What is your dropshipping target audience?
Dropshipping store owners often don't think about who they are marketing to, but they should.
Well, dropshipping is an excellent way for entrepreneurs and business owners to make money, but it's only as good as the marketing campaigns behind it.
Therefore, being aware of your ideal target audience that responds well to your marketing campaigns is crucial for transforming your online business into a lucrative one.
This article will be a guide for dropshipping store owners on finding their perfect target audience.
If you want more information on finding this ideal target audience for your dropshipping business, read on!
What is a dropshipping target audience?
Everyone understands that you need customers to run a profitable dropshipping store.
However, unlike some people believe, customers won't find you through a search engine like Google just after you have launched your store.
Dropshipping is a business model that relies on marketing to bring in customers.
When marketing, you promote your products to a specific group of people. You have chosen this group because you expect that they will be the ones who have the highest chances of purchasing your product.
The specific group of people you target while marketing is your dropshipping target audience. It is a group of people with similar interests, hobbies, age, or gender that you expect to purchase your product.
But why do we write an entire article about finding your ideal dropshipping target audience?
Is it that important?
Let's take a look:
Why finding your ideal dropshipping target audience is crucial
We have mentioned that you can identify a dropshipping target audience based on things like age, gender, hobbies, or interests. (There are many more things, which we will get into later.)
Finding the ideal combination of these is crucial for your dropshipping target audience.
We say ‘ideal' because the difference between ‘a' dropshipping target audience and your ‘ideal' dropshipping target audience is enormous.
Let's say you are running a store in the fitness niche.
In that case, you could choose a dropshipping target audience of teachers who love puzzling, drinking beers, and watching tv.
While there is nothing wrong with those people, they likely aren't interested in buying your products!
Instead, your ‘ideal' target audience might be males or females who love going to the gym, have an interest in healthy food, and love sports.
This group of people is much more likely to purchase your products!
In short, the dropshipping target audience that you choose will have a significant influence on the success of your marketing campaigns.
And this isn't just our opinion. For instance, Philip Kotler, an American marketing expert, even said the following:
There is only one winning strategy. It is to carefully define the target market and direct a superior offering to that target market.Philip Kotler
Note: Don’t forget that a bad target audience isn’t the only reason why you may not be getting any sales. If you have difficulties getting sales on your dropshipping store, check out this article.
3 Methods you can use to find your ideal dropshipping target audience
As you have read, finding your dropshipping target audience is the first step to successful marketing.
And now that you understand the importance of finding your ideal dropshipping target audience, it's time to learn how to do it!
This section will cover the three main methods that you can use to find a great dropshipping target audience.
Don't worry; it's actually not as difficult as it sounds if you put some effort into it!
1. Develop a buyer persona
One of the most popular methods for finding your dropshipping target audience is using the buyer persona framework.
This method is all about understanding who your typical buyer is. This includes things such as their age, interests, gender, and so on.
A buyer persona is basically a fictional person that represents your ideal customer.
And therefore, if you base your dropshipping target audience on your buyer persona, your ads will be shown to people that all come close to your ideal customer!
Here are some more things that fit with identifying a buyer persona:
The most important information of your buyer persona
As you can see, there is quite a lot associated with a complete buyer persona.
Some of the information you see in the image above is more important.
For dropshipping stores, the most essential information to know about your buyer persona is their personal info, value & fears, negative info, and their interests!
Let's go over a few of those things below:
For some dropshipping stores, age is a crucial piece of information about the target audience.
Most of the time, you should consider the age of your target audience because different age groups behave in different ways.
For instance, if you target a millennial audience, you might use a text that is a bit more informal and could even include some slang.
In some cases, the buyer of your product may not even be its users. If you are selling child toys, you may have to alter your ads in a way that will convince parents to pay for your product.
This one should be pretty obvious and can sometimes very simply be chosen based on the product you sell.
For example, if you were to sell products related to rugby, most of your customers would likely be male. In contrast, it would likely be better to target females when selling makeup.
