Target Market Analysis: 5 Easy Ways to Identify and Attract Your Online Audience
The key to a successful online business is identifying and attracting your target audience. A target market analysis is a proven and effective way to do this.
You will want to drive more quality leads to your website. The better the leads, the higher your rate of converting leads to customers. The first thing you need to do is list the characteristics of your ideal customer. Defining your ideal customer is the foundation for a solid target market analysis.
So what are the characteristics of your ideal customer?
You can figure out what type of customer you’re trying to target by answering some of the following questions:
- What age group are you targeting?
- Are you targeting a specific gender or ethnic group?
- What is your target audience’s average household income?
- How computer literate is your target audience?
- Will your customers be more likely to access your website from home or work?
- In what part of the country are your customers most likely to live?
- Are your customers single or married?
- Do your customers have children?
Knowing some fundamental characteristics about your customer will help you determine the most effective marketing plan. You will then be able to design a website that is most appealing to them. Appropriate design and content will increase your success. Delivering a clear, innovative message to a highly targeted audience, is critical.
One of the best advantages of online marketing is that you can get extremely targeted. More so than any other form of advertising! The more you know about your customers, the better your chances of a successful target market analysis. If you don’t know who your target audience is, no worries! Just start asking! You can always give away a product or coupon to encourage your customers to share their demographics.
1. Target Market Analysis for Different Types of Audiences
Online marketing is no different than marketing cars, music, clothing, or anything else! Specific themes, lingo, technology, and even colors appeal to one generation, gender, or race, more than another. Get to know your audience, and cater to their individual needs. And remember – not all internet users are created alike!
By utilizing features that attract specific audiences to a website, you will be able to capture their trust, attention, and loyalty. Here are three examples of very different audiences: women, seniors, and teens.
Women Use The Internet To Save Time and Money
According to this online shopping info-graphic, women are more likely to use the internet to save time and money. They see the value in 24/7 availability. And they prefer to compare prices quickly and easily without any sales pressure.
Women also enjoy a sense of community. This explains why websites that are geared for women, are so successful. These sites not only give women a sense of community and comfort, but also help women with everyday-life problems. The number of women who visit education, health, and family sites is drastically higher than the number of men. If you are trying to target women, be sure your site provides some of those features that interest them.
Seniors Prefer Simple Sites
Although younger users may seem to be dominating the internet, seniors are gaining traction. According to this government of Canada study, “the number of Canadian seniors using the Internet doubled from 2007 to 2016“. That’s a faster growth than any other age group!
With household incomes averaging about $60,000, seniors are an attractive target for online businesses. With that said, they are more skeptical about the security issues of buying online than younger internet users. However, they are quickly becoming more confident about making internet purchases. Just be sure to always provide contact information, including a physical address and phone number. Most seniors agree that they will not buy from a website that does not provide this important information up front. For them, hidden contact information is a big red flag.
Overall, what kind of sites do seniors like best? Simple ones, with light graphics and no complicated downloads or plug-ins. WordPress websites are ones of the most senior-friendly websites you can build (and the ones we build for our clients!).
Generation Y Is The Most Tech Savvy
Did you know that Generation Y is larger than any other consumer group? After-all, they are the children of the baby boomers.
For this crowd, the web is where it’s at. Traditional advertising tactics just won’t cut it anymore. This group far too sophisticated and computer savvy. Business Week says “The Internet is the Gen Y medium of choice, just as TV was for boomers. Television drives homogeneity – the internet drives diversity.” They find what to wear, what to buy, and what to listen to from two main sources: their peers and online. A well designed website is crucial for any company hoping to reach this generation.
2. Get the Word Out Through Those You Know!
Using new technology will almost always get attention. You don’t need top directors and famous faces to make an effective marketing campaign.
For example, a really great short clip video, photo, animation, or even an urban legend can start a buzz about your company or product. Think about the types of e-mails that get forwarded around the world and back. All those silly pictures, jokes, and funny movie clips. Imagine tying in some kind of marketing message and watch your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors forward the message out to their e-mail lists.
I am reminded of an amazing graphic artist I know. He created a clever animation with his new company logo and contact information discreetly located at the bottom. He forwarded the cute cartoon to his friends and family, hoping they would find the animation clever enough to forward it. It worked! His animation quickly spread around social media. When it eventually reached people who were in need of graphic design, they were able to trace the animation back to its owner and give him a call.
Do not underestimate the power of word of mouth. Encouraging friends and family to promote your website, product, or service (social media, email, ect) will produce invaluable results. Efficient, low-cost online marketing is about quality not quantity. That’s why we’re firmly against any sort of spam or purchasing of e-mail lists. Instead, build your own e-mail list with people who are actually interested in you and your product. And always give people a way to unsubscribe from your list.
Unlike online marketing theories of five years ago, smart marketing is no longer about how many visitors your website can attract. Most importantly, it’s about how those people respond to and feel about your website, company, and product. This is how to convert visitors into leads, with the goal of gaining loyal customers.
