Must-Know Strategies To Find and Engage Your Target Market

You know the people who’d most likely buy what your brand is selling? Those people are your target market. No matter what business you’re in, you need to know who they are.

Finding them can be tough, however. And once you find them, making sure you get the right message to them is even more difficult. But it’s a crucial step in growing your business. With the right target market strategies, discovering your target audience and crafting a message that resonates with them is considerably easier.

Whether you’re just getting started or looking for ways to fine-tune your approach, read on for some tried-and-true strategies for reaching the right people.

What Is a Target Market?

In the simplest terms, a target market is exactly what it sounds like: a specific segment of consumers a brand targets with its marketing efforts.

The complicated definition is that a target market is a subset of consumers a business identifies through a series of strategies and then focuses its messaging and marketing efforts on to attract. These strategies are meant to focus marketing efforts on the people most likely to engage and purchase the brand’s products and services.

Most people are familiar with the concept of demographics, which involves statistical data related to particular groups of the population. This data usually covers things like:

  • Age
  • Income level
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender

These demographics can play an important part in defining your target market. If you target people without the means to buy your products or services, for example, your efforts will be in vain. Likewise, if you’re focused on a wide audience that encompasses all genders when your company sells a gender-specific product, you’re wasting much of your marketing spend.

But demographics are only a small part of what defines your target market. And in some cases, they may not be relevant at all. For example, people of all genders and ethnicities need everyday household products like paper towels. Don’t pigeonhole your brand by targeting only one age group, income level, ethnicity or gender unless it’s truly relevant.

So, demographics are the starting point. Now we need to understand our customer on an even deeper level. That’s where customer personas come in.

What Is a Customer Persona?

A customer persona is a fictional representation of real customers. While an individual persona is a work of fiction, it’s created based on data and a close study of actual buyers.

In short, a customer persona is an amalgamation of your “typical” customers.

In addition to specific demographic info, a customer persona usually includes:

  • A name, age and location
  • Marital and parental status
  • Personal characteristics
  • Job title and career aspirations
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Needs, desires, goals and aspirations
  • Buying and spending habits
  • Behaviors, habits and pain points associated with your products and services

This is generally considered the minimum amount of information. Many brands go into much greater detail defining their customer personas.

Some brands develop one or two personas; others create several to help define their target market. While demographics are statistics of wider groups of consumers, personas are much more specific. Your target market falls within demographic markets and represents the wider characteristics of your personas.

Why Having a Target Market Is Important

Advertisements that reach the general public may not offer as many leads or sales as those tailored to a target market. Identifying a target market lets marketers concentrate on those most likely to buy the product.

While it may be time-consuming to set up, defining a target market allows you to direct your marketing efforts in the most cost-effective manner possible. Start by making clear what your product or service is and who it’s meant for.

It’s absolutely critical to understand how customer requirements differ — that’s why it’s one of the first things every small business should do in the early stages.

Once you’ve found a target market, you can create messaging tailored to it. The goal is to entice the right individuals to engage with your brand. Requirements across demographics and markets are very distinct, so you need messaging aimed at the people most likely to want your product or service.

Reaching the Right Audience

Consider the target audience after you’ve chosen a target market. Many times, the consumer of your product is not identical to the end user. Make sure your message is modified for the person doing the buying.

For example, if you make products for residents of an assisted living facility, you’ll probably want to target the purchasing managers who work at these facilities, not the residents themselves.

Identifying Underserved or Emerging Markets

Instead of attempting to appeal to every potential customer, focusing a marketing campaign on a smaller and perhaps unaddressed portion of the overall market may allow you to establish a distinct niche for your product. A small firm may have a better grasp on a certain customer group than its larger rivals.

Once you’ve defined your target market, media purchases become a lot simpler. Using a target market strategy will save you money while also providing a greater return on investment, and media buys will be more efficient. And the number of people who are unlikely to buy your product is greatly reduced, too.

And now for the fun part: the strategies used for finding your target market.

Developing Your Target Market Strategies

At this point, finding your target market might seem fairly complicated. But with the right strategies, you can start narrowing down the people in your market and get the most bang for your marketing buck.

Before diving into strategy, ask yourself these questions to set the stage for what’s to come:

1. Who are the people in your target market?

Start by looking at the people who identify with your brand. Your existing customers are great examples and definitely qualify as your audience. If they bought from you once, they’re likely to do so again.

2. What are their biggest pain points, problems, needs and desires?

You need to understand what your target market deals with and what they want to accomplish. Consider their pain points with products or services offered by your competitors. Think about what they want and what they’re trying to accomplish. Most importantly, ask yourself how your brand’s offerings solve these problems better than the competition.

3. Where do these people get their information from?

You also need to understand what drives your audience’s decisions — in other words, where they get their information from. Do they follow social media, or do they search the web and respond to authoritative blogs? This tells you the channels you’ll need to target and also demonstrate the kind of language and tone that resonate with them.

4. What benefits do your products and services offer?

Lastly, you need to clearly understand the benefits you provide your target market — what your target market finds value in. Benefits are almost entirely subjective, so you need to get inside the heads of your audience and understand how your product helps them.

Now let’s discover and define your target market.

Target Market Research

While learning about a large group of individuals may appear intimidating, there are plenty of free or low-cost methods for smaller businesses and brands.

Ask Your Existing Customers

Customer surveys provide you with broad information about people who enjoy your product, such as initial demographic data, other products they use or media they consume. Try sending out a quick survey to your email list and offer a small discount in return. (You may end up gathering valuable data and making a sale at the same time!) Keep surveys general, but include space for respondents to share more details if they wish. At the end, include a section where customers can opt in to a second, in-depth interview.

