Marketing without a target audience in mind is like yelling into the void. If you have a product or business to sell, you need to raise awareness with the consumers who are most likely to buy them. Otherwise, you risk wasting precious money, effort, and time on marketing activities which go unnoticed, and on developing products which never have a chance to take off.
Marketing to a target audience is easier said than done, of course. To help your business get started, here are some top tips for how to reach your target audience.
- Know who they are
This is kind of a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many businesses don’t put real, analytical thought into their target demographic. Are you targeting your products primarily at one gender? What about an age group, geographic location, or household income? Having an idea of your stereotypical customer will help you tailor your communications.
- Focus on that person’s needs
Yes, they’re a figment of your imagination, but what does your hypothetical customer need most of all? And how can your products or services meet those needs? Figure this out and then tell your target audience how you can improve their lives.
- Don’t lecture
Don’t deliver your message from atop a soap box – start a genuine conversation and connect with your customers on a personal level. Set a casual, friendly tone and save the lectures for your future TED talk.
- Establish trust
Your customers want to be sure that you are professional, credible, and worthy of their trust. Think of it like a relationship – they’ve been burned before! Craft your brand image and persona with the appropriate tone, images, and messages, and help convince your customers that their hard-earned money is well spent with you.
- Create a ‘hook’
Customers are bombarded with marketing messages all day long. Cut through all that white noise with something truly eye-catching – something they can’t help but pay attention to. This means the right phrasing, images, timing, placement – you name it.
- Get bang for your buck
You have finite resources, and you need your marketing activities to give you the best possible return on investment (ROI). Studies have shown email marketing to be a cheap and productive marketing activity. Maybe consider sending out regular email newsletters. Other cheap activities could include social media outreach, guerrilla advertising, and sending free samples to influencers.
- Pick your channel wisely
If your target audience is on social media, get your business on social media! If they’re more old schools, maybe it’s better to place an ad in the local newspaper. Figure out the favoured channels of your target audience, then go to them. There’s no point advertising a ‘Welcome to the Internet’ course online. Follow these steps and there’s a good chance your target audience will respond. And don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to do this alone. There are loads of resources out there, like this excellent newsletter software.