Six ways to find your target audience

Carla Thomas

When it comes to content marketing, your first step should be to figure out your goals, which in turn will determine who your target audience is. Content marketing goals could include one or more of the following:

  • Positioning your business as an authority in your industry
  • Attracting new clients through informative content
  • Attaining more traffic from search engines

All these goals require you to first determine the specific audience you want to cater for. Not sure exactly how to do that? Start with our tried and tested methods below:

Start with your existing customer base

Analytics

If you want to understand your existing audience, it’s essential to invest in the integrity and relevance of your analytics data. If you haven’t already, get your goals set up in GA.  Without good data, you can’t measure the quality of your traffic and you won’t be able to extrapolate any kind of meaningful insights about your audience and how best to serve them.

With goals set up correctly, you can use your data to learn and make informed decisions about the content and traffic on your website that is most likely to convert. If you’re completely new to Google Analytics, start with our beginners’ guide here.

Google Analytics goal setting

Simply click on the corresponding Goal Set under the Explorer or Map Overlay tab of your Google Analytics data (as shown above) to see the conversion rate for the following traffic data.

Instagram Stickers

All major social media channels have functionality for business pages to view their audience insights, but Instagram went a step further in July 2018 with the introduction of the question sticker. For those who are new to the concept, Instagram Questions is a function that allows all accounts types to ask their followers (and non-followers) questions within their story which is then open to response. The Instagram account holder can view the responses privately and chose to share and answer none, some or all on their story with the questioner remaining anonymous by default. This is a great way to engage with your audience, build trust and earn loyalty.

Instagram stickers - ask me a question

Back in 2017, Instagram released polls to add to stories. Polls are a great way to capture quantitative data with a ‘this or that’ format.

From my own personal use of Instagram, I’ve noticed influencers use polls to inform their content decisions. For example, ‘Should my next YouTube video be on my summer skincare routine or natural makeup?’, ‘What day should I post my videos, Thursdays or Sundays?’ and ‘Do you prefer my fashion or beauty content?’. Not only will you find out who your audience is, but also how best to serve them.

Hashtags

One of the oldest social media tactics in the book, a unique hashtag can give you a load of audience data to work with. For example, you can easily find and gauge perceptions, issues, and praise associated with your product or brand and see the size of your influence on Instagram and Twitter.

There are platforms that can analyse the demographics and interests of those mentioning your brand or product. My favourite is Crimson Hexagon where it is also possible to set up parameters and rules for a refined and accurate approach. Most social listening tools have functionality for competitor monitoring, engagement tracking and trend analysis.

Depending on the size of the business, I would also recommend visiting the account pages of customers to help build customer personas and understanding. While you’re there, why not see what hashtags they’re using? Researching and using well-targeted hashtags will only reveal more potential.

Your Internal Teams

Don’t forget about team members and departments within your business who will have some great insights into the customer base, target audience and the kind of content that would fit best.

If you want your content to be a lead generator for new business, then your sales team can help in defining the perfect customer profile. They could reveal:

If you want your content to be helpful to your current and future client base, then your customer service, help desk, and support team can help in defining the right content for your target audience. They could tell you:

Growing your target audience

Survey Data

When in doubt, ask. This couldn’t be truer for audience insights. Luckily for marketers, there are now research tools to do it for us, allowing you to spend more time creating content and less doing research. TGI Kantar is a great example of a consumer insights tool and one that has informed many content marketing and branding strategies.

TGI Kantar releases survey led data which helps identify and drill down into the interests, motivations, and behaviours of consumers, aiding a strategy aimed at right people. With samples on TGI Kantar seeing a minimum of 10,000 respondents per pool, it provides an extensive insight into product/brand use, leisure activities, demographics, and – most importantly –­ the similarities and patterns in these areas which will inform an accurate audience persona. It can also be used to tell you which social media sites your audience frequents, so you know where to prioritise efforts.

Imagine you’re a business about to launch a new dairy-free product, TGI could reveal insights for your target audience such as:

These data points can then influence your content marketing strategy and content plan. For example, you could produce content on topics such as ‘best restaurants in London for sensitive tummies’ or ‘street foods you didn’t know included dairy’.

Competitors

Last, but not least, there is readily available competitor information to use to your advantage. This can help you further pinpoint the type of audience you should be creating content for.

Similar Web geography Alexa visualisation view

 What are your best tips and tools for finding the right audience to cater your content towards?

Join the Inner Circle

Industry leading insights direct to your inbox every month.