Identifying Your Target Audience in the Beauty Market

If you’re considering setting up or growing your own beauty business, there’s a good chance you’ve got some idea as to what a target audience is. However, you may not know how to identify your target audience, or what to do when you’ve done so.

Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of a target audience. We’re here to give you an in-depth look at what it is, why it’s essential and what it can help you to achieve.

So, without further ado, let’s jump on in and start looking at what identifying your target audience involves.

What is a Target Market?

Your target market is the group or groups of people to whom you’re targeting your products. These groups are usually defined according to specific demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, class, location, job and interests.

A target market is the type of person you think will buy your product, or the kind of person to whom your products and services are useful.

Knowing your target market is essential, as it helps you to tailor your advertising and marketing to that audience, maximising the number of likely buyers who are aware of your product. After all, it’s no good spending hard-earned advertising revenue on trying to woo consumers who do not need your product, and have little intention of buying it!

Target audiences can be diverse and broad or narrow and niche. It’s a bit of a balancing act. If the target market is broader, you’ll engage more people, but your marketing message will be less focused and more diluted. If the target market is narrower, your marketing message can be more specific and tailored to likely buyers. However, you’ll engage fewer consumers overall.

It’s also worth noting that target audiences differ depending on whether you’re talking about B2C and B2B businesses. B2B target markets – like cosmetics wholesalers – are usually better defined because suppliers are often meeting a very particular need. The marketing used is also likely to be more logic-driven, with a focus on the time, money, resources and effort that could be saved.

On the other hand, B2C businesses (i.e. beauty stores selling directly to consumers), have a more nebulous and less defined target market. This is because individuals are far more diverse than companies, and there are typically many reasons why a particular product or service is needed or desired. This is reflected in B2C marketing, which appeals to emotion over logic, and often expends considerable effort convincing the customer of the benefits of a product.

How to Find a Target Audience for Your Beauty Business

As the owner of a cosmetics business, you’ll need to establish your target audience if you’re to market your products successfully. With this in mind, we thought it a good idea to walk you through the process.

1. Look at the Current Customer Base

When researching your target audience, it’s best to start by looking at competitors. As these businesses are already selling to consumers, their marketing should be tailored towards a specific audience.

To get the most from this process, it’s worth examining your competitors’ operations.

  • Following on social media: Do followers share specific characteristics? On which platform do they have the most followers?
  • Brand ambassadors and influencers: Many online businesses will partner with a brand ambassador or influencer to widen their appeal. Have your competitors formed any partnerships and, if so, who with? What demographic do these ambassadors appeal to?
  • Branding: How do your competitors present themselves? What does their website look like? Do they have a logo?
  • Tone of voice: How do your competitors engage with their customers and followers and what tone of voice (ToV) do they employ? Is it cheerful and cheeky? Is it serious and technical?

2. Use Web and Social Analytics

The next step is to make use of two of the most powerful tools available to businesses with an online presence: Google Web Analytics and social analytics.

Whereas the first step relies on your ability to intuit what your competitors are doing by studying how they market themselves, analytics gives you cold, hard facts. Google Analytics gives you access to user demographics, which you can then use to build a picture of the people visiting your business website.

Similarly, social analytics can be used to determine target audiences, and data can usually be accessed within a platform directly.

Whether you’re just starting out or are part of an established company, analytics data is invaluable for any beauty business looking to define their audience a little more clearly.

3. Think About Who’s Going to Benefit from Your Beauty Products

In our ‘How to Start Selling Beauty Products Online’ article, we talked about the importance of finding your niche and building your reputation around specific cosmetics ranges.

Product niches and USPs are also an excellent way to start thinking about your target audience. Take a look at your products. Who would they appeal to?

The use of natural ingredients in K-Beauty generally appeals to a younger, digitally-native demographic, for instance. If you’re products are designed to tackle oily or blemish-prone skin, you may be looking at a younger audience too. Anti-aging solutions will draw a slightly older audience, and luxury items are most likely to be purchased by those with higher incomes. Alternatively, there may be regional differences that can be traced back to your products; are they designed to work well in hot or humid climates, for example?

By exploring the niche demand your product fills, you can start to build a more detailed account of your target market.

Marketing Your Beauty Business to a Target Audience

It’s not enough to define your target audience; you’ve also got to work out how you’re going to benefit from the information. One of the key ways businesses do this is by creating a marketing strategy that engages a target group in a way that appeals to their specific needs and desires.

Create an Audience Persona and Write It Down

Having followed our three-step process above, you’ll probably have a considerable amount of information at your disposal, but little idea of how to make use of it in a practical sense.

The next step is to develop audience personas. These are also sometimes referred to as customer profiles or personas. This is achieved by creating a ‘generic’ customer who represents a particular type of individual.

You may develop an audience persona based on the fact that your products are organic. Or, you might build a persona for teenage customers who primarily engage with your business via social media and YouTube tutorials.

When creating a persona, think about the demographic information we mentioned earlier but also go a little deeper. What motivates your audience? What do they want, and what problems do they need solving?

You may end up with a single persona or a few. Remember, each persona represents a group of individuals, not particular customers – they’re an imagined stereotype. Once you’ve completed your personas, write down the details and include them in any branding, ToV or marketing guidelines you’ve created.

Align Your Business with Their Values and Interests

Once you’ve established your personas, it’s all about aligning your business with their values and interests. This means being the voice that your target customers want, need and enjoy hearing from.

You must be authentic. Inauthenticity is easy to spot and is a real turn-off for most customers. The trick is to find a way of meeting the needs of your audience in your own inimitable style.

You should also make an effort to incorporate affinity topics into your marketing content. Affinity topics are subjects that don’t obviously fall within the purview of traditional cosmetics content, but that share a strong link with the industry or have some kind of crossover.

For instance, beauty often goes hand in hand with fashion, so you should think about creating content around this. Likewise, K-Beauty is heavily associated with K-Pop, and there’s a big chance that fans of K-Pop will be interested in K-Beauty (or vice versa).

Publish the Right Content on the Right Platform

Different platforms are suited to different types of content, and will be viewed by different users. For instance, long-form content is better suited to blogs, while before/after beauty photos fit much more comfortably on an Instagram feed. Tailoring your content to a platform is the key to success.

There are also significant differences between social platforms. Different demographics prefer certain networks, and you’ll need to work out your target audience’s favourite channels if you want your social media marketing to be effective.

Let Them Know How Your Products Meet Their Needs

Now that you understand the needs of your target audience, you have to demonstrate how your products can meet these needs. List the features and benefits of each product, and don’t be shy about making a song and dance over specialist ingredients, customer reviews or your own industry knowledge.

Your ongoing success is dependent on your ability to promote new products and to tap into emerging trends. The beauty industry is built on constant reinvention and innovation; customers are always looking for the ‘next big thing,’ and retailers need to meet this demand.

UMMA members get insights into the latest, best-selling K-Beauty products on the market. Our registered members also have exclusive access to trend and product information, so they know what ingredients and solutions to choose, to keep their customers happy in a timely manner.

Keep Getting to Know Them

Finally, it’s important to know that customer personas, target audiences and commerce never stand still. They’re always growing, developing and evolving.

If you’re to keep up with the needs of your customers, you must keep an eye on the available data, and review your strategy when you need to. Don’t lose out because you’re sticking with outdated ideas about who your target audience is and what they want – maximise the efficiency of your marketing strategy by keeping it fresh.

A target audience allows you to fine-tune your marketing strategy, and get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to promotion. And if you’re looking for additional support from a global industry partner, why not see what UMMA can do for you?

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