Why is a defined target audience influential?
If everyone is your target market, you will quickly exhaust your resources in reaching them all! That's why distilling your audience allows you to focus - you can pinpoint your time and money on those most likely to buy from you. In doing so, you scale your business sustainably, affordably and realistically.
What are the benefits of a target audience?
We've just learnt that a target audience is a more strategic and effective way to invest your marketing budget. To put it plainly, crystallising your customer profile removes the deadwood, that group that either doesn't want or doesn't value what you're selling.
A distinct customer profile also clarifies your communications - your messages are more bespoke and speak to this customer, their needs, wants and pain points. Knowing your niche also helps keep your business decisions on track; specificity feeds strategy!
Moreover, if you're an IBD going after investment, you must show savvy investors a clear, well-planned route to the end customer. Your business plan is your blueprint, which must involve a thorough target market analysis. Investors know a net cast wide doesn't tend to catch any fish, let alone the right ones.
How can you define your target market?
We've just touched on a business plan, and this should be your first step. Conducting a thorough market analysis is fundamental to understanding your target market. Once this is done, you have other ways to define your target market:
Analyse your data.
Access your data to dive deep into the potential buyers visiting you. Google Analytics, online marketplace reporting dashboards, advertising campaign insights, and customer survey forms; are all valid data channels for you to review and from which to learn.
Review your competition.
Who are your competitors? Find out whom they're talking to and how. Reviewing your competitors' marketing campaigns will expose precisely the person you want to target.
Engage with your customers.
Don't treat your buyers like strangers! Get to know them. If you're interacting with them in-store, ask questions.
How did they know about you?
What has prompted them to come in today?
What interests them?
Do they have challenges or concerns?
This granular intel can be priceless, but it also shows the customer that you are sincerely interested in them. Don't stop there, however! Visit online forums, chat groups and social media pages. Enter into discussions or hover around in the background learning. This is the kind of activity that gives you a genuine and thorough understanding of your target market.
Indeed, you're not talking about the basics of geography and gender anymore. Instead, you're discovering behavioural insights and psychographics, which can help you make incredibly bespoke decisions that are oh-so on-point for your customer.
Use advertising platforms' lead-generation tools.
Lead generation can be a powerful means of identifying and growing your target audience. An example would be an advertising campaign intent on growing your database. Giant social media platforms such as Facebook and Google have well-oiled lead-generating capabilities (but remember, a tool is only as good as the tradesperson using it!).
Regularly reevaluate your target market.
Things constantly change, and that includes your customers. People grow, culture shifts, and technology advances. Your target market is not set in stone now, and for infinity - it's a fluid, dynamic entity that will change over time. So avoid being complacent; make sure you regularly monitor and review whom you're targeting in case they've started to shift, and you still need to move with them.
How to advertise to your target market.
Now that you know your audience, how do you advertise to them? The good news is that your marketing tactics can be as broad as your target is a niche!
Let BikeExchange help you.
BikeExchange, the world's largest online marketplace for everything bike, has over a million unique monthly sessions. That's a LOT of bike-loving, bike-needing people! Establishing a webstore on our site is one sure way to reach your target market, but we can do more. Banner advertising, email campaigns, and editorial coverage; are some creative ways we can help you reach the right market for your business.
Develop meaningful content.
Knowing your audience means you can now target them with meaningful, bespoke content. Personalisation is key.
Use social media hashtags your audience is using.
This is becoming increasingly challenging, given the level of competition, but incorporating hashtags into your social media strategy can still help you reach your target market.
Collaborate with influencers and affiliates.
If you're fortunate enough to have influential connections, collaborating with them can be a fantastic way to advertise to your target market. If you are starting from scratch, it will take you time, money or both. But it can still be worth it! Consider reaching out to content creators directly. Alternatively, try opting for a platform that is specifically designed to connect you, like Awin. Just make sure you know about all the costs involved.
Referral marketing is essentially word-of-mouth. A classic example would be incentivising someone to share your business with their social media following. EG - tag your IBD in their social media post to receive X discount off their next purchase. It's a great way to get your target audience to help build your target audience.
Create and grow your target market with BikeExchange.
Our online marketplace is a single-stop solution for many of your target audience's needs. Establishing a presence on our platform exposes your bike store to hundreds and thousands of customers. Our marketing team can assist with creative and innovative ways to reach and engage this bike-loving slice of the public. So, contact us today to find out how simply and cost-effectively we can get you started. Make more sales - let us help grow your market.