Your annual target group check-up

If you know marketing, you know that it is absolutely crucial that you hit your target audience right on target every time. And if you're new to marketing, we're glad you're here to learn!

In this article, we're going to show you how to quickly check your current audience to make sure your advertising is being directed in the right direction!

Skeptical about the need to reassess your target audience? Perhaps you have more followers on Facebook than all of your competitors combined! Pretty impressive, isn't it?

Maybe. Having a high number of followers can contribute to a widespread misconception that Alexandrea Harrelson, CEO of Harrelson Media, called the "follower fallacy", which is the idea that the number of followers you have determines your influence. In reality, having a high engagement rate is more important than having a high number of followers. For example, if you have 100,000 followers with an engagement rate of 10%, you will essentially reach fewer customers than with 50,000 followers and an engagement rate of 50%. The moral of this paragraph is to read on and stay open-minded!

So here's the review. There are 3 checkpoints – each is a key component of a perfect audience. This is a great opportunity for self-assessment and identify potential issues with your current ad targeting.

Anytime you don't see the conversions you want or fear your audience won't make it, just do this audience check and get yourself back on track.

Checkpoint 1: Do you make followers or friends?

Obviously, most people trust their friends more than their advertisers. And let's face it, that's wise of them. But what does this mean for us as marketers trying to initiate symbiotic relationships between our customers and our companies? It can fuel a healthy identity crisis.

In Checkpoint 1, you want to make sure that you don't fall victim to the follower fallacy. Do you remember the calculation we made at the beginning? Let's use simple numbers this time.

You have 10 followers on Instagram, but your posts average about 3 likes and 1 conversion. That means you have 7 followers who do nothing but inflate your ego. Ideally, you'd want all of your followers to interact with your content and get excited about your product, but in this scenario the best place to buckle up and make sure the 3 fans who liked the post know you're watching them and you are grateful for that! That creates brand loyalty and what we like to call friendship. That way, you can better cater to who really cares about your business, rather than chasing down dead leads. It also gives you more latitude to find out what you're doing right and to do it!

So it is your job to turn your followers into friends. Followers can like or comment, but friends will also be loyal and maybe even introduce you to their friends … they could become more friends … who introduce you to their friends … it's a beautiful cycle.

Properly focused audiences make your followers / friends feel like they're being seen and encourage the symbiotic relationship we talked about earlier. You prioritize them and give them a great product as they keep coming back to buy again or attract new customers.

If this "friendship" idea sounds strange to you, we encourage you to take a step back and think about why your followers aren't friends. Probably the root of the problem lies in your target audience. Maybe it's stagnated and you just outgrew it. Or maybe you're targeting the wrong types of people – some demographics are being oversold or just plain wrong for your business.

If you haven't already, challenge yourself to turn half or even a quarter of your followers into friends by the end of the year. We promise that you will be amazed by the results.

Checkpoint 2: How well do you know your buyer (persona)?

And if you're really trying to make more "friends," you'll want to know about them. So you can start calibrating your perfect audiences.

What is your ideal customer doing this weekend? How will your product help them do better? Questions like this help us penetrate into the minds of our customers and find out how they can make their experience with our company even better. You can compile the answers to these questions in a customer avatar worksheet that is your fictitious "ideal" customer. This profile helps you to define and secure your target group.

Check out our customer avatar worksheet!

Your buyer persona (or customer avatar) should be more than a quick sketch of some demographic and how much money they are spending on your website. When, if at all, is your ideal customer interested in a new hobby? What are your re-acclimatization plans when the pandemic ends? Where do they spend most of their time online?

Some of these questions are more obviously related to marketing than others, but all of them should have an impact on how you connect with these customers. If your target audience is single, you need to think about how often your content portrays couples. If you're still worried about the virus, maybe try masked models.

Creating detailed buyer persona profiles can be a great resource for your marketing team, especially if you're struggling to present a unified frontline or just lost sight of the complexities of your customers.

This is reflected in checkpoint 1. If your buyer really is your best friend, then you know exactly how to get them to "hang out" with your business. And after a while, they'll also think of you as a friend.

Checkpoint 3: Are you aiming for the correct number of targets?

Is the archery range confusing?

One criticism of target groups as a marketing strategy is that they promote exclusivity in your customer base. Constant focus on a single demographic group can neglect potential customers and ultimately stunt business growth. It can also give your competitors an edge if they are able to engage the customers you are keeping an eye on. In light of this acute criticism, we encourage each brand to expand its target audience as it grows.

Note: If you're a small business just getting the hang of it, it might be better to focus on a primary demographic. Just be careful not to build a box that you can't climb out of! Be careful not to explicitly exclude any demographics if you can prevent this from happening; that could be expensive in the future.

So basically there are two extremes you can swing into: too many goals or too few. If you've bitten off more than you can chew, it's time to look closely at the numbers: Which demographic brings you the most customers? Which target group does advertising cost you the most? Which demographic group brings the fewest conversions for your company? Your analysis will likely make it pretty clear which targets you are hitting and which are a waste of darts (and money! And time!).

Or maybe you are not targeting enough demographics. A sure sign that this is the case is when your current market (the same one that always worked! That you love!) Bottomed out and your returns are declining. This is a reason to celebrate! Your exhausted market likely means that your marketing and product have been successful enough to cover an entire population.

Buttttt also indicates the need for expansion. Here's the NFL's new audience story to keep you inspired.

In 2010, the NFL launched its first women-centric apparel campaign. Fast forward to 2021 and there is a section of the website devoted to women that has proven extremely successful and lucrative. The NFL knew that adding women's styles to their clothing lines was a good investment as they spent a lot of time collecting data: 41.9 million women tuned into Super Bowl XLIV and more than 45 million women watched each weekend NFL games on.

You can mimic the success of the NFL by watching your followers on social media or website traffic. Who is shown who you are not currently promoting? These groups are ideal audiences because you already have evidence that they are interested in your business.

Notice how this checkpoint came after "How Well Do You Know Your Buyer". If you realized at the first checkpoint that you need more high-quality “friends”, you know that you have to sharpen your target group even more. And once you've put a big green check mark on the second checkpoint, it may be time to start thinking about enhancements.

Well … how are you feeling? We hope this article has instilled some confidence in your current audience, or at least given them some good direction. However, if he has raised some questions or you have been wondering whether you need a marketing MRI, DigitalMarketer has tons of options in our lab platform to help you target your target! Remember, make friends, get to know them, and invest your time in the groups you really love.

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