How to Define Your Target Audience in 6 Simple Steps (2022) (2023)

What does life look like without knowing your target audience?

It’s like going to the grocery store without a shopping list.

You end up spending money on food you don’t need or, worse, coming home empty-handed.

And yet, that’s what you do by making assumptions about who your customers are and what they want.

Businesses and marketers miss many potential customers because they are, in effect, not checking their pantries.

In fact, billions are wasted in ad spend every year from advertisements that fail to engage the target audience.

We know you don’t want to waste that kind of money, and that’s why this post will walk you through six simple steps to define your target audience.

Let’s jump in.

How to Define Your Target Audience in 6 Simple Steps (2022) (1)

What is a Target Audience?

A target audience is a subset of people defined by specific characteristics like age, gender, location, socioeconomic status, as well as their attitudes, beliefs, fears, and aspirations.

Identifying these attributes of your ideal customers allows you to speak to and influence them effectively with your marketing efforts.

In short, your target audience is the people most likely to become your customers because they match your products and services well.

Why Define Your Target Audience

The ultimate goal of defining your target audience is to convert a group of people into raving fans and, ultimately, customers.

For example, Smart Blogger strives to transform aspiring and amateur writers into proficient bloggers and freelance writers.

And because we understand our audience, we’re generating revenue and can afford to produce more content — reaching more writers and serving more students.

A win-win!

Define Your Target Audience in 6 Simple Steps

Let’s begin by saying that you can’t be all things to all people, no matter how great your product or service may be.

Here’s the thing, there isn’t enough of you to go around.

Instead, focus on serving a core group of people by listening to what they want and need and then delivering value that improves their lives.

Move forward with this mindset.

1. Tap Into Your Existing Customer Base

How to Define Your Target Audience in 6 Simple Steps (2022) (2)

(Video) 5 steps to identify your target audience 2022 | Start your business

Taking inventory of your current customer list and identifying what’s working and what’s not can yield invaluable insights.

Start by looking at your existing customers’ buying behaviors:

  • How often do my customers buy from me?
  • What are my best-selling products and services?

Determine whether customers are happy with your products and services:

  • What can we do better to align with our customers?
  • How can we engage our customers after a sale to learn more about them?

And, finally, make sure you know where to find your customers:

  • What social platforms are they on? What blogs do they read?
  • What sites or software do they use?
  • What physical stores do they shop at?

Studying your existing customers affords you the clarity to create an effective marketing strategy (or at least to get started).

And if you’re a new business, you’ll find it helpful to keep these questions in mind as your customer base grows.

2. Know Your Customers’ Pain Points & Aspirations

How to Define Your Target Audience in 6 Simple Steps (2022) (3)

Pain points are one of the most intimate ways to know your target audience.

Discovering what pain your customers are experiencing and providing them with helpful insights and perspectives will win their trust.

The key here is to articulate your customer’s suffering using by showing that you understand their problems. In other words: empathize with them.

Dig into their pain points by asking:

  • What keeps my customers up at night agonizing over this problem?
  • How does the stress of this problem affect their lives?
  • What else suffers in their lives because they don’t have a solution to this problem?

Answer these questions and you’ll deeper insights into what motivates your target audience, informing your marketing strategy.

3. Target Audience Details: Psychographics, Demographics, and Persona

How to Define Your Target Audience in 6 Simple Steps (2022) (4)

Psychographics: How Do They Shape My Target Audience?

Psychographics is the art of segmenting people by their behavioral traits such as attitudes, beliefs, personality, lifestyle, and values.

The best way to obtain this information is through interviews and surveys.

Surveying your existing customer base to get their feedback is a great way to start this process. Automated survey applications like Survey Planet, Typeform, and Survey Monkey simply this process.

Target Demographics: Just the Facts

Target demographics include more tangible attributes of a person, like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Social Class
  • Marital Status
  • Location
  • Buying Behavior

Target Persona

A persona is a fictional character that you develop based on your market research.

