Guest post by Nonni
Almost 18 months ago, this was the bane of my business existence! I had no idea what I was doing, and Google and YouTube had me spinning my wheels, throwing everything at the wall. I did figure it out, finally. Lots of doubt, dollars and many, many hours later, because it’s such an unavoidable part of being successful online.
No matter what type of business you have, you need a target market.
There are people who want and need your products, and the goal of your content and marketing efforts is to connect with them. Without a clearly defined target market, you're taking shots in the dark and just hoping that you’ll find people who will buy, read and understand you. You have no real idea if what you are doing is right, or in the wrong direction altogether.
Your perfect target market is a specific audience that wants and needs what you have to offer, and you direct your content and marketing to them. It’s that simple.
We mostly hear about the importance of knowing the age, gender, income level and geographical information of our audience.
Great. Demographic information like this is very important, but it’s only a small piece of the puzzle. Other aspects of your ideal audience include psychographic information, like how your audience sees themselves or see the world around them, and I think that this is more important than demographic information.
The point of market research, when done properly, is to give you a complete picture of your dream audience’s profile.
This is the ideal customer who wants and needs your products, and it's very detailed. A good customer profile has to be as specific as possible.
Now, let’s take a look at what you need to know about your audience, so you can serve them better.
This is the basis of your customer profile. Important but shallow. You can think of these as their "personal stats."
- Age or age range
- Geographical location
- Level of education
- Type of occupation (or specific occupation)
- General income level
- Family structure
For example, your customer may be a mother in her 40s, who is working at a professional job and lives in the suburbs. Or you may target mostly 20-something single women who earn over $72,000 a year and live in the inner city. This is a fair starting point.
Lifestyle and Hobbies
Lifestyle and hobbies are also important. These are part of the psychographic data, subtle information that you can use to laser target your focus.
- Free time activities
- Eating and health choices
- Smoking and drinking habits
- Clubs, groups and organizations they belong to
- Places they visit often
All of this is equally important, if not more so. For example, your dream audience may be well-to-do single females in their 30s who enjoy a vegan lifestyle.
If you also know that your ideal customer is active on the weekends, going camping, hiking, running, and doing other outdoorsy things, the way you talk to her would be different. You now know more about her than just superficial details. Another girl could have exactly the same demographics, but have strong political views and attend rallies on the weekend. These are very different girls.
Morals and Values
Psychographic data gets to the core of how people see themselves. You want to clearly define their attitudes and beliefs about themselves, the world around them, current events, and their views on products like yours.
This is obviously important when it comes to how you position yourself and products in the market and how you deliver your marketing and sales messages. If your audience is made up of single Christian women who are celibate, they won’t appreciate the meme of twerking girls in your last email quite as much.
I usually put goals, aspirations, and where they see themselves in the future in this category too. I LOVE Pinterest for this, because it’s so easy to go down the rabbit hole. Those celibate girls? They’re probably into modest clothing too.
To be successful with your blog or online business, you need know what your audience’s pain points or major problems are. You're going to offer them the solution — your product.
The key to successful marketing is to identify your market's pain or problem and offer a solution. That’s all. If you are not solving problem or addressing a pain point, people don’t care. We don’t have the time.
Along with defining your niche, you need to define what frustrates them, what they worry about or fear, and what problems they face and what kinds of solutions they're looking for. It’s the only way to have a blog or a product that people care about. If you know exactly who they are, you can communicate your product's benefits and the results they can expect in a language that makes sense to them.
Say your dream audience is in their 60s, retired and are driving across America. You know that they are not into blogs and are up and about during the day, so you might find that a weekly podcast is better for them than a blog. That way, they can listen while they walk and do other things. You’re meeting their needs and solving a problem.
Your profile should also address how people in your audience shop. You’ll need to know things like:
- how much they spend
- where they like to shop (online or off)
- if they shop based on price or quality
- how they use the products they buy
As a business owner, it's your job to connect them to the right products where and when they’re looking for them. That's why this information is so important.
When you know what your customer sees as value and how much they are willing to spend, you will know exactly how to offer them a no-brainer choice. This will shape the kind of language you use on your blog, the extras or lack thereof in your products and how your products and services are delivered.
Rather than just looking at the comparison between a high-end and lower-end shopper, it’s more valuable to look at the reasons why your audience buys.
Try answering questions like: do they shop with long-term goals in mind, or are they more concerned with branding and being flashy. These are very different people and motivations.
Stereotyping much? Yes! Because it works.
When defining your target market, you don’t want to be caught out by making assumptions. I spent almost a year trying to figure it out and wasted so much time and money guessing.
By creating a detailed profile of your ideal customer, you know exactly who you’re talking to in your messages. Research your target market and they'll tell you what they like, what they think, and what they want from you.
Create all of your products, content, marketing materials and sales copy by speaking directly to this ideal customer and the right people will get the message.
Hey! Nonni here. I help passionate bloggers and infopreneurs define their niche and turn their skills and passions into profitable businesses. I do this by helping them get crystal clear on their niche and super detailed with what their dream audience wants and needs with a zero guessing, step-by-step process.