? Share with us on social media!

Ashlee Vaughn

Ashlee Vaughn is a Web Content Writer at ITVibes, Inc. After receiving her B.A. in Humanities at Thomas Edison State University, she began sharpening her writing skills by completing a Certificate in Technical Writing. Ashlee’s interest in writing comes from her love for organization and it’s apart of everything she does. When she’s not dotting every i and crossing every t, you might find her playing with her new puppy or enjoying a local Houston event with her friends.