A target persona includes traits like:

  • Personal characteristics
  • Lifestyle
  • Interests/Hobbies
  • Social engagement and online behavior
  • Vocation

Persona Example:Jane Doe is a 25-year-old social worker located in Columbus, Ohio. Her interests are in the community and giving back.She likes to donate every other weekend to the local homeless shelter to help provide meals.She rarely has time between her job and volunteer work to pamper herself as she feels selfish. And you can find her championing causes on social media that support the underprivileged.

Having a persona of your ideal customer gets you to the nitty-gritty of who your best customer might be.

(Video) How To Find Your Target Audience in 6 Questions

4. Tune In with Social Listening

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Depending on the group of people you plan to target, you may find that some of your best research comes from social media.

By tuning in with the following questions in mind, you can better understand your target audiences’ needs and desires.

Who Is Already Following You On Social Media?

Monitor who is commenting on and liking your existing social channels.

From there, you can gain insights into who they are and how they think.

Although this research can be invaluable for understanding your target market, know that just because people are commenting or liking your posts doesn’t necessarily mean they are your target audience.

You’ll want to dig in further with more research.

What Information Is Your Potential Customer Looking For And Why?

When you know why your customer is following you on social media, you become better equipped to understand what they need from you.

Luckily, many social media listening tools can streamline this process for you, like BrandMentions, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buzzsumo.

Paying attention to your post’s feedback will allow you to become more thoughtful about how you approach your audience and help them, ultimately shaping your marketing in a meaningful way.

5. Study the Competition

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Your competition can be an invaluable asset because their target audience will, in many instances, be the same as or overlap with yours.

Reconnaissance work on your competition’s target audience can pay off, especially if you’re starting out and don’t have a significant following yet.

Ask questions like:

  • What do I do differently from my competition?
  • How can I overdeliver in a way that my competition can’t?
  • Where are my competitors reaching their customers?

For more step-by-step instructions on how to do this, read: How to Do Competitor Research on Social Media.

6. Google Analytics Shaping Your SEO Search

How to Define Your Target Audience in 6 Simple Steps (2022) (7)

When you want to know something, you typically “Google” it.

And you can be sure that your potential customers are doing the same.

So how do you tap into the “Google Gods” and find out what’s trending and what’s not?

Enter Google Analytics.

Google Analytics provides you with key information that can help you defineyour target audience like:

(Video) 6 Steps On How To Reach Your Target Audience (NEW Strategy 2022)

  • How many people visit your website
  • Where your visitors live
  • What marketing tactics drive the most traffic to your website
  • Which pages on your website are the most popular
  • How many visitors have converted into leads or customers

To get the most out of utilizing this tool, check out Moz’s Absolute Beginners Guide To Using Google Analytics.

The Pitfalls of Defining Your Target Audience

Once you uncover your target audience, it’s tempting to view it as the “be all end all.”

However, this can create a blind spot if you’re not careful.

You could leave out customers that would like to purchase your product by accidentally dismissing them in your target marketing.

That’s why it’s essential to revisit and revamp your target audience as often as you can.

Your standard operating procedure should include refreshing your target audience research periodically.

Doing so will allow you to pick up and include new people coming into your market.

Target Audience Examples In Action

Chipotle Mexican Grill: A Fast-Food Restaurant Targeting Millennials

Established in 1993 and founded by Steve Ellis, Chipotle is a chain of fast-casual restaurants focused on offering healthier fare.

According to the blog post, “Chipotle’s Segmentation and Target Marketing: Millennials,” Chipotle’s core focus is offering “food with integrity.”

Their target market is millennials (born 1981 – 1996), as evidenced by visiting one of their restaurants.

Chipotle opted against using traditional marketing channels to reach its target audience because Millennials view traditional media as being “less authentic”.

Instead Chipotle focused on building an online presence and strengthening its social media game to gain attention.

Based on this group’s persona and typical traits, Chipotle discovered that this millennial audience values environmental causes and is concerned with the integrity of food production.

Referenced in the blog post, ”A Story about Chipotle’s Non-Traditional Marketing Strategy,” Chipotle’s marketing strategy includes food sourcing and organic farming.

Chipotle’s only mainstream TV commercial depicts an animated farmer who becomes burnt out from the commercialization of his farm.

