Digital Marketing 101: The Target Audience

By Vincent Aguirre

When you begin to explore the world of digital marketing, one term you hear frequently is "target audience." The target audience will guide many of your marketing decisions, but what is it, exactly? Here is a look at what a target audience is, and the role it plays in your digital marketing campaign. 

Target Audience: Definition

In the marketing world, effective campaigns do not reach everybody. Trying to make sure everybody sees and enjoys your marketing efforts isn't just impractical from a cost and effort standpoint. It is, quite simply, impossible. 

Even if you could get your message out to everyone, not everyone would be interested in it. Most people would find it to be irrelevant to their lives because they do not possess the interests or suffer the pain points that your business caters to.  

In order to develop an effective digital marketing campaign, you need to reach a much more limited group of people. You need to reach the people who will care about your message. That group of people is called your target audience. They are the individuals who share certain characteristics that make them desirable targets of your digital marketing campaigns.

Target Audience: Characteristics

If your target audience consists of the people you want to reach with your digital marketing campaign, then how do you know who they are? The target audience you want to reach may not be the same as the target audience the business next to you wants to reach. A landscape business may want to reach a different audience than does a children's playhouse. 

The reason for these differences is that your target audience will consist of people who may be interested in your products and services. The people who are interested in your products and services may not be interested in another company's products and services. The people who need a landscaper may not need a place to entertain their children, for example. 

In order to define your specific target audience, you need to identify the characteristics that they share. For example, people who need your landscaping services are probably all homeowners within a certain income bracket who live in your service area. You may even find that the ones most interested in landscaping are a certain age and do or do not have children. 

There are many characteristics to consider when building a picture of your target audience. Here are some of the characteristics that can influence their level of interest in your business:

  • Age
  • Income Level
  • Location
  • Budget
  • Internet Device
  • Hobbies
  • Internet Search History
  • Prior Purchases
  • Prior Encounters with Your Business
  • Religion
  • Ethnicity
  • Marital Status
  • Number of Children
  • Pets
  • Career Goals
  • And more

There are an almost infinite number of demographics, and combination of demographics, that you can use to define your target audience. 

For example, you may want to reach homeowners in Putnam County, while another landscaping business wants to reach customers in Montgomery County. The difference will probably be because of location: Your business is in Putnam County, and the other business is located in Montgomery County. Your job is to figure out which characteristics are shared by the people who most want and benefit from your products and services. 

Target Audience: Identification

As you may have already figured out, identifying the target audiences for your digital marketing campaigns takes a little bit of investigative work. Before you go about finding the right audiences, there are three other things you should know:

  • Your target audience can change depending on your campaign.
  • You can have multiple target audiences.
  • You may have target audiences you haven't even thought about.

For example, say you want to run a retargeting campaign. Your target audience for that campaign would be anyone who viewed your landscaping services on your website. It would not matter what their demographic information was. However, for a Google Ads campaign, you might want to target anyone in a certain location who types in a certain search term. The target audiences are different but the goal is the same: To reach people who might be interested in your products and services. 

In order to successfully identify your target audience, there are a few steps you should take.

  • Analyze your current customers.

Who is buying from you right now? What qualities do they have in common? 

  • Consult your online analytics.

Who is visiting your website and interacting with your social media? What qualities do they have in common, especially when they stay and engage? 

  • Look at your competition.

Who is your competition targeting? Will these same people be interested in your products and services? Why or why not?

Following this process might reveal that you have been trying to reach the wrong people, or it might help you to uncover new groups of people to target. Either way, you should end up with a clearer idea of who to reach with your digital marketing campaigns.

When you need to identify and use target audiences in your digital marketing campaigns, you may want to hire a professional digital marketing company. Here at Distinct , we can help you find the right audience to target for each of your campaigns.

With our assistance, you can make sure that you deliver a compelling message to each of your target audiences. We help you speak their language, address their pain points, and win their business and their loyalty for an effective and powerful digital marketing campaign.


Tags: Digital Marketing, marketing, Distinct Web Design, DWD, Google Ads, MemberBuzz, Tips & Tricks

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