If you are planning on building a website, you will need to find your target audience. Unfortunately, many beginners think they can make a website for everyone, but simply not. In fact, your website should focus on marketing to a specific audience and branching slowly.
Remember, if you try to please everyone, you will eventually please no one.
All Websites Are Different
Before continuing, I cannot stress enough that each website is unique. The content produced, the ways it makes money, the way it is marketed, the pitch used, and everything else is different.
Therefore, it is natural that each caters to a specific audience in a unique way.
You need to find out what audience your horse the website aims and understands how to cater for it that audience. As a result, targeting a specific audience is different for each website and ultimately depends on the purpose of your content and the tone you are trying to achieve.
So, you’ll have to be a little creative.
What is a Target Audience?
If you are completely new to marketing, “target audience” is a term that is thrown around a lot without explanation.
To put it simply, a target audience is who the aim of your marketing campaign is. For example, if you sell toys, your target audience would be children and their parents. This is because they are the ones who will be interested in the product you are selling and your primary source of customers.
However, some products, services, or pieces of content may be relevant to multiple audiences. For this reason, it is important to design your marketing campaign around the largest and most profitable audience to which your services can be sold.
However, it is a lot of work to find your target audience.
How to Find Your Target Audience
Finding your target audience is not easy. To do that, you’ll need to explore your website or the layout of it if you’re just starting out. The best way to do this is to ask yourself a series of questions.
- What are the aims of your website?
- What audience can help you achieve that goal?
- Can you divide that audience into smaller subgroups?
- Average income?
- What is the average age of the audience?
- Are any of these subgroups more important than the others for your website goal?
- As a result of catering to your potential audience, will you exclude another audience in the process?
By answering these questions, you should have a rough idea of what your website is aiming for. If you find your target audience is very wide, look deeper and find a niche to shrink to. A good way to do this is to ask staff members.
In fact, I strongly recommend asking them the same questions. They might be able to offer something completely different than you thought.
Know Your Target Audience
Now that you have a rough idea of what your target audience is, it’s time to really research those people. Just as every website is unique, every audience is too. Therefore, you need to ensure that you produce content and marketing on the right platforms to reach your core audience.
However, this is not easy as there is a lot of research to do. Today, I have assembled 5 of the most important things you should consider about the process.
1. Research your Current Audience
Auditing who currently uses the site is not the biggest mistake I find in finding a target audience. Many businesses tend to focus on what they want to achieve, which is important but forget to use the foundation they already have.
Therefore, you should examine who is using your website at this time.
How you do this depends largely on the website. For example, if you run an online store, you can identify many features such as people’s location, interests, spending patterns, gender and more.
It really depends on what you’re selling, but the information can be very useful when analyzing it.
All websites have access to, and should be using, Google Analytics to track how well their website is performing on the web. This tool is your best friend as a website owner, and can also help you learn more about your current audience.
It has a lot of information to share, but two of the most useful pieces of information are the age and gender of your audience.
I strongly recommend researching who currently uses your site before looking ahead.
Note: Many internet users surf the web anonymously. So, the statistics you see about your audience might be limited, but it’s still a great starting point.
2. Analyze the Competition
Let’s be honest, while you may have a unique spin on a certain type of content or product, at the end of the day, you have a competition that does something similar. As such, it is very important to gather information about your competition.
Especially if you’re going to compete for the same audience.
This is also a great way to determine if you are targeting the right people. Look at the most successful competitors in your industry and try to find out how they market and who the intended audience is.
Of course, how you go about this is not straightforward. After all, this information on their website will not wait for you.
Instead, you’ll need to do some digging around.
Track them on social media, explore their content or products, look at what keywords they list, and take a look at any other marketing material they have. After you gather some information, I recommend doing a SWOT Analysis.
This is where you list Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and see how you stack up against the competition.
3. What Your Target Audience Want
Sometimes, new business owners focus on what they want from their audience. However, this is an impossible way to fail. Instead, you need to look at what your audience wants and how your business can provide it.
