Can you name your business' Target Audience right away?
If the answer is no, you should definitely take some time to figure it out before doing anything else.
Defining your target audience may be the most important thing you do as a business owner. It informs all elements of your marketing strategy and branding.
Your mission: Find your target niche and dominate it.
Hint: It's not everyone (unless you're Apple or Google).
What is a Target Audience?
It's the group of people most likely to buy your product or service. Sometimes you'll have more than one, but they'll usually be united by some common characteristics like behaviors.
Get reeeeally specific. Through your research, you'll be able to refine it further than just "millennial mom."
Remember, you can sell to everyone, but you can't market to everyone.
How do you find your Target Audience?
1. Gather existing data. Look at who is already buying from you and look at these characteristics: Age, Gender, Life Stage, Location, Language, Buying Power, Buying Trends, Interests, Challenges. If you're B2B, you'll also need to factor in the size of the companies and who the buying decision-maker is. You can find this information using Facebook Insights or Social Media Analytics tools like Hootsuite, etc. Use those UTM codes if you're not already! It'll help you trace your users through Google Analytics.
2. Research which social channels your target audience uses. Use social listening tools like Google Trends or Moat to monitor keywords and hashtag trends related to your business or industry. Things like BuzzSumo can even let you check out your competition.
3. Find out what they want. Once you've got an idea of what your ideal client looks like, you'll need to get inside their head. Get creative, here. For example, if you're a B2B business like TulaBooks, your target client is likely looking to grow their own business and earn more profit. If you can help them do that, they'll be happy to pay you for your services. Another example: If you're a dentist and your target client is a local middle-class mom in her mid 30's who schedules the appointments for her family, she will want to find a dentist that has flexible openings, is good with all ages, offers reasonable payment plans, and makes it convenient to book efficiently.
What do I do with this information?
Now that you have a pretty clear idea of who your target audience is, it's time to build your brand around them.
Your logo, colors, and fonts should be speaking to them and their preferences, not yours. For example, Hibiscus Counseling wanted to reach a diverse audience who needed a calm, trustworthy source for therapy, so we built the brand identity around those attributes.
Make a marketing plan. Look at where they are (i.e. social media channels) and go there. Make your presence known and offer some value in the form of information (content marketing) or money (deals) depending on who your audience is and what motivates them.
Best of luck,
Founder, Creative Director