Updated: Feb 27
Are you a new business owner? Are you expanding your business? Are you rebranding your business? Stop. Pause. Wait. Before any marketing begins, you need to define and understand your target audience. This is super duper important. If you skip this step, you’re easily throwing your marketing monies in the trash. Don’t throw your marketing monies in the trash.
You need to know who you’re talking to before you can reach them. Would you waste your time and money advertising an oyster happy hour to a group of people allergic to shellfish? Ummm no. Certain marketing strategies work for certain audiences and others will most certainly fall flat. That’s just the way it is. And while no marketing plan is 100% perfect, not eating sh*t on day one can be avoided with a few simple steps.
Define Your Target Audience
Ask yourself a bunch of questions about your customers. The more specific you can get the better.
How old are they? Are they single or married? Do they have kids? Where do they live? What’s their income level? What are their hobbies? Do they shop online or nah? The more you think about who is interested in the products and services you offer, the better.
Our audience is predominately 25 to 34 year-olds and 65% women. Overall, our readers are interested in finding things to do, places to eat and drink, and ways to support local businesses. Thus, we create and share content with this target audience in mind.
Statistically, females are decision makers. By creating content that speaks to 25-34 y.o. females both in tone and in subject matter, our majority female fan base receives information that they find relevant and useful. Trying to find a new spot for date night? Making brunch plans? Looking for the coolest events happening this weekend? We make planning fun stuff to do a whole lot easier, and our audience is super receptive to it.
Photo x @keepingupwithtoby_ on @stepoutbuffalo’s Instagram
Identify What Your Competitors and/or Idols Are Doing Right & Wrong
Admit it. In today’s digital world, we judge businesses (and people) on social media all day every day. Whether you find yourself thinking “damn I wish I thought of that” or “what the heck are they doing”, you can leverage each as an opportunity to make your business better.
Selling has its place on social…when it’s done right. As local shoppers in our personal lives, having the option to scroll and immediately shop on social media is super clutch. Product tags make shopping on Insta and Facebook dangerously easy, because in 4 taps a product is in my cart and in 5 taps it’s purchased.
Blush posts often and makes the most of new features that national stores are using, like shoppable tags on social media. Example: You need a dress for a wedding. Your friends send you shoppable posts from Blush’s Insta. 5 taps later you’ve purchased a bunch of goodies from a local boutique, all while never leaving Instagram or your bed.
If you’re into all of this, don’t be afraid to copy them! After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…and a good way to keep your business modern/afloat with competitors. Remember, you should constantly be trying to make your business the best it can be. Watch what similar businesses are doing both locally and nationally, see how that makes you feel as a consumer, and apply it to your own business accordingly.
Photo x @blushbuffalo / the white dots are shoppable products
Speak Their Language
This may seem obvious, but we’re gonna spell it out just in case. When you talk to your followers, speaking their language is v important. If your audience is 35-45 year old guys who love sports, your language is going to be a lot different than if your audience is 18-24 year old girls who love fashion. This applies to everything: food lovers, artsy types, workout fanatics, whiskey drinkers, dog lovers, dance moms, high school students, senior citizens, etc etc etc.
Our friends over at Bkindcity talk to their audience like they’re bffs. 1) They use hashtags like #getonmylevel, #shifthappens, and #carpethatDM – which their followers find funny and relatable. 2) If you’re a 18-34 y.o. femals and you read a product description that says “Ok you know that sweatshirt you can’t take off? The one you wore to bed last night…” you’re listening. Bkindcity’s audience is young, chill, and authentic – so their social is too. Speaking the language of your key demographic is a major way to score points with your audience and attract loyal customers. 3) Bkindcity’s following loves authenticity, so having a social media account where posts come from real humans is key. Bkindcity posts photos of the real people with real captions that get their followers talking in the comments, which drives that authenticity home. They know how to get those double taps and more importantly – how to start a conversation.
Photo x @bkindcity
Real people like real people. If your brand is talking to homeowners and apartment owners who like to decorate, communicating in a way that they can personally relate to is key. When you’re thinking about refurbishing your home or apartment you want to imagine it as a place you’d want to spend time in and enjoy, because it’s their home.
Nigh Road Farmhouse is everything you could ever want in a home store and more. Our latest obsession with them is 100% social media driven, and this unique shop’s audience is comprised of other equally obsessed Western New Yorkers who want to make their homes that much better. Owner Vanessa frequently shares photos of her adorable fam utilizing various home items she has for sale. This makes her audience imagine all the ways they can incorporate Nigh Road Farmhouse items into their own home by leveraging subconscious cues. The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is 100% true – set a stage that allows your audience to immerse themselves into what you’re selling and chances are they’ll be by soon to purchase it.
Photo x @nighroadfarmhouse
Target audiences vary from business to business – make it a point to know and fully understand yours. Once you’ve defined your audience, analyzed your competition, and came up with a strategy for how to talk to them, you’ll be well on your way to marketing success.
Want to know more about promoting your business on StepOutBuffalo.com? Contact us!
At Step Out Buffalo, we help businesses promote themselves and their events on our website, email, and social media channels. Our team is comprised of experts who know exactly how to make your business or event stand out, and we’ll put you in all the right places so you get noticed by all the right people. Hit us up if you’d like to learn more about our business and/or events-based promotions – there’s a reason 94% of our readers go places they’ve seen on StepOutBuffalo.com