Ian Campbell
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I.C. Enterprises

Business Strategies For A Digital Age

Finding Your Ideal Audience

Finding Your Ideal AudienceIf there is one thing we do know when it comes to marketing your business online, it’s that you need to find your ideal audience. This is similar to creating an ideal customer persona (you can see mine here), but is more related to how to attract the right people to your business content and sales funnel.

This is not only applicable in what your website looks like, what products you create and the type of content you produce for it, but is also something you need to know in order to find out where your ideal audience hangs out online and what needs they have.

How to get started.

Your ideal audience should be created based on a profile you create so you know who you are targeting with your marketing. They can be purely fictional and based on your own ideas of your ideal visitor, or can include data you have already gathered from your website and social media outlets. Either way, to begin with these profiles should include age, gender, location, income and relationship status.

For instance, if you look at the following profiles you will see that they allow you to get a quick overview which includes each of the essential requirements.

  • A single male in his early thirties renting an studio apartment in Hong Kong and making more than $150,000 a year
  • A married mother of three in England who is a stay-at-home parent and has a total family income of less than $30,000 per year
  • A divorced father of five living in Australia, on a large property, with a net worth of over a million dollars
  • A couple in their early twenties with no children, coping with unemployment, living in Seattle

Each of these profiles contains enough information to give you a basic understanding of the demographic shown. Each is a starting point that will help you decide if they are a part of your target market, or if your content and promotion is attracting the wrong type of people for your business. You need to have a solid base for your profiles before you begin to flesh them out with more information.

The next thing to work out is what each of these is looking for.

What are they struggling with?
What problems keep them awake at night?
What are they desperate to find answers and solutions to?

You can do this by checking out where they hang out online and finding the common questions that they ask. For instance, the married mother of three in England may hang out in online forums for mothers who want to make extra income by working from home. These forums could be on social media (Facebook Groups for instance) or standalone forums dedicated to just that group of people. Find this out (Hint: Google is your friend), join the forum and see what she and others are asking advice on. This will give you an understanding of the things they want to find information on so you can base your content around that.

Then you can adjust your profiles accordingly so you have an idea of exactly what each one is looking for.

  • A single male in his early thirties renting an studio apartment in Hong Kong and making more than $150,000 a year who hates his job and wants to change careers
  • A married mother of three in England who is a stay-at-home parent and has a total family income of less than $30,000 per year who is looking for work at home opportunities to boost the household income
  • A divorced father of five living in Australia, on a large property, with a net worth of over a million dollars who has a passion for high tech toys and wants to buy them
  • A couple in their early twenties with no children, coping with unemployment, living in Seattle who are looking for employment in the hospitality industry so they can afford to study for a qualification

Needs are a powerful force in connecting with your ideal audience. If you can create content that empathises with the problems they have and then have a product or service that solves this, then your audience will jump at the opportunity to purchase. If you already have a product for instance, then you could back track with it to work out what problem it will solve and for which need you have identified. You will then be able to match the profile you have created with a marketing strategy that targets these ideal clients as an audience.

What then?

Once you have this information you can then use it to create specific content and products that target each profile you created. Knowing where they look for answers online means you can join and contribute to these places and provide help and advice which will encourage the members to visit your website to learn more about you. You can add clear calls to action on your content to direct visitors to your products and services that you already know they are looking for, and encourage them into your sales funnel so you can follow up with them in the future.

We can help you work out the best strategy to help you be more successful with your business strategy online. We have recently introduced a Business Consultation Package that can help you increase your leads and sales. To learn more about this package, please check out the Business Consultation Package and then Contact Us to help your business to be more effective online.

20 Responses to Finding Your Ideal Audience

  • It is quite a coincidence that I have chanced upon this particular post of yours, Ian, because a few weeks back, I did a thorough review of my Ideal Client persona and realized that as my business had matured, the professionals who I was attracting and working with had changed in a positive way to a particular set of problems that keep them awake at night.

    My burning question was should it be gender specific and that kept me awake, until it dawned upon me that some people take courage in hand to contact me while others stay on the periphery until their problem becomes unbearable and gender is just a small part of it.

    I went with my instinct to consider the persona as being applicable to a subset of my Ideal Market which is similar to an Ideal Audience. Thank you for giving me a peg to hang my cap on!