Cleverly playing in the background is Willie Nelson’s rendition of the song “Back to the Start ” and is the name of the Chipotle commercial.

This video appeals to millennials because it shows the compassionate nature of the farmer going back to his roots.

A wildly popular video that got uploaded to Chipotle’s YouTube channel, gaining millions of views.

How to Define Your Target Audience in 6 Simple Steps (2022) (8)

(Video) The Best Way To Find Your Target Audience - Facebook Ads Audience Testing Tutorial 2022

Athleta: An Athletic Wear Company Targeting Women

Founded in 1998 by Scott Kerslake and currently owned by The Gap, Inc, according to the blog post “Athleta Doesn’t Ignore Older Women and That’s Why It’s Successful,” Athleta gears their fitness wear to “women who are always in motion.”

As referenced in the blog post, ”Athleta History & Brand Profile,”the ’90s were the decade big companies like Nike started to include women in their fitness apparel.

However well-intentioned, Nike still missed the mark with their female audience.

The biggest complaint is echoed by the following quote; “So, to participate in sports and training, I have to dress like a man?”

It’s considered standard practice to make men’s activewear first and then shrink it to fit women.

Coined by the term “shrink it to pink it.”

And so Athleta was born.

“Athleta began as a catalog brand that used female models which were reflective of all ages, ethnicities, and body types.”

“We inspire her to keep living this full, healthy, active, rich life, no matter what her body type is, no matter her age,” says Nancy Green, CEO.

Nancy Green was able to target the needs of a female population consisting of 30 to 50-year-olds with a marketing campaign in 2016 called the “Power of She”.

And since coming on board in 2013, she has played an integral part of Athleta’s 25% growth year after year.

The following video is the first one produced in 2016 called “The Power of She.”

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Subsequent videos followed in 2017 echoing the different aspects of empowering women with“The Power of Positivity,” “The Power of Potential,” “The Power of Community,” and “The Power of Confidence.”

These videos have widened Athleta’s target audience to include women that are 50 plus years old and young girls.

Target Audience Awareness Equates To Thriving

Remember the forgetting the grocery list example?

Could you imagine ever casually running your business in that way again?

Your target audience is your most valuable asset (even though we don’t put it on our balance sheets) because it is the bridge that links you to your customer and to your ability to thrive in business.

Incorporating the six simple steps to know your audience puts you on track with expansion, growth, and the ability to stay in business for a long time.

(Video) How To Identify Your Target Market (Audience Research Process)

By jumping in and employing the strategies from this article, you will breathe new life into your business and remind yourself who you are here to serve.


How do you define your target audience? ›

7 Ways to Determine Your Target Audience
  1. Analyze Your Customer Base and Carry Out Client Interviews. ...
  2. Conduct Market Research and Identify Industry Trends. ...
  3. Analyze Competitors. ...
  4. Create Personas. ...
  5. Define Who Your Target Audience Isn't. ...
  6. Continuously Revise. ...
  7. Use Google Analytics.

What are 5 things you must consider for your target audience? ›

5 Tips To Consider When Selecting Your Target Audience
  • 1 – Why are you researching. Firstly, you need to understand what you are trying to achieve. ...
  • 2 – Use existing market research. Defining an audience for an online questionnaire is not only about demographics. ...
  • 3 – Be selective. ...
  • 4 – Have a plan B. ...
  • 5 – Measure what you do.
6 Feb 2013

What are the types of target audience? ›

Types of target audiences

You can define your target audience based on various attributes. Gender, age, education, and income are just a few examples of your audience segmenting. For the best research results, divide these audiences into three categories – demography, interests, and purchasing intentions.

Who is the target audience Brainly? ›

STRATEGY. Brainly's audience which is mainly teens (age 11-16) and their parents was 100% aligned with the brand's target audience. The combination of the familiar mechanics and the adaptability of the brand materials had high engagement on the project.

What are the 4 types of audiences? ›

The 4 Types of Audience
  • Friendly. Your purpose: reinforcing their beliefs and sense of shared interests.
  • Apathetic. Your purpose is to first convince them that it matters for them.
  • Uninformed. Your requirement is to educate before you can begin to propose a course of action.
  • Hostile.
11 May 2021

How do you use target audience in a sentence? ›

Men are usually the decision makers on birth control use, and therefore should be the targeted audience of educational campaigns.

