The Ultimate Guide to Identifying Your Target Audience

Alex Tchouangwa
July 29, 2022
 min to read

Knowing and identifying your target audience is the most critical step to an effective SaaS Digital Marketing Strategy. 

By following these five steps, you’ll be able to pinpoint and produce relevant content for your ideal buyer persona.

  1. Identify your current marketing base.
  2. Describe your market’s pain points
  3. Define how your audience will benefit from your brand
  4. Determine how your audience will find you 
  5. Identify who your audience trusts

This article will outline everything you need to know about a target audience, the importance of knowing yours, and how you can identify your target audience. 

What Is A Target Audience? 

Your target audience is comprised of potential buyers who meet your Ideal Buyer Persona while indicating they are likely to use your product. Some standard qualifying criteria include: 

  1. Your audience’s age, sex, income level, industry, and job title
  2. Your audience following your social media profiles, visiting a specific landing page or being an existing customer
  3. What problems your target audience needs to be solved
  4. What benefits are they seeking
  5. Where your audience desires and finds industry-relevant information
  6. Who is trusted, listened to, and followed by your audience

The most convenient way to sum up the characteristics of your audience is by creating a Buyer Profile Persona and naming it after your ideal buyer. This will allow you to put a face to your buyer and itemize their qualifying criteria. It also allows you to brainstorm, analyze and strategize around these personas for a more engaging content marketing strategy. 

After you research, you may realize your target audience falls into multiple categories; for example, your SaaS product may be deemed beneficial by users in various industries. This case requires developing multiple buyer profiles to reflect the diversity and sophistication of your target market. 

Why Is It Important To Properly Identify Your Target Audience? 

First, knowing who makes your target audience is vital because it allows you to align your product design and development with the current needs of your customer base. The more data you have on your target audience and their most pressing needs, the better you can design your SaaS to fill gaps in the market. 

You are also strengthening your digital marketing campaigns by identifying your target audience. Whenever you know their interests, needs, and desired benefits, you can curate content that addresses their concerns, increasing the effectiveness of your marketing outreach. 

The third reason why identifying your target audience is essential is that you can identify the best channels to deliver your marketing campaign. An example is if you know a large amount of your target audience is utilizing Facebook heavily, you can run Facebook Ads crafted to reach this market segment. It also contributes to more cost-effective marketing; when you focus your marketing efforts on your ideal audience, your paid ad campaigns become more effective, leading to better conversion rates and a better return on investment. 

How Do You Identify Your Target Audience?

There are various methods when it comes to identifying your target audience correctly. I created this simple and actionable five-step guide that will help you quickly develop an Ideal Buyer Persona: 

  1. Identify critical characteristics of your current leads & customer base
  2. Describe the pain point behind your market’s motivation
  3. Define how your audience will benefit from your brand
  4. Determine how your audience will find you 
  5. Identify who your audience trusts

By following these steps, you can sketch a detailed profile of the main segments of your audience. Here are some tips that will help you execute each step successfully. 

1. Identify Your Current Marketing Base

An efficient start to identifying your target audience is by analyzing who your current marketing base is compromised of. This approach can start with your actual leads and customers, which caters to objectivity and minimizes speculation. This is more reliable than relying solely on intuition or guessing to identify your audience. 

Your current marketing base will be composed of: 

  1. Leads who followed you on social media subscribed to your email list or permitted you to text them
  2. Leads who have performed a qualifying action, such as visiting a landing page for a specific product
  3. Current customers
  4. Inactive customers who have purchased from you in the past

Analyzing members of each grouping with these criteria will allow you to have a better picture of who your target audience is: 

  1. Demographic qualifications such as age, sex, income level, job title, or industry
  2. Marketing engagement actions such as following your social media accounts, visiting a page on your website, or opening an email
  3. Buying-oriented behaviors such as requesting a quote, using an ROI calculator, or filling out a discovery form

These criteria will allow you to create a scoring system for your leads and customers. Each measure met will add one or more points to their respective scoreboard. The higher the score, the more compatible you are with your ideal customer.

These criteria represent buying-oriented behaviors, or actual purchases will be given more weight than any other criteria since they are more likely to purchase or become repeat buyers. For example, someone who has already purchased your SaaS and renewed their subscription is expected to continue it if you approach them with a reasonable offer. 

After thoroughly analyzing your current marketing bases, you can segment your marketing bases into one or more Ideal Buyer Personas. Segments can be created that represent a different portion of your target audience. You may also find that customers that purchase a specific product are more inclined to buy an upsell. 

These segments can also be created based on where a lead is in their buying process. This allows you to segment the marketing for your leads and customers at different points of your SaaS sales funnel. 

