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Identify Your Target Audience and Grow Your Small Business

Learning the ins and outs of marketing for your business takes a good deal of commitment. It’s easy to get lost in all of the techniques because there can be a lot to learn. The one thing at the center of your campaigns is your target market. The best content marketing strategies start with your target audience. These are the people who will be interested in your products or services, and you’ll want to create content to keep them connected to your business. Knowing your target market leads to a better return on investment (ROI) for your marketing efforts.


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What customer information is important for understanding my target audience? 

Some of the factors that might be relevant to your understanding of your business’ target market include: 

  • age 
  • gender identification 
  • income 
  • education level 
  • geographic area 

Although it’s tempting, you don’t really want to guess at this information. It’s relatively easy to think that you know who your customers are and how to speak to them. Most of the time, however, those best guesses are wrong. The mistake that people make in marketing and advertising their business is that they don’t start with their own marketing position.

Your marketing position is the answer to the question: why are you the best company for this customer? When you know what you do well, you can more clearly define who you serve. If you’re a new business, this is all of the data you have about your ideal customer. If you’re an existing business, you can start with your past customers. Looking at who has purchased from you in the past can often be eye-opening. Your target market may be slightly different than you would guess.

In order to advertise to your target audience, you need to understand who they are and where you can find them.

What are your target customers’ behaviors and values?

In order to understand your customers’ behaviors and values, you will have to develop data that helps you analyze their patterns and actions. Behaviors and values can tell you what types of things are important to them and when and where they are more likely to purchase.

For a newer company with no inside data, competitor research can be a good starting point. You can see what demographic your competitors serve and why those customers most frequently choose to purchase with that company. Ideally, you want to look for the ways that your service differs from your competitor to narrow down your segment of the market.

The qualities that make you different will be the ones that you highlight most. This might be something as unique as a completely new process or product. It also might be something simple, like the lowest prices or the highest quality.

What are your customers passionate about?

Marketing to your customers’ passions can have amazing results. If your ideal customer is passionate about charitable giving, they are more likely to patronize the company that makes corporate giving a priority or that donates a portion of every sale to a good cause. If your customers are passionate about a sport, you’ll more easily find them in venues that cater to that sport. You can see the immediate draw to merging their personal passions with your messaging.

Finding what they are passionate about takes some creative thinking. Social listening is one way that you can more easily find popular passions among your target audience. This involves using a tool or platform that helps you gather data from social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest to form insights about your audience. Another excellent way to gather these insights from your existing audience is by asking them directly. You can use your own social media platforms to post polls to gather information or you can prepare surveys to get data.

What are the buying habits of your customers?

The buying habits of your customers can give you great insight into the things that influence their conversion (or purchase). There are a few ways to look at this type of data, and all of them have some value in how you create your marketing content. We know that many customers will have contact with your brand several times before purchasing. Looking at all of the data available on the different times and number of times that a customer made contact before purchasing can tell you something about their buying habits. For instance, are they a more impulsive shopper or a shopper who does a great deal of research?

The customer’s buying habits may be different for your product than for other products, as well. For example, most customers do a lot of research before major purchases, such as cars or appliances. Smaller purchases might be researched or they may be made on impulse.

What are the best ways to reach your target market?

The best ways to target your market will depend on where your market resides. This might include specific platforms. For instance, Facebook is often used because it has a wide reach for many demographics. However, if you’re marketing B2B (business-to-business) services, you might have better engagement on a platform like LinkedIn.

Your target market might prefer email, text, or social media. Blog posts and website content can help you improve your search engine ranking so that customers will find you when they look for your type of business online. Having a Google My Business account can also help customers find you through Google Search, particularly if you have a physical location.

Knowing your customer and understanding your target market makes your marketing job easier and less expensive. Your ads can be tailored to the places where your target audience is most likely to be reached, without wasting effort on channels that won’t reap results.Starting and running a small business can be very challenging, but also highly rewarding. When you need legal documents and professional help, turn to Rocket Lawyer for fast, affordable, and simple solutions for your legal needs.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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