Marketing to your target audience is important. As you build your business, you build connections with your customers. You learn little things about their lives like what team they cheer for and how many grandkids they have. But how much do you really use your customers' personalities and experiences to influence your marketing? If your answer is “not that much,” you may be missing better marketing opportunities. Here are a few tips to leverage your customers' true needs, challenges and values to show your most important audiences that you get them, and you got them covered better than anyone else.

Identify your target audiences.  

Your target audience(s) are a group or groups of your ideal customers. They’re likely the ones who frequent your store already. Here’s the thing, of course you want to be inclusive and welcoming to anyone who interacts with your business, but your small business can’t be all things to all people. To be successful in your marketing efforts, consider focusing on one to three top audiences and finding ways to make your marketing draw them in. We have some ideas to execute this effectively, but before we go any further, let’s make sure you have those top audiences in mind.

Using the following prompts, take a moment to think about whether there’s a pattern among your current customers:

  • Which ages and genders are my top audiences and where do they work and live?
  • What common lifestyles, interests and preferences do my top audiences have?
  • Do my top audiences make the buying decision or does someone else?
  • What motivates my top audiences to buy from me and not my competitor?
  • What needs, goals and concerns do my top audiences have?

Four ways to market to your target audiences

OK, now that you have your target audience, let’s talk about using them as the foundation of your marketing. These audiences are the main groups of people who want or need your products and services. So, it just makes sense to use marketing to get your business in front of their eyes and show them you have what they need, instead of being vague and trying to be all things to all people. Think about someone with curly hair. Do you think they’re more likely to buy a product that says, “For all hair types,” or something that says, “For curly hair”? Start implementing stronger marketing with some of the following:

1.  Hold events and promotions that hit home

Consider designing products and hosting events or promos that specifically appeal to your target audiences. For example, if you’re a yoga studio and a lot of your students are teachers, you can hold a free teacher appreciation class to not only honor your most loyal customers but bring in new clientele when they bring their friends.

2.  Be social on social media

Learn what social media your top target audiences use the most and focus on those platforms to curate better quality vs quantity. Make sure your content reflects your top target audiences and provides valuable information customers need. Using polls and questions can help you discover what your audiences want to see on your socials and in your business.

3.  Tell them what they want to hear

It’s important to know what your target audience is searching for online and to ensure your website has the answers. If your website uses the same words that your audience is searching, your website will pop up higher on a search engine like Google. Do keyword research to understand exactly what your audience is searching. This will ensure you are providing your audience with the information they want and need from you.

4.  Guarantee your site appears when your audience searches

Search engine optimization (SEO) basically refers to where your site lands on Google or another search engine’s results page. You want your site to appear on the first page. Since Google claims about 92% of the global search engine market, it’s important your site is up to snuff. The keyword search that we mentioned above is one of the most important things. Google also prioritizes mobile-friendly and quick-to-load sites. Removing any unnecessary photos, scripts or plug-ins will help with a faster load time.

When you know more about your ideal clients, you can make better business and marketing decisions. This information can help you create the right service offerings and eliminate those that are of no interest. Don’t spend too much time trying to win over a niche audience; instead focus on solving problems for the majority of your audience. Your service or product will never truly be for everyone, but it can be the best for your audiences if you hone your marketing skills and follow the tips above.