Two of the first questions we often ask during a VisionPATH consultation is, “who is your target audience?” or “what are your buyer personas?” A target audience is a specific demographic set who would be looking to interact with your business by utilizing your services or purchasing your products. And a buyer persona is a hypothetical example of what this demographic may look like. Many times, the response we receive is, “anyone.” This, however, is too broad an answer as a wide target audience causes you to cast too wide a net, and to spend money advertising in places to and to individuals who would have a lower likelihood of becoming a customer or client.

To best market your business and its products and services, it is important to first identify your niche market or markets and the buyer personas that fall within those niches. A niche market is simply a smaller market that falls within your larger, general market. A great example of a niche market is Lefty’s San Francisco, a retail market that targets left-handers. Everything they sell is specifically targeted to left-handed people, allowing them to be much more specific in their advertising efforts. Another is Whole Foods, who markets to health conscious individuals who prefer natural, organic foods.

After you have identified your niche market or markets, the next step is to think about who would likely be a buyer in your niche market. While everyone may be interested in or benefit from your products or services, potential interest is not what you are looking for in a buyer persona. You want to find someone who is likely to actually purchase the product/service.

Identifying buyer personas is especially essential for social media marketing as it allows you to focus your marketing strategy around content specifically designed for those who are most likely to purchase your products or services. You can customize your online advertisements to fall within the demographics that fit these buyer personas. For example, if your buyer persona is a millennial who lives in an urban neighborhood and prefers organic food, you can be sure that your advertisements are tailored to include information that would appeal to these demographics. Plus, you can choose these demographics when creating ads on Facebook and Instagram. Inside the advertising platform, you are able to specify age, education level, gender, location, and even likes and dislikes (plus much more). Without a properly identified buyer persona, however, you are unable to take advantage of this narrowing of the advertisement, causing your ad to be delivered randomly to the Facebook or Instagram audience. This dilutes the visibility and effectiveness of your ad.

In order to focus your marketing efforts on those who have highest likelihood to actually become a client or purchase products and services from you, it is absolutely essential that you create buyer personas. Doing so involves identifying your niche market or markets and determining what your typical client or customer may be like.

We at VisionPATH are happy to help you with the process of identifying or narrowing your market(s) as well as your buyer personas. If you would like help with this process, please contact us today. Consultations are always free.