On Target: How to Define Your Online Business’s Market

Going digital

Online businesses are all the rage in this new normal. Suddenly, everyone, from your friends to your neighbors are, selling their freshly-baked goods, handcrafted items, and imported products. They’re making extra money and possibly growing a successful venture. If you want to get into that hustle, you shouldn’t just know the products you’re selling; you should fully understand your audience. This way, you can focus your marketing efforts on people who are likely going to buy your products or services.

However, you can’t just guess who your target market is, create content for them, and hope for the best. You don’t want to waste your time, effort, and money, possibly attracting the wrong people to your business. Here are efficient ways to define your online business’s target audience.

The Three Basic Questions

If you’re still just starting, you can get a solid idea of your target audience by answering three simple questions:

  • What issues do your products solve? — You should start a business not only to make money but also to offer solutions to peoples’ problems. Even the simplest items solve significant problems for people. List as many of these issues down as possible.
  • Who are you solving them for? — Once you have the problems you solve down, it’s time to figure out the actual entities that will make use of them. Does your business provide services to other companies? Or does it provide products to individuals and families?
  • Which specific groups of people are you serving? — Hone in on particular groups of people who use your products the most. For example, if you’re selling or importing computer components, you might want to target office workers who need a work-from-home setup during the quarantine. And if the parts you sell are high-end, you might want to consider catering to the gamer crowd as well.

Spy on the Competition

Even if you do provide niche products or services, chances are, you’ll still have competition. Luckily, they offer a wealth of information when it comes to targeting the right people. Check their website out to see how they write their copies and content. Does their style attract a younger audience or an older one? Check out their blogs, social media pages, and reviews. How old are the people commenting on and reacting to them? Are they mostly male or female? If they have public profiles, what are their interests? This information can help you create similar content and copies that reel in the same types of customers.

Survey Your Current Customers

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If you already have online customers, you can survey them to get their demographic and psychographic information. Demographic data involves your customers’ age, gender, location, monthly earnings, and more. Psychographic data shows their interests, behaviors, and attitudes. For the former, you can use Survey Monkey’s demographic survey template. As for psychographics, there are free templates on QuestionPro. Encourage your customers to answer your surveys after they take your products to check out.

As for how many people you need to survey, use a sample size calculator. Leave everything default, with the confidence level at 95% and margin of error at 5%. You only need to change the population size. This depends on which areas you serve and how many people live there. All you need to do is visit your town or neighborhood’s website to see its population. Copy and paste it to the calculator, and you’ll have a sample size to follow. Once you have the data, you can also create target segmentation strategies with the help of professionals to specify possible subgroups within your target audience that you might want to create different marketing materials for.

Once you have information from all three or even just one of these sources, analyze their common traits and interests to create a buyer persona. If they’re mostly female, middle-aged, and are primarily interested in watching Netflix shows, look for content that they might like. Emulate these in your website copy, blog content, press releases, and more. You could also use the demographic and psychographic data to specifically target this persona on pay-per-click ads on search engines or social media. The more you know about your customers, the better quantity and quality leads your online store will get.

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