By Katie Mientka

There is a marketing technique with the rather unfortunate name of “spray and pray.” Essentially, you spray your message to anyone and everyone (i.e. marketing blasts) and pray that it hits the right people in the right place at the right time. Not only is this an expensive (and wildly inaccurate!) approach, you risk alienating the very customers you need to reach. Today’s competitive design and construction environment demands focus. Defining your target market on social media provides you with a foundation on which to build an effective marketing strategy.

Define Your Target Market – and Dominate

Are your potential customers on social media? Given that 79% of Americans use at least one social network, the answer is likely yes. However, not everyone is interested in or in need of your products or solutions. As Christopher Newman, professor of marketing in the School of Business Administration at the University of Mississippi says, “Too often marketers create a campaign first, and then try to identify a target market they hope will be receptive to it.”

And too often, businesses simply send their message out there without identifying any target market. If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, are you going to hit it?

The more insight you have into your target market, the better you can focus ads and content so you can reach the right people. You’ll achieve higher conversion rates and a stronger ROI for your marketing

How do you do it?

Start with your current customers. What do you know about them in terms of:

Age? Are your current customers millennials who want to build a first home or renovate a recently purchased home? Are they baby boomers who want to make their dream home a reality? Are they raising young children? Zero in on a decade or generation.
Location? Likely you’re dealing with local (or in some cases, regional) customers. You can target ads based on geography for a much more focused approach. No sense in marketing to Calinfornians or New Yorkers, for example, when your customer base is in Indiana.
Income? How much money do your current customers have to spend on their homes, and how do they typically approach purchases in the design/construction space?
Interests and causes? What do they like to do? What other businesses do they purchase from or support? What issues do they care about (e.g. the environment)?
Educational level? Are your customers college graduates? Tradespeople? Do they have advanced degrees or special certifications in their fields? What types of jobs do they hold in general?
Stage of life? Similar to age, but not really! Are they married with young children? Single parents of teens? Single professionals? Retirees? A mix? It’s fine to have more than one target market, but try to identify your “sweet spot,” as it may be.

There will be gaps in your knowledge of customers, demographics, etc. Fill them in with analytics. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Snapchat all have tools to help you uncover more information so you can clearly define your target audience.

It’s also helpful to conduct some competitor research. Are they targeting the same people? Have they identified new niches? How are they positioning themselves in the market?

You can compile this information into a buyer persona. This is a representation of your ideal customer; a sort of semi-fictional character that encompasses the key traits of your current customers and likely prospects. Think of this “person” as you design and launch ads, content, and other marketing initiatives.

Social Targetingsocial

Now that you have a clear picture of your target audience, find out where they spend their time. Pew Research Center has some great information on which audiences use which platforms. For example, if your target is women with purchasing power aged 35-40, it makes sense to be on Pinterest – and the visual nature of the site lends itself perfectly to the design and construction business.

The next step is to target your ads. With Facebook, for example, you can define your core audience by location, behavior, demographics, connections, and interests. You can also target people who have visited your site by installing the Facebook Pixel, and you can dig down even further by showing them more content based on what they showed interest in.

Go from spray and pray to target and triumph! By defining your target market on social media, you can deliver your message to the right people at the right time in the right places. If you need help putting this into action, contact the Haven team today. We’re here to take the frustration out of marketing for design and construction professionals.