3. Use Target Market Analysis To Personalize Your Website
What if you have no obvious target audience? What if you are selling a general products like soap, toothpaste, pens, or light-bulbs? That appeals to everyone no matter what their sex, age, income level. Even if your company has something to offer everyone, that doesn’t let you off the hook as far as personalizing your website. Unlike television, radio, or print advertising, it is possible for a website to appear personalized, without limiting your audience.
A big-budget company could spend millions of dollars just on the technology alone to create a personalized website. The continued success of Amazon is a direct result of its’ extremely efficient use of its personalization technology. Amazon has managed to personalize their online store to fit each new shopper almost perfectly. This is what personalization is all about.
Learn From Amazon
In case you have never purchased anything from Amazon, here’s a rundown of how their personalization technology works. When you search for a product , the website records this, then uses that information to target ads and messages to you.
I recently purchased a product from Amazon. At the checkout, the website suggested more products related to my purchase. This is a great example of viral marketing.
Amazon goes so far as to customize its home page based on products a customer has purchased recently. Each time I visit Amazon. ca from my home computer, the top of the screen says,“Welcome Back! Here are some recommended products for you. . .” When I visited the home page of Amazon, it listed items I might like based on my recent purchase.
Now this is personalization at its best.
On a limited budget, you won’t be able to achieve personalization on the same scale as Amazon. However, there are some basic and very effective things you can do with little to no budget that will give your customers the illusion of personalization. You want them to think, “this website is for me!”
Organize and Customize Content For Effective Personalization
When customers have too many choices, they tend to not make a decision at all. This is one of the biggest problems with the internet: information overload.
Organizing information is key!
Making information feel as if it is directed to your customer personally is even better. If you have an an eCommerce website (online shop) with more than 25 products, a simple search engine is a great feature. It will add to the professionalism and utility of your website without having to spend money on expensive technology.
Focus On The Customer
We worked with a company that wanted their website to generate more sales leads. Their website was nicely designed and professional. It featured standard navy blue colors and stock photos of business executives. Yet although the site looked professional, there was nothing on it that felt personalized. Nothing jumped out and said, “This site is for you!”. I asked them who their top clients were (their target audience), and they quickly listed real estate agencies, biotech companies, and law firms. However, nowhere on their home page did they mention these industries. In fact, all of the text on their home page was solely about their company. Focusing exclusively on self-promotion online is a common mistake of small businesses!
Don’t forget this hard cold truth: your customer doesn’t care about you! They care about what you can do for them.
You have ten seconds to capture someone’s attention when they visit your home page. You had better tell that person why they need you. Use your home page to tell your customers why your product or service is right for them, personally.
With this in mind, we simply rearranged this company’s home page to include three boxes. One had a picture of a lawyer, the next a real estate agent, and the last a biotech student. Each image had a sentence appealing to that target audience, followed by “Click here for more info,”. We then developed an entire page dedicated to why this company was an expert in creating digital documents for that specific industry. In reality, we only had to change a few sentences on each page. This company performs essentially the same service for each industry, but the targeted new sentences now made their product appear personalized.
4. Testing Your Website’s Appeal to Your Target Audience
How can you be sure that your website is attracting the right audience? Just ask them! It is true that internet users are getting more and more protective of their personal information. However, if you offer something of value, they’ll be more eager to provide you with personal info.
Knowing the demographics of your customer will help you wisely spend your marketing dollars. Today, the success of a website is determined by the quality of the traffic, not the quantity. The key to a successful website and online marketing strategy is being as targeted as possible. Even if that leaves you with a smaller audience. This is another reason why a target market analysis is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.
5. Banner Ads Rely On Placement
When we first launched our website, we made the number one mistake most first-timers make. We tried to reach the greatest amount of people, rather than a few of the right people.
We do not recommend buying banner ads, especially if vou’re on a limited budget. Banner ads can be effective at branding your company if you have a large enough budget. Or you can negotiate some long-term contracts with prominent websites in your industry. But the actual click-through rates are often so low that they’re not cost-effective.
If you do choose to buy banner ads, the most cost-effective strategy is to buy them on a very targeted page. The more targeted the page, the cheaper the ad – and the more results you’ll get!
Another example of targeting your banner ad placement is embedding it in content. Before you buy an ad, ask the website editors what types of stories or promotions they may be doing that would relate to your business, then ask for ads on those pages. If the site has a keyword search, ask to have your banners come up when words associated with your primary product or service are entered. The deeper the page in the site, the better, because you will be reaching visitors who are truly searching for your information.
This strategy is directly aimed at those companies looking to get the most value for their online marketing dollar. For companies with a larger budget, we would recommend buying banners on the home pages for branding purposes. However, branding is expensive. Establishing a dominant online brand can be be worth millions! So for the purpose of online marketing on a budget, don’t waste your time or money on home page banner ads.