    • Hin Vatsala, it sounds like you reviewed your ideal client at the right time. Too often I see people create a profile and never review it. The fact that the prospects you are attracting has changed over time shows just how important regularly analysis is. Glad you managed to see the changes and update yours. Thanks for the comment. Cheers, Ian

  • One of the things I continue to hear in the online and marketing spaces, is that it is no longer about demographics when it comes to defining your audience, it is about psychographics. And I tend to agree. More and more the lines are becoming blurred on things that used to count. Age, income, sex etc. and now it is about people who actually have common interests regardless of these things. It is an interesting study to define who your market is, as it is more about intangible things that draw and bond people. Thanks for sharing your ideas here, Ian as for us all it is an ever evolving and continuing reassessment into what really matters. That we are offering value and service to people who want what we offer!

    • Hi Beverley, I agree that psycographics plays a large part of the defining process, but I don’t think that demographics should be discounted in the equation. Just targeting people with common interests may get you more clients, but will they be ideal for your business? For instance, take childrens toys as an example. The audience that has the common interest is one who does not have any money. Therefore your actual market is parents. If your toys are expensive or limited production, then targeting by age, sex and income will get you more relevant customers. It all depends on your product or service and needs to be a mixture depending on what that is. Thanks for your comment which was thought provoking as usual. Cheers, Ian

  • This has been the most challenging for our e-commerce business. We started by building our profile from the audience that bought our handmade jewelry at craft shows. Over the past 2 years on-line we have defined, adjusted out target market. Finding where they hang out has been harder. This was an excellent article about finding your ideal market. I am more attracted to this topic than others in social media marketing.

    • Hi Roslyn, yes that is something a lot of businesses do when going from physically selling to an online proposition. Your customers can be quite different in the online world than those who specifically go out of their way to attend craft shows. Finding where these new potential customers hang out online can also be quite daunting, but once you have a better understanding of them you can eventually work it out. Glad you liked the article and thanks for commenting. Cheers, Ian

  • Nothing’s better for a business owner than to take away the pain from their clients. And, of course, you can’t do that if you do that if you don’t know who / where your audience is. All good reminders – for this recurring process!!

    • Absolutely Deb, without knowledge, everything you do targeting wise is just a guess. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Cheers, Ian

  • Awesome Article Ian! Defining your target market is key in any marketing or branding strategy. Understanding their pain or problem is the first step in developing a winning product or service. Thanks for such insightful information.

    • Thanks Cierra, trying to help business owners with getting things right online. The thing is…. these are old school principals which are still true regardless of what the medium for marketing is. Thanks for your comment. Cheers, Ian

  • Thank you Ian for the detailed outline on how to find your ideal audience. I know so many people struggle with this and you have made it so simple 🙂 Awesome value!!

    • Glad you liked it Joan, finding your ideal audience is an important part of success so I am glad I could make it simple to understand. Thanks for commenting. Cheers, Ian

  • Great timing! I was thinking about my targeted market and these tips really help me. I did Step1 so I need to find out struggles, needs and where they are hanging around in online world now. Thank you for sharing the great tips Ian!

    • That’s great Kaz, once you find out those things it will really impact on how you do your marketing. Tganks for commenting. Cheers Ian

  • Thanks Ian! I’ve always struggled with marketing. As a very ‘black-and-white’ person, I can never see the logic in it. Your explanation here is the most sensible and understandable way I’ve heard anyone explain the target audience concept. It makes a lot of sense, and I look forward to reading more of your posts.
    Thank you!!!!

    • Thank you Rob, I am so glad I explained it in a way that helped you. Thanks for your comment. Cheers, Ian.

  • Thank you. We work to keep up with the changing audience base we have for our theatre, but one of my colleagues doesn’t realize they have changed. I may use this as an example.

    • That would be great Lori Ann. The audience of any endeavour can change over time and I would imagine in the theatre it would change with every production. Hope your colleague can see this and adapt to suit. Thanks for commenting. Cheers, Ian

  • Ian,
    This is a great post. I refer to these as “buyer personas” encouraging clients to build them out to figure out what pain points they are helping to resolve and what a conversation with these personas they need to have. It helps them not only to identify their target audience, it helps them to create all the content they need to help convert people to their website and their offerings. Thank you!

    • Tamara,
      Thank you for your input. I deliberately did not call these “buyer” personas as I was thinking more about an audience for all different types of content creation. Not every blogger sells things through their website, so not every audience can be classed as a buying one. Though their may be similarities, I think that finding an audience that is interested in reading your content, but not necessarily in buying your offers, is also great for increasing viewers of your blog. I also think that sometimes terminology can “scare” people into inaction, so I rather err on the more generic side at times. Cheers, Ian

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