This can help you stand out from the competition by catering to exactly what your target audience is looking for. Of course, this begs the question, how do you find what they want?
Again, this very much depends on your business model. If you have an eCommerce website, you need to look at common sales trends for your target audience. Although, if you have a blog, you need to explore what their search is for and what content they are staying or coming back for.
Once you discover this, you need to think of a way to use targeted ads to reach that audience. So show that your business has exactly what they are looking for.
4. Social Media Analytics
A big part of reaching an audience is how you do it on social media platforms. These websites dominate the internet and have permanently changed the way friends and family stay in contact with each other.
While at the same time creating new opportunities for businesses to connect with customers.
And each platform is packed with useful analytics data to help you track who is interacting with your profile and how you can use the platform to send a targeted ad to a specific audience.
However, you need to find the right platforms for those individuals.
For example, TikTok really makes a name for itself with the younger generation with over 500 million monthly users. Businesses are certainly taking notes and trying to establish themselves on the platform.
However, Facebook is still an even better option when it comes to the younger demographic and allows you to connect with more people overall.
Fortunately, there are many social media analytics tools that can help you find the best platforms to advertise on.
5. Repeat the Process
Now this one may sound like a copout, but let me assure you, your target audience will change and you need to adapt quickly when it happens. For this reason, you need to regularly re-evaluate your business, which really includes repeating all the research you did the first time.
Now you may be asking yourself, exactly how my target audience is going to change, and the answer is kinda hard. On one hand, the actual group you are targeting may not change, but the people in it certainly will.
For example, let’s say you are marketing to millennials versus generation Z. When you used to market to the younger generation, 18-24, you would look at millennials, but now that’s Gen Z territory.
This age change has affected big brands and they have had to change their marketing efforts as a result.
Even a 6 month gap is enough for your target audience to change. For example, the outbreak of COVID-19 has radically changed how some businesses have to market. Therefore, organized reappraisal is critical to success.
Creating a Call to Action (CTA)
Once your research is complete, it’s time to create a Call to Action for your website and audience. How you choose to do your CTA depends entirely on your business, but the basic idea is simple enough.
CTA is a clear message telling visitors what to do next on your website.
This message should be tailored to your target audience and some of the most common CTAs include:
- Read More Button
- Sign up for Email Newsletters
- Buy Now
- Browse Now
- Give Us a Call
- Talk to Support
- Free trial
- Share on Facebook
- And about a thousand more common terms that give the visitor a clear idea of what to do next.
You can also use CTA as a way to help visitors. However, you should also try to make a CTA that adds value to your content.
A great example of this is the Home Depot website. If you shop for a product, they will often link you to useful resources on how you can use produce around your house.
This tactic works really well because it provides additional information that helps visitors out and can even lead them to other products. Furthermore, if everything works well, they are very likely to come back and listen to more of your CTAs.
Conducting Surveys and Polls
Surveys and polls are used by large corporations around the world, because they work. A survey or opinion poll aims to gather information from visitors. And while the results may vary, the information is invaluable because of set times, you can gather information that is not tracked by normal analytical tools.
Fortunately, these are easy to set up and you can even disguise them as social media events.
For example, if you sell a product, you could create an event that asks customers to show how they use a product on Twitter. This helps you engage with customers on social media, while also helping you gather valuable product information.
The more creative you are, the better the results will be.
Once you have chosen a great web host, selected a CMS, and gotten your website online, marketing to your target audience is the next big obstacle. And to be perfectly honest, it’s not easy to do and will be time consuming.
And I don’t just mean the hours you put into research and marketing. It will take weeks or even months to see if the marketing campaign is reaching your target audience well. Especially when you consider how long it takes to build social media following.
So, it should be one of the first things you focus on when your website goes live next to content creation. Be patient and stay the course.
What is your target audience? What is your favorite analytics tool that helped you find your target audience?