Written by Dan Marzullo

October 31, 2020

You may have heard the phrase “know your audience” quite a bit, but if everyone truly understood the meaning, many failed businesses might still be around. 

Your business’s products can be unique and even life-transforming, but if your audience doesn’t know they exist, you’ll have nothing to show for your efforts except wasted time and money. So how do you ensure your goods get the recognition they deserve? 

First, you need to understand who your audience is. Once you’ve established that, you can work out how to get inside the head of potential customers to fully understand their needs and desires. Let’s say you’ve taken the necessary steps to identify your target audience but are unsure how you can reach them. Guess what? More time and money wasted. 

This guide will take you through the process of why “knowing your audience” and understanding how to reach your audience will help send that amazing and unique product of yours flying off the shelves. 

Target market versus target audience

It’s easy to confuse the two, but there is a difference. A target market is a “specific, defined segment of consumers whom a company plans to serve with its products or services whereas a “‘target audience’ is narrower than a ‘target market.’” A target audience is a “group of people defined by certain demographics and behaviors.” These people may all have the same interests, frustrations/pain points, education, and desires that would make your product appealing to them.  

Engage your target audience through marketing communications. 

It’s important to remember that you, as an individual, are not necessarily representative of your target audience just because your demographics may be similar to those of your customers. As Forbes.com contributor Nancy Marshall puts it: “Identifying the right demographic requires a holistic view of the general population.” Don’t assume that just because a marketing tactic or message would work on you, it will resonate with your target audience.

Why is it necessary to identify your target audience?

If you want to move inventory, engage with customers, and sustain a successful business, you need to know who you’re targeting and work out a way to let them know you exist.  

As you may have heard, “content is king.” Like an outstanding product, exceptional content marketing will attract potential customers. Content plays a critical role in your marketing strategy, yet you must know who your audience is before your pen hits the paper—or rather, before your fingers hit the keys—whether it’s for social media, your website, a product description, your blog, or any marketing materials. If no one sees your content, what’s the point? It may seem like an easy concept to execute, but 60% of brand-created content failed to deliver impactful consumer engagement in 2020. 

You must also know your own brand and be able to answer these questions:

  • Why should your target audience care about your product?
  • What are your product’s benefits to the consumer?
  • What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) 
  • What are your competitors doing to market their products successfully?  

Many businesses become so focused on selling their products that they forget to take the time to understand what solution they’re delivering to consumers. This information also provides valuable content for marketing messages. 

Selecting demographics for your target audience will narrow it down from everyone in the world to just those who would benefit from your product. Below are some typical demographics for you to consider:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Marital status
  • Education
  • Location
  • Income level

Researching demographics will help you find a group of people who have the greatest interest in your product and services. For example, if you’re selling women’s clothing, you would work out where they’re spending their time in order to reach them. Females in general are a massive audience, so the first step is narrowing down your search. 

Perhaps your clothing line is geared towards mature women with enough disposable income to spend on high-quality items. These women may be aged 50-70, with average incomes of $100,000-$150,000. Now that you’ve established your audience’s demographics, you can use that information to guide your advertising channel choices.

That said, don’t stop with just demographics. You should also spend time on an audience analysis to determine your customers’ psychographics, which focuses on behaviors. DigitalDoughnut.com provides examples of frequently used psychographics, including: 

  • Values
  • Personality and attitudes
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Information consumption habits 
  • Purchasing habits

Using this powerful information, you can then create buyer personas that represent your ideal customers. Such research-based profiles help you get inside your customers’ heads, allowing you to better understand their needs and pain. This understanding is the key to creating trust, which leads to sales.

Why is trust an important factor to consumers?

The best way to build trust is to convey genuine understanding and concern for your customers. Creating buyer personas to guide your marketing strategy will help you remain focused on your customers’ needs.

Armed with the definition of your target audience (and their behaviors and pain points), you can move to your next step: creating great content that will get your audience’s attention. A caveat to consider: If your product’s buyer and user are different (as they are when buying children’s toys, a situation in which a child is more likely to be an influencer than a decision-maker), make sure you differentiate your marketing strategy accordingly. For example, you may highlight different benefits for each buyer persona and advertise on different channels. 

Researching demographics will pay dividends

To reach your newfound audience effectively—especially on social media—use social media demographics and psychographics as your guide to finding the right communication platform. Take special pains to stay abreast of statistics and trends as they change, as users are finicky and can abandon a platform en masse.

For example, Facebook used to be the sole social media platform for millennials; now it’s far more popular with older demographics.

Campaignmonitor.com sums it up quite neatly: “By identifying where your audience hangs out online and narrowing that audience down into unique groups, you can provide the most relevant content possible and connect with the people who want to know what you have to offer.” Boom!

Demographics will help you discover where your target audience spends their time. Pew Research’s Social Media Fact Sheet breaks down some demographics of three social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn:

social media demographic breakdown

who uses social media platforms
demographic chart

Brands are spending a lot of money on social media marketing. In fact: 

What tools are available to communicate with your newfound audience?

Advertising on social media is popular with brands because it allows them to target specific audiences while simultaneously enabling them to respond. 

This ability to respond to customers is critical because engagement is everything in the world of marketing. One way to enhance your communication is through Chat Marketing. The statistics supporting chat marketing are impressive:

  • Over 2 billion consumers use SMS, Whatsapp, or Facebook Messenger every day to chat, and they are 5x more likely to respond to these chat channels than to email
  • More than 1 million small businesses and 200,000 marketing agencies use ManyChat to power over 1 billion conversations worldwide every month

Chat Marketing offers a new path towards growth for your business. It’s an appealing way to reach millions of new customers (for whom you can create a better shopping experience), and earn five to six times higher ROI than you would with traditional marketing. There’s really no downside, and knowing your target audience is the key to unlocking all of Chat Marketing’s potential for your business. 

One popular solution, ManyChat, is a Messenger marketing platform that easily integrates chatbots into your digital marketing strategy. With ManyChat, you’ll be able to take your existing target audience and segment them into groups, reaping even more significant benefits, such as: 

  • Refined messaging that will better resonate with your audience
  • Improved customer trust and loyalty 
  • Greater numbers of qualified leads
  • Increased conversions

Chat marketing plays a central role in the future of social media advertising; in fact, the value of the chatbot market is projected to reach $9.4 billion by 2024. Segmented customer audiences are the foundation for successful chatbot-integrated ads.

ManyChat’s Audience tab contains six main elements, including:

  1. Filters
  2. Selected subscribers
  3. All subscribers
  4. Subscriber list
  5. Subscribers filtered by tool
  6. Bulk actions

The Audience functionality allows you to create filters to better target and analyze your audience.

You can also tag your subscribers, grouping them together in ManyChat, enabling you to provide highly relevant content for people with similar characteristics or behavioral traits. 

audience analyzer

Once you know your target audience, you can choose from several exciting ways to target and create content for them. You’ll be able to reach those who would benefit most from your products, improving your bottom line. 

When you understand who’s included in your target audience, there’s no limit to what you can do to boost your sales. You can cultivate relationships through your Messenger marketing strategies, build trust, and deliver the solutions your customer needs.

know your audience

The best way to get to “know your audience” so you can provide solutions to their problems is to take advantage of the many sources of data available. By using demographics, psychographics, and tools like ManyChat, you can figure out who your customers are, where to find them online, and how to engage them.

With this information in hand, you can encourage loyalty and increase sales to keep your business going strong for years!