One-on-one interviews offer richer data on individual consumers’ experiences that will help you understand why your consumers connect with your business.

Set a specific aim for your interview, just like you did with your consumer survey.

Open-ended questions are preferable to closed-ended ones. They simply provide better answers. For example, a question like “Tell me how you like to use our product” will get more information from a client than “Do you think our product is useful?”

Consider your audience’s perspective. A consumer may express dissatisfaction with your product — and that’s fine. In fact, these comments will help you determine how to make your product better.

Then, end with a tried-and-true journalistic technique: Ask something like, “Would you want to add anything else I haven’t inquired about during this interview?”

Take a Look at Your Existing Customer Data

Practices you already have in place and tools you already use are veritable treasure troves of customer data. Analyzing this data can inform you of your target market’s biggest pain points and most burning questions. With 40% of brands expanding their data-driven marketing budgets, if you aren’t using it, you’re handing your future customers to your competitors on a silver platter.

Some excellent starting points for customer data include:

  • A customer relationship management platform
  • Order history
  • Customer reviews on other platforms
  • Information from a mailing list

Even simple invoices give you clues as to how your market interacts with your brand. Thoroughly review them to discover the target markets lurking within and what they want.

Leverage the Platforms You Already Use

Another great way to unearth valuable target market data is by looking at the information in existing tools. If you’re a business owner, there’s a good chance you have some tools in place to track your progress and performance.

For example, if you use Google Analytics (and you definitely should) to track your website’s traffic, you can easily segment that data by things like location, behaviour and interests. This information can help you understand your visitors in terms of location, gender, age and even hobbies and interests. Depending on the amount of traffic you receive, you may see a lot of people in one specific group who frequent your site. This is an excellent starting point for defining a target market.

Most social networks also collect demographic information about your fans. These social media demographics include audience ages, genders and locations. You can use this information to help refine your target market or even find new markets to explore.

If you run ads on social media, you can link your customer information to the social network’s database. Using algorithms, the social network can construct a “lookalike” audience similar to your current customer base. You might learn that people who buy your products have a shared affinity or trait you never expected.

In addition to the data that’s available on social networks, don’t forget to actually listen to what your fans are saying.

The practice of monitoring for keyword mentions on social media or the internet is known as social listening. These keywords are often related to your business or sector, particularly your brand name. You can use specialized social media management tools to do this or simply search for the terms on each network.

Pay close attention to certain keywords, such as:

  • Your brand’s name
  • The names of your competitors
  • Mentions of original product names or services you offer
  • Any mentions of your industry or niche

Look for key themes and pain spots that your audience members discuss as you monitor what they say about these issues. Are there any new demands in your field that your potential consumers are calling for? What do they admire or criticize?

Pay Close Attention to Your Existing Content

Dig into your blog’s analytics to discover which themes and methods work best with your target audience. While page views and bounce rates are useful, content analytics provide even more valuable information.

Take note of:

  • The click-through rate across all your content
  • The average time readers spend on each blog post
  • The number of individuals who click on a call to action versus the number of people who view the page

You can use whichever analytical technology you like, or undertake a complete content audit, to evaluate the metrics in this report.

Your brand is only one source of information for your target audience. What other businesses and publications do they rely on? What subjects interest and educate them? Look at trending content in your industry or material shared on social media to discover what else your audience reads.

Review Your Data and Refine Your Approach

Lastly, once you’ve discovered and defined your target market, it’s important to continue doing so. Customers’ needs and desires evolve; demographics shift and grow. If you don’t take these changes into consideration, you’ll find yourself targeting a market that no longer exists.

And that might be worse than targeting everyone.

So keep looking at your data sources, refining your personas as necessary and integrating that new information into your marketing and content strategies. This ensures you’ll stay current with a rapidly evolving consumer base. Even better, you’re more likely to uncover new patterns and discover new markets.

How a Freelance Writer Can Help Reach Your Target Market

Now that you’ve defined your target audience, you need to create content that resonates with the people you want to engage with.

This is where a freelance writer can help.

Freelance writers have the skills and knowledge to develop content that speaks to your target audience, whether it’s blog posts, white papers, e-books or website copy. They know how to research your industry and find the most relevant information to share with your consumers. Even for brands that have in-house writing teams, a freelance writer can discover potential blind spots.

The best writers have the writing chops to turn that data into content that’s both informative and engaging.

When you work with a freelance writer, be sure to give them as much information about your target audience as possible. The more they know, the easier it is for them to develop material that speaks to those individuals. Plus, they can help you track the progress of your content and ensure it continues to resonate with your target market.

A freelance writer can be a valuable asset as you work to reach your target audience. With their help, you can create content that’s designed to engage and convert the people you most want to do business with and who are most likely to engage with your brand.

Speak to Your Target Market With Crowd Content

It’s much easier to hit marketing targets when you have a specific group of people in mind. But creating the right content that resonates with your target market is equally important. Freelance writers can help by providing valuable insights into who your customers are and what they want. With Crowd Content, you gain access to thousands of talented freelance writers who can help you create content that drives sales.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up and get started today.


Article by

Drew Davis is a full-time professional copywriter who crafts web-optimised newsletters, blogs, product descriptions, press releases and articles. Drew has a solid track record of producing content that is engaging, meaningful and accessible. She translates complex ideas and concepts into scannable, sharable copy that delivers real results for her clients.

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