Who are your target customers examples? ›

Target Customers

A target customer is an individual that's most likely to buy your product. And it's a subset of the broader target market. For example, if your target market is female athletes between the ages of 13 to 25, a target customer could be female athletes in the specific age range of 13 to 16.

What are the 9 questions to identify a target market? ›

Questions to ask to know your target audience
  • What demographic are you targeting? ...
  • Where does your target audience live? ...
  • What industry does your target audience work in? ...
  • What hobbies does your target audience have? ...
  • How does your target market think? ...
  • How does your target audience communicate?
17 May 2021

How do you write a target audience paragraph? ›

To build a target audience profile, simply follow these four steps:
  1. Create broad descriptions of your ideal customers.
  2. Research your potential customers' demographics.
  3. Identify the needs and problems of your target audience.
  4. Determine where customers will find you.
19 Jul 2022

Why is target audience important? ›

Identifying your audience allows your business to focus marketing efforts and dollars on the groups that are most likely to buy from you. That way, you are generating business leads in an efficient, affordable manner.

What are six demographic features a business should know about its target audience? ›

Demographic targeting or demographic segmentation is a type of market segmentation according to family size, religion, gender, age, ethnicity, education, and even income. These data can effectively be segmented into different markets, helping companies target customers more accurately than ever before.

What are the 4 steps in selecting a target market? ›

There are 4 steps in the targeting process:
  1. Segment your market.
  2. Select your target needs segments.
  3. Select your target sub-segments (if needed)
  4. Meet your target.
28 Feb 2018

Is the first step of defining your target market? ›

The first step in identifying your target market is understanding what your products/services have to offer to a group of people or businesses. To do this, identify your product or service's features and benefits. A feature is a characteristic of a product/service that automatically comes with it.

How do you identify the audience in writing? ›

Determining Your Audience
  1. One of the first questions you should ask yourself is, “Who are the readers?” ...
  2. Decide what your readers know or think they know about your subject. ...
  3. Next, ask yourself “What will my readers expect from my writing?” ...
  4. You also need to consider how you can interest your readers in your subject.

What's another word for target audience? ›

What is another word for target market?
39 more rows

What are the five 5 types of audience briefly explain each? ›

However, it can also be broken down into these five groups: experts, laypeople, managers, technicians, and hybrids.
  • Experts. This group of audience members has a lot of knowledge about the subject matter, so they don't need the basics explained to them. ...
  • Laypeople. ...
  • Managers. ...
  • Technicians. ...
  • Hybrids.

What is a target market example? ›

For example, a children's toy may have boys ages 9–11 as the target market and the boys' parents as the target audience. It may also be defined as the consumer segment most likely to be influenced by an advertising campaign. The target market is also distinct from the buyer persona.

Who is the audience answer? ›

Answer. Knowing who you are writing for is critical when starting the writing process. Most of the writing you will do in college has an audience, which is simply a particular reader or group of readers. Your audience will influence your decisions about content, emphasis, organization, style, and tone.

What are the 3 types of audiences that you can target on Facebook? ›

When you advertise on Facebook, you can target your ads to three types of audiences: saved audiences, custom audiences, and lookalike audiences. Saved audiences let you target specific interests, behaviors, income levels, locations, and other criteria.

What are the characteristics of audience? ›

The demographic factors of an audience include age, gender, religion, ethnic background, class, sexual orientation, occupation, education, group membership, and countless other categories. Since these categories often organize individual's identities and experiences, a wise speaker attends to the them.

What is target audience in media? ›

A social media target audience is a group of people that you've identified that you want to appeal to. This can be based on demographics such as age, job title, income level, education, location, or behavior. Your social media target audience consists of the people who are most likely to be interested in your product.

What is an example of an intended audience? ›

Intended audience is defined as the group of people for which a service or product is designed. An example of an intended audience is the population of people targetted by a new movie.

