1 Crucial Step to Make More Money with Your Social Media Marketing
How defining your target market will make you remarkably more effective
According to Forbes, the average person sees 4,000 to 10,000 ads a day. Of those, how many do you remember? What’s the last one you responded to? How did it make it through the noise and grab your attention?
The last link I clicked was from a LinkedIn connection doing a presentation on how to structure the last five minutes of your webinar. How did he get through to me?
Showed up somewhere I look regularly
It was only 20 minutes long (it’s for really busy people)
Used language I am familiar with and use in my own work
Made an offer specifically for something I needed/would benefit from
He grabbed my attention because he offered me the right product in the right place using the right language and graphics.
He targeted me.
What Target Market Means & Why It’s Important
A target market is a group of people that are most likely to buy what you’re selling. They’re most likely to buy it because you’re making it for them. They are your people.
We buy things to solve problems or fulfill desires. Problems change over time and so will your product. It will change to best serve your people.
For example, if I’m coaching someone on using social media for their business, my solutions are far different for a large business with a full-time person managing Facebook ads than for a small business owner who has 2-3 hours per week total to spend on marketing.
Let’s take this example a step further and say I’m crafting a marketing message. If it mentions managing your Facebook ad campaign in 10 hours a week or less, the small business owner will ignore it because they’re not even posting regularly on Facebook, know almost nothing about ads and whether or not they should use them, and certainly don’t have 10 hours a week to spend on them.
Know who your people are. Create for them and with them. Speak to them.
Here’s a little more on the “why” and an example of defining a target market from Inc.com:
“No one can afford to target everyone. Small businesses can effectively compete with large companies by targeting a niche market.
Many businesses say they target "anyone interested in my services." Some say they target small-business owners, homeowners, or stay-at-home moms. All of these targets are too general.
Targeting a specific market does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. This is a much more affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business.
For example, an interior design company could choose to market to homeowners between the ages of 35 and 65 with incomes of $150,000-plus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. To define the market even further, the company could choose to target only those interested in kitchen and bath remodeling and traditional styles. This market could be broken down into two niches: parents on the go and retiring baby boomers.”
Here’s the bonus. There’s no marketing message that captures our attention better than one that understands our problem and shows us a path to a solution. Once you know who your target market is, marketing gets much easier and much more effective.
All this being said, I have worked for 15 years marketing small businesses and I still get a lot of fight on picking a target market because small business owners do not want to turn any dollars away.
Let me be clear, having a target market does NOT mean you have to say no to anyone. It just impacts how you market your product and grow.
Keep in mind, a message that resonates with your people will also resonate with folks who have a lot in common with your people. Your messages don’t have to be polarizing and turn away similar markets. You can target moms with baby products without putting anything in the message that would turn away a dad.
One last really important point here. We get excited about having MORE followers and MORE subscribers. But the most important followers and subscribers are the ones who convert into buyers. Your job is not to work hard to serve everyone. Your job is to work hard to serve your people - the ones who are excited to buy from you because you’re solving one of their problems.
How Defining Your Target Market Makes Marketing Easier
Let’s dive right into another example.
If I asked you to create a social media post for a coaching business, what would you write? What graphic would you select?
If I asked you to create a LinkedIn post for mental health professionals looking for marketing strategy assistance, how different would that post be? How much faster could you choose your language and images and create them?
And most importantly, if I’m a mental health professional, which one will speak to me? Which one will make me say, “This is for me!”
Incidentally, this business could coach other small business owners too! You can take that same post and tweak the language and graphics for nutritionists or yoga teachers or any other small business owner. And there’s nothing to say that the nutritionist can’t respond to your original post too. Any target market will have crossover into other markets.
So, how do you define your target market?
Define your target market by noting things like demographics (age, gender identity, parental/marital status, geography, etc) and psychographics (what’s important to them, values, interests). You also want to know where they go to get information and entertainment and what kind of language they use when it comes to your product.
I know you’re still fighting me here and saying that you have multiple types of customers and clients. True! That takes us to market segments.
Target Market vs Market Segment: To Segment or Not to Segment…
Your market segments are your collection of target markets. Yay! You don’t have to pick just one.
As a small business owner, you will want to focus on one target market at a time. There are only so many hours in a day and you need to spend most of them on your craft.
Once you have an efficient marketing process nailed down for one, you can add in the next.
Many small businesses serve a handful of target markets plus a miscellaneous group of one-offs. The social media service in the earlier example may end up coaching one small tech start-up because their cousin recommended them. One customer is not a market segment.
For those with limited marketing time, I recommend you not directly pursue a second market segment until you have a system in place for the first segment that you are executing regularly. Are you regularly creating content and promoting on social media and via your email list? Do you have a lead magnet to gather more emails? Does your website effectively reflect your unique qualifications to service this market?
If you can answer “yes” to all of those, then you can start to integrate a second market segment. Just keep in mind, the more time you spend in your original market, the better market penetration you can get and the better you can take advantage of word-of-mouth and relationship building.
For example, when you build a reputation and relationships in a market, YOU get the invites to speak on podcasts, YOU get referred to the conference organizer looking for speakers, YOU get requests to guest blog and all the other opportunities out there. And once that happens, you know what else you get to do?
YOU can charge a premium when you’re the best in your niche.