Find your audience, define your niche

by | 25 Mar 2024

Understand your audience, define your niche

Nothing prepares you for the moment your child lets on that you’re a dag.

While shopping for some new jeans with my tween daughter recently, she piped up,

‘I don’t want jeans like yours.’

‘Oh, okay.’

Bracing myself for impact.

‘What kind of jeans do you want then?’

‘I want cool jeans.’

Oh. There it is.

It seems skinny jeans aren’t cool anymore. Shocking, I know.

Soon after, I attempted to get back into the trendy realm. Yes, I hit the shops all by myself. But as I stood in the dressing room looking at myself in expensive, flared jeans, I realised I had a pair like them 20-odd years ago.

I’d been there, done that, and frankly, I didn’t want to go back.

It was a moment of reluctant acceptance. Why was it a problem to dress like a middle-aged mum when that’s precisely what I am? Why would I even attempt to dress like a millennial?

So I returned those jeans to the shelf and sashayed my unfashionable, middle-aged ass outta there.

Today, I am writing this in my comfy, uncool skinny jeans. And I’m determined not to be swayed by a tween’s fashion choices again.

This experience brought to mind a key lesson in successful communications and marketing.

The power of understanding your niche

Many business owners and marketers spend endless energy twisting themselves to attract a broad mainstream audience. But in chasing wide appeal, they dilute uniqueness and risk pleasing no one.

True connection and loyalty stem from leaning completely into your niche – even if it alienates you from some demographics.

Plenty of skinny jeans are being marketed and sold every day, even though millennials aren’t into them. You only need to hang around the local school at pick-up time for proof of that.

Magic happens when you channel all effort into deeply understanding and serving your core audience vs chasing wide appeal.

The best brands embrace their distinct vibe with courage, knowing they fulfill a need for their audience. Think Red Bull and their sponsorship of extreme sports to appeal to their young, high-energy audience.

So, what does this mean for you?

Get clear on who you’re for

If you don’t already know your target audience, you absolutely must spend time getting to know them.

You could do this through focus groups, surveys and interviews. You can dig into the demographics of your existing customers and website visitors.

And hot tip for small businesses and budgets, AI tools like Chat GPT are incredible at helping you to create an audience avatar.

You need to know:

  • Demographic and psychographic details
  • Values, hopes, challenges
  • What energises and inspires them?
  • What objections do they have to using your service or product?

Research until you can visualise your audience, then create an avatar so you have a name and face to talk clearly to.

While you’re there, define your niche by carving out specific segments you will and won’t focus on, aligning this with the needs of your avatar.

Celebrate what makes you different instead of neutralising it. This space is YOURS to own.

Speak TO your people, not AT them

Now that you intimately know your readers and your niche, you can craft every piece of messaging to resonate specifically with them.

Deploy language they connect with.

Thread stories they recognise themselves in.

Champion causes they care about.

What about internal communications?

If you know me, you know I love internal comms. So I have to throw in some thoughts around speaking to employees here.

Because unlike external brand building, internal audiences wear all types of pants. From skinny jeans, to trackies, suits and flares.

With disparate job functions, priorities and backgrounds, how do you cut through?

Stick to the one thing connecting them – business strategy and purpose. Reach them where they are, consistently tying messaging back to their role impact.

Engagement and accessibility are key to connect with employees:

  • Use storytelling
  • Use visuals to support words
  • Share personality-driven leadership comms
  • Create opportunity for two-way dialogue
  • Always respond quickly

Accessible, engaging internal comms can transcend differences when anchored to shared mission and vision.

The bottom line

Forget playing it safe or being everything to everyone. The courageous brands shine because they play full out to a clearly defined audience built on deep insights.

They thrill a niche rather than dilute their magic trying to appeal to the masses.

So embrace your audience and inner brand voice fully – flares be damned.

The right crowd will cheer you on louder than you can imagine.

 

So you're clear on your target audience, now what?

It’s time to craft communication that engages and converts your niche tribe into happy customers or employees.

I’m a freelance communications consultant and content writer for busy teams. Let’s chat about how I can help you create content that wows.

P.S I reserve the right to wear skinny jeans while I work.

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