Whether you’re an established business or just starting out, you need to determine your target market.
The sooner you can identify who you’re selling to, the sooner you can start tailoring your marketing campaigns to them. The more targeted your marketing and copywriting is, the more successful it will be.
But why is this?
Why is it so important to target a specific audience?
No one wants to feel like they’re just a number, which is what a lot of advertising can feel like when a business targets a general audience. It’s all about the personal touch. When you define a target market, you can tailor your copy directly to a certain group and make them feel as though you’re speaking to them personally. The more a person feels like you understand them, and their individual needs, the more they’ll trust your business.
Trust is one of the most important things you can have as a small business owner. With trust comes loyalty.
Get Into Your Target Market’s Mind.
There are many reasons why people buy things, and as a business owner it’s your job to work out what those reasons are.
A good place to start is by getting into the mind of your target market.
Copywriting and marketing is all about problem solving. Your audience has a problem they need fixed, and your product or service can solve that problem. You just have to show them how.
Now, what that problem is, you have to work that out for yourself. You can start by listing down the most common questions your customers ask you about your product.
It also helps to create a features and benefits list. From there you can reverse engineer the list to work out what problems your product can solve.
You can then offer these solutions in your marketing campaigns.
Sell benefits, not features
When it comes to selling your product, it’s important to remember that people buy benefits, not features. If you don’t give them a reason to buy from you, they won’t! By determining your target market, you can learn who these people are and why they could possibly want your product.
Listing off a bunch of features is unlikely to do much for your sales. People don’t care about features. They just want to know how your product can improve their lives.
Show people how they’ll benefit from buying your product, that’s how you make sales.
It’s important that your target market can relate to you. If they don’t feel like they can identify with you or trust you, they’re hardly going to want to do business with you, are they? But to understand how to talk to your audience, you have to first know who they are.
The voice you use when speaking to your target market will come to represent your entire company, so take the time and think hard about what tone you want to use.
Always speak in a conversational tone. No one wants to buy from a robot.
Your tone can be whatever you want it to be. Pick a persona: the professional, the mother, the best mate, the teacher. It’s entirely up to you what voice you want to adopt for your business, as long as it remains consistent and relatable.
SEO Copywriting and Your Target Market
When it comes to writing for the web, it’s important to identify the terms and phrases that your target market is searching for to find you. These are known as keywords. Once you’ve determined who your target market is, you can work out what words and phrases they’re searching for. Make sure to use those phrases in titles, meta-tags and the body of your web-copy.
There are many keyword research tools that will help you uncover the right search terms to focus on once you know who your target market is.
One of the most important pieces of advice I’ve ever received about SEO copywriting, ‘write for the human first, then write for the search engine’. There’s no point putting all that work into having search engine optimised copy, only to have potential customers click onto a website they can barely read.
Forget about search engines and keywords for a bit. Write copy with people in mind. Once it’s written, go back and see where you can put in those keywords.
What Can You Offer Your Target Market?
Another important part of marketing your business is recognising what makes you stand out from your competitors.
What is it that you can offer your customers that will make them notice you? But to know they likes, you first need to know who they are.
From there, you need to determine your USP or ‘Unique Sales Proposition’.
For example, generally speaking, all coffee stores offer the same thing, coffee. So you have to find a way to offer something that the others don’t.
Think long and hard about your USP, because it may be the thing that gets people buying from you instead of your competitors.
To Niche or Not to Niche
This is very much up to you. Some businesses like to be generalists and offer to a wide audience. Others choose to target a niche market that they can really aim their campaigns towards.
It depends on what you want to do with your business.
There are positives and negatives to both. If you choose to niche, you can target your marketing campaigns to a very specific audience. Online this means using ‘long-tail keywords’ that are relevant to a very specific audience.
For example, instead of focusing on the words ‘coffee store’ which is a very broad, short-tail keyword, you may instead choose to market yourself as a ‘vegan coffee store in Melbourne’. Now, rather than targeting people just searching for coffee stores, you’ve narrowed your search down to vegans who live in Melbourne.
The plus side to this is that you face far less competition, it’s easier to get to the top of the google search list, and you can write content that you know is always going to be relevant to your target market. Obviously the downside is that you’ve restricted your target audience, which will reduce traffic to your website.
On the flip side, if you choose not to niche, you can advertise to a much wider market. But competition for these more general terms is fierce, and the likelihood of you reaching page one for these terms in Google is much lower. On top of that, when targeting a wider audience, you can’t always be sure that your business is going to be relevant to people who come across you in google.
It’s all about the quality and relevance of your target market. By choosing to niche, there will be less traffic to your page, but that traffic will be a lot more relevant to what you have to offer.
By choosing not to niche, you will increase your traffic and target a broader audience, but that traffic may not be as relevant to what you offer, and you’ll have to fight harder to be seen on Google.
Only you can decide which way you want to do it.
At the end of the day, your focus needs to be on determining your target market. It’s vital that you find people who’re interested in your business, and that you offer them something that will make them interested in you.
If you want to succeed, you need to ask the right questions and offer people something that they want.
If the customer doesn’t feel like they’ll benefit from what you have to offer, they’re not going to be your customers.
Get into the mind of your target market to see how you can turn your prospects into customers.