How To Identify The Target Audience for Your Small Business

 A major factor to consider before you start a new business is your ideal target audience. How you define your target market will help to build a solid foundation for your business.  To identify your target audience, you must first eliminate the notion that everyone is your target audience. Everyone is not your target audience and no one can afford to target everyone. 

Without detailed knowledge of your target market, you could be losing business to your competitors or missing out on opportunities to increase sales.

So how do you identify your target audience? We’ve made list for you.

1. Do your Research.

What is a business venture without proper research?

Find out what it is that your customers care about. Take a close look at solutions they are looking for and match your product with that need. 

2. Analyze Your Product

Before you decide to introduce your product or service to your customers, you must fully understand it. You can do this by making a comprehensive analysis of the product/service you are offering. Make a list of its features and uses and 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 or products.

3. Look at your current customer base.

You want to do is to identify the people who already buy from you. Figure out why they buy from you and look for common characteristics and interests. By identifying interests and characteristics it becomes easy for you to target people who share the same traits and begin to use this information to refine your existing customer base into a target market.

4. Check out your competition.

Who are your competitors’ current customers and who are the customers they are targeting? Don't go after the same people they are targeting. Instead, look for the niche market that they are overlooking and identify your target audience from it.

5. Segment your Audience.

Figure out not only who has a need for your product or service, but also who is most likely to buy it. You will also want to figure out the demography and psychography of your target audience. 

For demography you should consider; age, location, gender, income level, education level, marital or family status, occupation and ethnic background. For psychography you should consider personality, attitudes, values, interests/hobbies, lifestyles and behavior. This information will help you determine how your product or service will fit into your target's lifestyle. 

Remember that Just because your product or service appeals to a broad range of people doesn’t mean they are your target audience. However, you can have more than one niche market. Once you know who you are targeting, it is much easier to figure out which media you can use to reach them and what marketing messages will resonate with them.

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