What does identifying your target market have to do with content marketing?
In fact, identifying your target market is key to being successful in all your marketing efforts.
Why is it important to identify your target market?
Knowing who your target market is, where you can find them, and how to appeal to them are critical factors in being able to create content that your audience really wants and needs.
If you try to market to everyone, you end up connecting with no one.
Target marketing allows you to focus your time, energy, and marketing dollars on the people who are more likely to buy from you. It also helps you to weed out the wrong audience. Those are the people who waste your time and resources and who don’t need or want your products or services anyway.
This is much more efficient (and effective) than trying to reach a broad market that may or may not be interested in what you have to offer.
Knowing exactly who you want to attract helps you focus your content in a way that makes your audience feel special. So read on to learn how to identify your target market.
Who is your target market?
If you want to use content marketing in your business, then you need to ask yourself “who is your target market?” Identifying your specific target market will help you develop the right content. It will also make it easier to develop your products and services.
You need to get to know as much about her as you can. What are her habits and goals? What are her dreams? What challenges does she face?
Here are some areas to consider as you define your target market:
Start with demographics
You want to determine your ideal customer’s:
- Age range
- Income level
- Where she lives
Knowing this demographic information will help you develop a mental picture of who she is.
If you don’t have customers yet, then you can develop an avatar of the ideal person you would like to have as a client or customer. If your business is more established, then dive into your metrics to learn the demographics of your customer base.
Click below to grab a free worksheet that helps you identify the characteristics of your ideal customer avatar.
What are her values?
Values can be harder to figure out. But values impact buying choices, so it’s a good question to ask. Especially in a small niche, customers often want to do business with people who share similar values. And they’ll learn your values from the content that you share.
You may also want to consider other psychographic information like her interests and hobbies, personality type, and lifestyle.
How does she like to consume content?
Figure out the content types that your ideal customer prefers. Is she more into:
- Written content
- Other forms of content
You may not know the answer yet, but it’s easy to find out. Repurpose any content you create into multiple formats. Start with two different formats that you can A/B test against each other. Then you can look at your analytics to see which format performs better. That will tell you which type of content appeals to your audience.
What are her pain points?
This is the big question. When you are going through the process of finding your target market, concentrate on identifying her problems. If you know her pain points, you’ll find content creation easier. And that includes not only free content, but also products and services that you create to provide solutions for her.
When you understand her problems, you’ll be able to get to talk to her as a person, rather than just as a faceless entity. Try to identify specific problems that she is experiencing. Then you can solve her problems with your content.
By answering these questions, you’ll really get to know your target market and what she needs. Then, keep her in mind and create all your content specifically for her.
Eventually, you can also segment your audience (think of segments as smaller target markets that are focused on a specific subtopic). This market segmentation will allow you to make a deeper connection with your audience.
How to identify your target market
There are many ways to identify your business’s target market, but the best way to is to conduct market research.
Start with your customer base
What are the common characteristics of the people who buy from you? Which customers are your raving fans? The ones who buy everything you have to offer? What demographic groups do they belong to?
These are your target customers and by identifying what they have in common, you can start to form a picture of your ideal customer avatar. And then you can market to people who are like her.
If you already have an audience, then conduct a survey to find out more about them. You can create a simple 10-question survey for free using Google Forms. Resist the urge to ask too many questions. The shorter you keep your survey, the more likely it is that people will complete it. But do be sure that you collect some of the demographic data that we talked about above.
You’ll be surprised at how much information you can learn about your target market using this method.
If you don’t have an audience yet, then you can survey people you think are in your demographic target using a Facebook Ad to attract people to the survey.
As you start to gather data, think about these questions. What bothers her? What makes her want to buy something? What keeps her up at night? Once you know that, it’s going to be easier to find more of the right people.
The more you get to know your target market, inside and out, the better you’ll be able to craft a message that resonates with them.
Capture as much information as possible
As you discover facts about your market, write them down so that you can create a picture in your mind of who your audience is. Capture the information in whatever way is most comfortable for you, whether that’s on paper, in a journal, or in a note-taking app.
If visual methods are more your speed, then try capturing your market data in a mindmap. A free, easy way to start mind-mapping is with Canva Mind maps. Then, print out your results and highlight common points that resonate with you.
Where is your target market?
Now that you know who your target market is, it’s time to consider where they are.
Does this seem like a silly question? Isn’t your market everywhere?
Getting specific about where your audience hangs out will help you hone in on your target market even further. It will help you know where to focus your time and attention. And it will help you connect on a more personal level. And that will help you create better content.
Where does she hang out on social media?
There are so many social media platforms today! However, you don’t need to be on all of them. And frankly, you shouldn’t.
Hang out where your target market hangs out.
Find out which social media platforms they use. That’s where you need to focus your social media marketing efforts.
What publications does she read?
What are the books, magazines, and online publications that your target market likes to read? You can use this information in a couple of ways.
One, if you can write a guest post or article for them, it’s a great way to boost your authority in your niche.
You can also target people who “like” or “follow” those businesses in Facebook ads, which can help expand your reach.
Which Facebook groups is she in?
Facebook groups can be a gold mine of information about your target market. When you discover the groups where your audience spends time, then you should join those groups. Not only can you learn more about your market, but you can also become a trusted resource by sharing tips that will help her solve her problems.
Look for niche-specific groups to join, rather than general groups. It will be easier to find your target persona inside the group. In larger groups, she may get lost in all the noise.
Then spend time in the group, learning about the problems your ideal customer is facing. Make notes about what you learn.
Podcasters and YouTubers she likes
Does your target audience like to listen to podcasts? Which ones?
Why not send those podcasts a pitch to be on the show? Becoming a podcast guest will get you in front of more of your target market.
The same thing goes for YouTube.
You can also get content ideas from the YouTube channels that your ideal customer follows. What kinds of questions are people leaving in the comments? These represent gaps that you can fill with your own content.
Identifying a target audience is the first and hardest part of developing your content marketing strategy. But doing so will help you focus your marketing campaigns, which will ultimately make your business more successful.
Once you know you who you are targeting, then you can figure out the content you need to create to reach them. You’ll get better results if you put in the up-front work to identify and understand the right people because then you can create content specifically for them.
Don’t forget to grab your free Ideal Customer Avatar Worksheet! Just click the image below.