2. Describe Your Market’s Pain Points

Once you’ve identified the characteristics of your current leads and customers, you can begin analyzing your market's pain points. Of course, pain points will vary by market, but here are some of the categories that pain points fall in: 

  1. Financial Pain (losing money) 
  2. Time Management (wasting time)
  3. Labor Pain (Excessively Difficult) 
  4. Technical Pain (Steep Learning Curve) 
  5. User Experience Pain (Poor UX Design)

These are general categories often applied across the board to most industries; within a particular market niche, you can deep dive into more specific pain points. For example, your target audience may experience difficulty integrating your product into another popular application which could fall into the poor UX category. 

There are several methods to identify which pain points apply to your market: 

  1. Using surveys to ask your customers the most significant problems they face in their business
  2. Study market research to find out what are the common pain points for customers in your industry
  3. Monitors social media and review sites to see what complaints your target audience has
  4. Study the sales and marketing material of your competitors to identify the pain points they are addressing
  5. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and imagine the obstacles they would face
  6. Trying your product or your competitors’ products to see what challenges you experience

After you have identified the pain points of your target audience, you should rank them by what is most important to your audience. This will help you determine which angles to empathize with your marketing and sales material. 

You may find that different segments of your audience have various pain points or prioritize the same pain points differently. This must be considered when developing digital marketing campaigns for different audience segments and selling to individual customers. 

3. Define How Your Audience Benefits From Your SaaS

After describing your audience's pain points, you should define clearly how your product is a solution to their pain points and back it with easily digestible/relevant social credibility. Similar to pain points, the benefits of your SaaS will vary from market to market but will generally fall into a few major categories: 

  1. Saving them money
  2. Saving them time 
  3. Reducing their labor load
  4. Make the adoption of their product easier
  5. Making the user experience of the product better

As with pain points, these are general categories that can be niched down for specific audiences. For example, a SaaS-based around web design that uses a drag-and-drop interface will appeal to small business owners who don’t want to spend time learning code. 

You can research what benefits are the most desired by your audience by using the following methods: 

  1. Surveying your existing customer base about which product benefits are the most useful to them. 
  2. Study market research
  3. Analyze comments left on social media posts and review sites
  4. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes
  5. Test both your product and competing products. 

Just like pain points vary by market, so will the benefits of your product. For the best results, segment your audience while presenting the benefits of your marketing and sales campaigns and when presenting to individual customers providing only the most relevant information. 

Surveying your customers about the benefits of your product is crucial as you’ll discover valuable insights on why visitors behave a certain way. 

4. Determine Where Your Audience Finds You

The next step is determining where your audience researches to find critical information about your industry. This determines the best promotional channels you should leverage to reach your audience. 

Here are some things to consider when determining where your audience is looking for you are: 

  1. Which sources send the most traffic to your website?
  2. Which sources send the most traffic to your competitors’ websites? 
  3. Which devices do your and competitors’ visitors use? 
  4. Where are they located?
  5. Which keywords do your visitors and competitors’ visitors search the most? 
  6. Which of your social media accounts has the most followers?
  7. Which of your competitors’ social media accounts has the most followers? 
  8. Which popular websites and blogs cover your industry? 
  9. What YouTube Channels do potential customers in your industry watch? 
  10. Which review sites cover your industry? 
  11. Which trade journals cover your industry? 
  12. Which tradeshows cover your industry? 

Tools such as Google Analytics tell you so much about the traffic being driven to your website! As the few things on this list display, you can expand your digital resources. First, however, you must consider all the help your audience might use to find you. 

5. Identify Who Your Audience Trusts

Knowing what your target audience is looking for will help you identify which authorities your audience trusts. This is extremely useful as you can tap into the credibility of recognized thought-leaders and have them lend some authority to your brand. 

For example, suppose you know your audience follows a particular software review site. In that case, it may be in your best interest to consider offering that website complimentary use of your SaaS for review purposes. Similarly, by citing a thought leader in your industry, you can build the credibility of your blog and social media posts. 

Quick ways you can identify thought-leaders in your industry: 

  1. Who are the most recognized thought leaders in my industry?
  2. Which websites are receiving the most traffic in my industry?
  3. Which social media accounts attract the most followers and have the best engagement in my industry?
  4. Which authorities are featured speakers or participate in panel discussions at seminars, webinars, and trade shows in my industry? 
  5. Which review sites does my market frequently visit for information about my industry? 

Identify Your Target Audience and Optimize Your Marketing Campaigns

Lay the foundation for your optimized digital marketing campaigns by identifying your target audience. A holistic marketing strategy that accounts for the entire customer decision journey is the difference between scaling your SaaS product tremendously and hitting growth bottlenecks. 

Alo Media Group helps B2B SaaS providers develop winning SEO strategies that increase organic traffic and generate more sales-related conversions. Reach out to our team of experts, and we’ll discuss how we can help you attract the right audience to your website.

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