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7 Steps to Understand Your Small Business Target Audience

Identify your target audience for your small business

A simplified actionable guide on how to understand your small business target audience. Learn how to reach your ideal customer with the right message, at the right time on the right channel.

So, you have a brand new business idea. And, of course, you and your possible business partners think your plan will take the market by storm. It will be an instant hit, the one thing that people have unknowingly been waiting for?

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Right? Wrong.

Having an exciting new business idea is not the only criteria for ensuring success in the business world.

There are two possible ways of establishing a profitable business. The first one, which is what most people do, is to create a product first, and then start finding customers for their new business.

The problem with this approach is you may end up with products people don’t want. And if you’re like most small businesses, you’re cash-strapped, which means, you don’t have a large advertising war chest to persuade and influence people to want your products.

The second approach, which will most likely increase your chances of success with your business is to define your target audience. First, understand their needs and preferences, and then create a product or service that solves that particular problem for them.

This way, you’re not just forcing any product or service down their throat, but providing a solution to a problem they are already facing.

In this article, you will learn, a step-by-step guide on how to understand your target audience.

Why you Should Know Your Target Audience

Knowing the product you plan on selling is one thing. Understanding your target market is quite another.

Understanding your target market is vital to the success of any business. Just ask any major brand.

If you do not know your audience, how would you know what social media platforms to advertise your products on? Or, the look you want to give your product?

Your ideal customers’ needs, wants, and preferences should be your priority if you’re going to gain loyal customers.

Some of the basic things a brand should know about its target market includes but is not limited to;

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Social status
  • Religion
  • Location
  • Education
  • Number of children
  • Ethnicity

Here are 7 steps to help you understand your small business target audience

Dig into data and analytics to understand your small business target audience

Do your Research

What is a business venture without proper research?

From keyword research to find what it is your customers care about, every detail is essential here.

Take a close look at what terms your audience is searching for. Find out what products or services they often google. One surefire way of doing this is by starting to search for something in Google’s search box and taking note of the suggestions Google offers.

Use Google’s Keyword Planner to uncover hidden phrases customers use when searching for related services.

Analyse Your Product

You must fully understand the product or service you are selling before introducing it to your customers.

An excellent way to do this is by making a comprehensive analysis of the product/service you are offering. List out all the features you will be providing your customers, and beside those features, make a list of all the benefits your audience will get when they use it.

You will use these benefits in your marketing materials – web copy, ads and content. The idea is not to sell the features, but solutions and benefits users will get from using your services.

7 Steps to Understand Your Small Business Target Audience 1

Understand your Current Customers

This step is applicable only if you are already in business in some way.

If you already have existing customers, you must understand their wants and needs to create a smaller room for failure with your new business.

What are those things that your current customers all want as part of your service? And what are the things that they wish you could change?

An easy way to find out what your customers have in common is creating surveys or polls, and sending customer feedback slips. From the results, you get a clearer picture of your audience’s general feeling.

Know Your Competition

Never forget that your target audience is not only your target audience.

Your competition is looking for ways to capture your audience, too. So, you must implement strategies to ensure that the customers come to you, and not go to the others.

Analyse your competition in the market before going into the business. Consider this step as vital as analysing your target audience. Understand your rival’s marketing strategies, what kind of customers they attract, and the share of the market they hold.

Also, know why your potential market chooses to patronise that brand and how to steer them to your products/services.

After your research, you should know if there is space for you in that sector of the market. Or, if your business would thrive if you branched off to another less competitive area.

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Create a Personal Customer Relationship

To take advantage of this tip, you should be in business with customers already.

If you are a new business, you might have to skip this step. However, if you do already have some standing customers, you can take full advantage.

Create personal relationships with your customers, where you feel like you know them, and they feel like a part of the family.

Even though you may not reach every one of your clients individually, you can create a general view of them from the ones you get to.

Know what your customers, like, their concerns, fears, and what makes them happy. All these should give more than a vague idea of who your ideal customer is.

Segment Your Audience

The idea is to create something that encompasses your general audience, but, you do need some segmentation.

It might be tempting to market your product/service to a general audience. However, you will make a better impression on the market if you focused on segmented groups. This way, you can market your products to a targeted audience more likely to buy from you.

With time, you will get to understand which share of your target audience gets you the highest revenue, and you pay closer attention to them.

Recommended for you: Get instant access to free business templates + 12 months marketing and social media plans to grow your business in 2023.

Social Media

If you are still sleeping on the power of social media …

The beauty of social media is that it can be used to reach across all classes of people, irrespective of age, location, gender, social status, etc.

Most businesses now use their social media platforms to communicate more directly with their customers. This way, a better rapport is also built.

You can conduct surveys, opinion polls, giveaways and advertise your products on your social media platforms.

If your business does not already have one, you can start by creating a Facebook page, and a Twitter account.

Understanding and knowing what makes your audience tick is key to your business marketing plans and subsequent success. With proper research and analysis, you can eliminate hurdles and make your business journey easier.

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