What do you think is the target audience of the text why? ›

A target audience is the person or group of people a piece of writing is intended to reach. In other words, it is important for a writer to know who will be reading his or her writing. This audience is the person or group of people the writer is aiming for or trying to reach.

What are the 3 target market strategies? ›

The three strategies for selecting target markets are pursuing entire markets with one marketing mix, concentrating on one segment, or pursuing multiple market segments with multiple marketing mixes.

How do you define key customers? ›

Key Customers: These are the people and groups that you see align perfectly (or almost perfectly) with your work. These customers always return to you. They at least try all your services and products. When the company needs help from its customers, these are the ones that step up.

What should I ask my audience? ›

5 Important Questions to Ask About Your Audience Before Your Next Presentation
  • 1) Who are they? Are they prospects? ...
  • 2) Why are they coming to hear your presentation? ...
  • 3) How much do they know about your topic? ...
  • 4) Do they have preconceived notions about your topic? ...
  • 5) What is their attention span?

What questions should you ask about your audience? ›

9 Questions to Ask Your Target Audience
  • Who Represents the Demographic You're Trying to Reach? ...
  • Where Are They Located? ...
  • What Is Their Industry? ...
  • How Much Does Your Audience Earn? ...
  • What Are Their Preferred Communication Channels? ...
  • What Do They Do in Their Free Time? ...
  • What Are Their Biggest Pain Points?
27 Apr 2021

How do you build an audience? ›

Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Audience
  1. Start with what you know. ...
  2. Use social media to engage audiences. ...
  3. Focus on audience preferences. ...
  4. Use postcards to stand out. ...
  5. Expand your landing page traffic. ...
  6. Team up with complementary businesses. ...
  7. Create an omnichannel marketing strategy.

What is the one of the important factor in knowing your target audience? ›

These demographics could include anything from age, gender, where they live, what they do for a job, interests, relationships and so on – and it's really important for the success and future of your business to ensure you know your target audience inside out.

How do you reach your target audience on social media? ›

How do I find my target audience with social media?
  1. Create personas to identify unique segments your target audience. ...
  2. Use the native audience insight tools on your preferred platforms. ...
  3. Send surveys or ask for preferences through email campaigns. ...
  4. Integrate your Campaign Monitor account with other tools.

What are the 7 market segmentation characteristics? ›

It includes age, gender, family status, occupation, income, race and religion. Marketing to demographics enables you to better resonate with your customers. Geographics: Region, climate and population density are the key areas that affect your customers' needs with this type of segmentation.

How did you identify your customers? ›

Demographics: Age, gender, occupation, education, income levels, geographic area, industry, number of workers, number of years in business, products or services offered, or other predetermined characteristics may be used to group customers.

What is a target audience and why is it important? ›

A target audience is a specific group of people that your brand appeals to, or a group of people that your products meet an unmet need for. This group of people are the most likely to make purchases and have interest in your products or services.

How do you find the target audience for social media? ›

How do I find my target audience with social media?
  1. Create personas to identify unique segments your target audience. ...
  2. Use the native audience insight tools on your preferred platforms. ...
  3. Send surveys or ask for preferences through email campaigns. ...
  4. Integrate your Campaign Monitor account with other tools.

Who are your target listeners what other information do you have about your audience? ›

A target audience profile is simply a specific group of customers most likely to respond positively to your promotions, products, and services. Often, your target audience analysis will be based on specific factors like location, age, income, and so on.

Why is it important to have a clear target audience? ›

It provides you with a better understanding of where you need to place your time, money, and other resources to connect with those more likely to buy from you. Having a clear target audience is essential to make the most out of your marketing budget and create relevant content that will help your brand gain traction.

How do you write a target audience paragraph? ›

To build a target audience profile, simply follow these four steps:
  1. Create broad descriptions of your ideal customers.
  2. Research your potential customers' demographics.
  3. Identify the needs and problems of your target audience.
  4. Determine where customers will find you.
19 Jul 2022

What is a target market example? ›

For example, a children's toy may have boys ages 9–11 as the target market and the boys' parents as the target audience. It may also be defined as the consumer segment most likely to be influenced by an advertising campaign. The target market is also distinct from the buyer persona.


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