How to Find and Reach Your Target Audience in Advertising

target audience in advertising

Have you ever wondered how your Google or Facebook seems to know exactly what you want? That’s because those sites use target audience in advertising.

They look at the data your server or account provides the sites and shares it with companies. Those companies can then advertise to you based off what they know.

It seems creepy, but if you’re in the marketing industry it’s really helpful. Learn about how the targeting process works in the piece below.

What is a Target Audience In Advertising?

You can’t build something and profit from it if you don’t know what it is! Or in the case of target audiences, who your audience is.

A target audience is the people who most need your service or product. When you created this business, who did you want to sell to? The answer is not “anyone with money“.

If you don’t have a specific audience in your business plan, it’s time to build one now.

To make a functioning target audience, consider the following demographics:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Behaviors
  • Interests
  • Gender
  • Spending patterns
  • Income brackets

The easiest way to do this is to hire a professional ad company. People who specialize in making ad content, like this company, know exactly who to market to.

You’ll need to provide them with some data and statistics, but it’s a lot easier to work with an expert than to do this yourself.

Why Do I Need a Target Audience?

A lot of people assume that narrowing down the people they market to will cause them to lose money. Why would you fish in a smaller pond and expect to catch more fish?

The answer is in the type of fish. Let’s say you’re using a generic bait that all fish like, but none of them love.

Now imagine you’re using a few species of fish’s favorite bait and only fishing in a pond with those types. You’d catch more fish the second time, right?

That’s the idea behind a target audience. Your time and money will be better spent if you put effort into choosing the right bait/pond.

Can I Have Multiple?

Yes! You can have more than one target audience or a variation of your main one. You likely sell more than one product or service and each may have a slightly different audience.

Work with an ad agency to create campaigns for the general audience and smaller ones for more specific audiences.

Reaching Your Target Audience

Now that you know the basics of why you need a target audience, let’s talk about marketing to them.

It’s not like you can put an ad on the radio and say “If you’re a 30-year-old female with cats, turn this ad up!” Well, you could, but it wouldn’t be very efficient.

Depending on your service or products, there are a few great ways to reach your audience. Take a look at some of the marketing theories below.

1. Go by Need

What gap does your product or service fill? No, not on the market, in someone’s life?

Why do they need you? By asking yourself what void in a customer’s life you can fill or what problem you can solve, you know where to start marketing.

Let’s use an example. Say you ran an Ebook publishing service. Your target audience is people who want to write an Ebook but don’t know how.

You know how, though, so show them. You’d want to send out ads on pages or language talking about “how to write an Ebook”.

We call this a keyword or search term. Think about the questions your clients ask you all the time. What do they need to know that you have the answer to?

Make marketing to those niches and questions part of your ad campaigns. This way you’re showing the customer that they need you, not the other way around.

2. Talk TO not AT

When you’re creating these marketing campaigns, you have to walk a fine line. You want to show your customers that they need you, but not come off as self-important.

The best way to do that is by using language that you “want to” or “can” help. The language in your marketing needs to sound like you’re delivering value to them.

They need your products or services because you’re the most helpful and kind company to work with.

The best way to see if your language is reaching this goal is to talk to your customers. Gather a group of customers and ask if you can run ad campaigns by them before they go public.

You’ll be surprised what they see that you can’t see.

3. Timing is Everything

Is there an Ad that you can’t seem to get rid of? Maybe it pops up before every Youtube video or you see it in every sidebar.

That’s an ad strategy called Reach, but if you’re seeing it that much, it’s overexposure.

You need to find a way to reach the right customers but not overwhelm or annoy them.

You can control how many times a certain consumer sees your ad in your campaign settings. Ask your ad manager or agency about engagement vs reach to learn more.

4. Remarketing

Now think of an ad that you feel like follows you around the internet. That’s not you being paranoid, that’s called re-marketing.

If someone engages with your website or product listing your server captures that information.

The software then assumes that person is interested and shows them more ads to re-motivate them.

Some remarketing campaigns offer discounts, like “We saw you left ____ in your cart, here’s 10% off. Use it to complete your purchase!”

Walking the Fine Line

Once you’ve found your target audience in advertising, you have to appeal to them without annoying them. This is a hard line to walk sometimes, even if your intentions are good.

The best way to get through that sticky situation is to control your reach settings. You can do this in settings on whatever Ad platform you use or have an agency do it for you.

Do you want to learn more about marketing or are fascinated by curious things about people? Check out “10 Reasons Why Print Marketing is Still Important“, then tell us what you think!

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