Look through any “how to start a business” guide and article online, and you’ll continuously see a “find your target market” part. This is because not everyone needs or wants your products and services. As such, you need to focus your marketing efforts and budget on those who are actually interested enough to buy your offerings. The better you understand your target market, the better your conversion rates and ROI will be.
However, you can’t just guess the demographics and characteristics of your target market out of thin air. You need to do proper research to make sure you’re reaching the right people. Here are some pointers to help you lock on to your target market:
Examine Your Current Customers
If you’ve sold some of your products and services before, try to survey your past and current customers. For demographic questions, SurveyMonkey’s target market demographics template is a good base, as it only takes two minutes to complete.
For psychographics like interests, goals, values, and desires, you can include basic questions like “What do you do in your leisure time?”, “Where do you buy your products?” and“Where do you get your news?” You could also ask industry-specific questions. If you’re franchising a commercial cleaning service, ask your customers what their challenges are when maintaining their office or home or what they look for in a cleaning contractor.
Try to find common demographic data and interests among your current customers to come up with a profile that represents all of them.
Analyze Your Competition
Check your competition’s website and social media pages. Are their blogs targeting a specific age group or interest? Sift through their posts and look at the profiles of the people who react, comment, and share them. Do they have any similarities in terms of demographics and interests? See if they have anything in common with your current customers as well.
Consult Social Media Analytics
If your social media pages already have a vast following, you can get some exciting target market data from them. Facebook Insights is an excellent tool for this, as it shows your followers’ demographic data, like gender, age range, city, country, language, and even what kinds of devices they use to interact with your page. You can also determine the type of content on your page that they’re most attracted to.
Twitter also comes with an analytics tool. Head over to “audiences,” and you’ll see both demographic and psychographic data. It will show what topics your followers are interested in, what kind of lifestyle they have, and what kind of brands they often buy from.
Now that you’ve gathered the data you need, it’s time to create a profile that reflects your target market, also known as your buyer persona. List down their most common psychographic and demographic data. If you surveyed your customers, you should be able to pick out their shared challenges, favored communication channels, and preferred content types (blog, news articles, etc.).
Once you’re done, you should have a clear picture of who your audience is and which mediums you need to engage them on. All there’s left to do is to create marketing messages and content based on the data you’ve gathered.