Who, What, When, Where, & Why?: Defining Your Target Audience

Defining Target audience

Tags – Defining Target audience

 

When it comes to digital marketing, you’re probably familiar with the saying: if you try and sell to everyone, you’ll end up selling to no one.

Yes, this is true, but isn’t being successful online all about acquiring as many new customers as possible?

Yes, this is also true.

But, then there’s another question: shouldn’t businesses try and share their message with as many different people as possible? After all, the wider your reach, the more potential customers you can get right?

Well, kinda.

In the modern, digital world we live in today, we are all constantly bombarded with masses of information.

In fact, those on WordPress are generating around 70 million new posts a month!

So, if you’re not speaking to a specific group of people, then it’s likely your message will just get lost amongst all that noise.

However, targeting a specific group of people doesn’t mean you have to exclude anyone that doesn’t meet certain criteria.

Rather, defining your target audience helps you to focus on getting your message across to the right market and those who are most likely to spend money on you.

What is a Target Audience?

A target audience is basically a specific group of customers who are most likely to respond positively to your products and services.

Typically, your target audience will be based on specific factors such as:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Income
  • Gender

And more.

However, before you begin listing your target audience demographics, you need to understand why you’re doing that in the first place.

The simple answer is that your tone of voice, language and the information you use will be perceived differently across demographics.

Therefore, defining your target audience helps to give your content marketing a stronger direction and ensures consistency with your brand’s message, and thus build stronger relationships with your customers.

In other words, if you know what kind of people you’re talking to, you’ll know how to speak to them, where to find them and what they’re looking for.

Plus, if you learn how those people talk, you can adapt your SEO strategies to rank for the right keywords and phrases.

To put it differently, defining your target audience will help to establish relevance; going back to our point earlier, if your customer is “everybody”, you’ll fail to resonate with anyone on a deeper level.

The 5 W’s

So now you know what a target audience is and why you need one, you may be wondering how you can define yours.

Well, you can start by answering the 5 W’s: who, what, when, where and why.

 

Who?

The first challenge is to know who you are speaking to.

Without knowing this, all of your content and efforts will be a waste of time.

At the end of the day, your products or services are trying to reach people – like you and me.

So, a good place to start is to get to know your existing customer/client base; because they’ve bought from you before, you can use them to gain insight.

Here, you can also identify aspirational audiences you may want to target to help expand your customer base.

However, you must be realistic; for example, if you’re a high-end skincare brand with a customer base of appearance-conscious young females, you may want to expand your new target audience to professional women. But, trying to target budget-conscious mothers may not be a good fit.

 

What?

Once you know who your audience is, to gain a deeper understanding you will want to know what they are interested in and the problems they are facing.

In other words, what drives their decision making?

Like mentioned earlier, your audience are people – that’s more than just a number or a pound sign.

So, consider the problems your products or services can solve: hint! Check your frequently asked questions, which will give an insight into their concerns and fears.

Secondly, you will want to know what their background is: gender, age, hobbies, interests, income etc. can help to determine what types of marketing efforts you should be using.

 

When?

The next step is to identify when your customers buy your products or services; is it a specific time of the year or on a regular basis?

Knowing how frequent your sales are can help you to craft content that reaches your audience at the right time in their buying journey.

Furthermore, knowing when customers interact with your brand is important for building your presence.

For instance, if you monitor when your audience interacts and engages with your social media posts, you’ll be able to create an effective content schedule of when to post to get the most visibility.

 

Where?

Now you need to answer: where?

Simply analyse where your existing customers first discovered your brand to help identify where your target audience is.

For example, it could be directly from the search engines, local directories, through online reviews, social media or word of mouth.

Simply, knowing where they found you will enable you to plan where to focus your targeted marketing efforts.

In addition, we briefly touched on location but knowing where your customers are from will also help to focus on targeted marketing efforts. 

For example, if you’re a dentist based in Leicester, you need to use location-specific phrases in your content to improve your chance of showing up in the SERPs – rather than showing up in search engines for people based in Glasgow!

 

Why?

Lastly you will want to look at why your customers buy.

Generally, this can be split into two pots: needs and wants.

As such, knowing why customers purchase your products or services provides an additional insight into the journey your audience takes when buying.

At the same time, you can analyse why your audience is buying from your competitors; is it because they provide outstanding customer service? Do they engage more with them online? Is it because they offer better discounts?

Knowing this will help you adjust your approach to reach and engage with them, and convert them into customers.

 

Concluding Remarks

All in all, you must remember to put yourself in your audience’s shoes.

By answering the 5 W’s, you’ll know exactly WHO they are and the type of content to create for them.

From emails to blog posts, infographics to newsletters, ask yourself: “will my audience care about this?”

Essentially, by asking the right questions and taking time to learn your audience, will not only help to create valuable content, but also to ensure your marketing efforts get the best return on investment.

 

Please get in touch to find out more.

In the meantime, take a look at our SEO Services to see how we can help.

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