Not Getting Any Conversions? Maybe Your Target Audience Is Too Broad

One of the most common issues we address with small business owners is their target audience. Small business owners tend to include every citizen of their city in their target audience, but that targeting approach isn’t really targeting at all. It’s pretty presumptuous to think every active human in your community wants your product or service. People don’t like being told what they like, they already know what they like. Proper target marketing helps you find the people that are already hungry for your hamburger … or whatever you’re selling.

Brands are most successful when they define and own their niche market. The broader they go, the more diluted their brand message becomes, and that’s bad for business. If you’re unsure whether your brand’s target audience is too broad, look out for these signs it’s time to narrow your audience.


Identify Your Niche, Then Get Niche-er

In a recent interview with Marie Forleo, (yeah we watch her, what of it?) Marketing Genius Seth Godin said, “If you want to reach everyone, that means you are denying the people you’re serving their humanity.” Boom. 

It’s frustrating to think you’re putting in all this work to only reach a small group, but that is exactly what powerful marketing accomplishes. You can’t please everyone, only water can do that (and grilled cheese, and pizza, and Home Alone 1 & 2 … but now we’re getting off track). Pleasing everyone dilutes your brand, and you end up speaking to no one. 

If you have identified your niche but you’re still not seeing the conversions, it’s possible your niche isn’t niche enough. Brands often underestimate just how specific their niche needs to be. A great way to test your niche-ness: count how many things your brand is attempting to do really, really well. If that number is above 3, then you haven’t found your niche. 

Successful brands know who they are, how their different, and direct their focus on doing those 1-3 things extremely well. In fact, if you look at major brands, you can usually spot just ONE thing they do really well. Starbucks and their loyalty programs, Apple’s tease launch marketing, you get the idea.

If your brand is focusing on doing everything really well (things like quick service, affordable, high quality materials, otherworldly customer service, free shipping, solid community outreach, hilarious jokes) then you lose sight of how you’re different. Focus on a few things that would make your brand stand out. If you do those things better than all of your competitors, then your target audience will have an easier time recognizing your value.


Do Your Research

The most effective way to create a potent brand that resonates with your audience is to understand your audience. From workplace habits to number of kids, seeing your audience for who they are, not what you want them to be, will show you want your audience already wants. If your audience is too broad, then it’s near impossible to identify patterns and commonalities among them. Be more efficient with your targeting by understanding as much as you can about your audience so you are directing your product to people who will see the most value in it.

If you’re a brand new business, then starting off with a broad audience is OK, as long as you keep in mind that it’s the Beta version of your audience. As your business continues to grow and you receive feedback from customers and acquire market research, that audience is naturally going to need some refining.

For example, you may start off with and a general audience like: People in the US who order takeout regularly. After a few months in business, use data analysis to refine your audience:

People in the US who order takeout weekly, are between ages 18-35, and work from home.

An effective target audience outline will include the less quantifiable stuff like interests, beliefs, lifestyle habits, and values.  


Small Audiences Shouldn’t Be Scary

Small does not mean less conversions, in fact the exact opposite is true. While small audiences can make campaigns more expensive, effective targeting through niche audiences will result in more conversions because you’re actually marketing products or services that compliment your target audience’s lifestyle and values.

Be aware, there is such thing as a niche audience that’s too small, so don’t go overboard with the targeting. Audience personas like: People in the US who order Chinese takeout weekly, are 21 years old, work from home, take pottery classes and have seen every Adam Sandler movie is closer to a dating app profile than a marketing persona.

Need help identifying your niche? Beer helps. Get in touch with our strategists and storytellers to see if we’re a good match for your brand.