However, don't be afraid to test the other side of the waters as well. For instance, females might buy your ‘manly' product as a gift too!
When dropshipping, picking the right countries to target can be the difference between succeeding and failing.
A country with a high GDP per capita, good logistics, a large population, and high social media penetration will often perform much better than a country without these characteristics.
If you want to know more about choosing the correct country for your target audience, check out the 15 best and worst countries to target as a dropshipper here!
Another vital piece of information about your buyer persona is their interests.
This part of the research is all about knowing what they like and prefer.
Sometimes, the interests of your ideal buyer can be easy to determine, but it can be very hard too!
For instance, if you are selling cat toys, you would target people interested in cats or pets.
However, what interests do people have who buy tea mugs? It could be almost anything, right?
That's why it can be challenging to determine the interests of your buyer persona for some products.
You may have to do some guesswork and try to brainstorm about what interests your potential buyers could have!
Social media usage
Social media usage is the last piece of information we will cover, and it's again a crucial one.
If you know your ideal customers' social media usage, or more broadly, the places where they ‘hang out,' it's much easier to target them effectively.
When researching social media usage, it's important to determine which social networks your ideal customer uses most frequently.
Once you discover this, reaching them will be much simpler!
How do you find the information needed to develop your buyer persona?
Right, we know what we need to develop our buyer persona.
But how do we obtain the information we are looking for?
Let's check it out:
When you don't have any sales yet: brainstorm, use Google, or Facebook Analytics
If you have just launched your dropshipping store, it's likely that you don't have any sales or customer data yet.
But that's okay! The fact that you are already researching how to find your ideal target audience says a lot about your determination for success!
And guess what? It's still possible to find an ideal initial target audience, even without sales.
One of the first things you could do is brainstorm about what kind of people would buy your product.
Just take the image of the buyer persona above, write down all the questions, and try to answer them based on your general knowledge. Sometimes, you will be surprised how much information you can already fill in based on your common sense!
Here is an example of a complete buyer persona:
And don't worry if some things are still quite broad. Later on down the line, you will test your hypotheses and narrow down your buyer persona.
If you genuinely don't know some things about your buyer persona, you can always try to ask Google for help.
For instance, let’s say that you are selling fishing equipment and are looking to find some information for your buyer persona.
With just a few simple Google searches, I was able to find:
- An age distribution graph of recreational fishing participants.
- A gender distribution graph of recreational fishing participants
- The income distribution of fishing participants.
- And a list of reasons why people are going fishing!
So, you will now know which age range, genders, income level, interests, and behaviors to target!
Last but not least, Facebook Audience Insights is an excellent tool for exploring interests for your buyer persona.
Our favorite way of using this tool is to learn more about the target audience’s demographic and interests by selecting a specific country and a large, broad interest that you already know your buyer persona has.
To give an example, let’s say you are selling cat toys. In that case, the buyer persona would be interested in cats, right?
By filling in the ‘cats' interest in Facebook Audience Insights, you can get loads of new ideas and information about your buyer persona. For example, here is the demographics page.
We just learned that the buyer persona is likely a woman, married, and went through college.
But there is more. For example, if we head over to the “Likes” tab, we can find out more about other related interests:
This shows that most of our potential customers are interested in women’s clothing stores, real estate (specifically old houses), and comedians!
Not only that, scroll down, and you will find even more information about this audience’s interests:
For instance, you will see that 1.6m people (of the 2.6m that like the Facebook page) who follow Chic Soul (a women’s clothing store page) will be interested in cats.
How cool is that?
When you already have some sales: use (automated) analytics tools
If you have been selling your product for a while already, you have the benefit of being able to analyze your previous customers in an effort to find common trends.
You can analyze your sales and visitor data using various analytics tools.
Using data obtained from these tools and your previous visitors or sales, you should be able to figure out:
- Where most of your customers live
- What age range they have
- Which device they use
- What social network they use
And remember that some marketing methods (like Facebook Ads) allow you to utilize data from your visitors and orders to find new audiences that are expected to perform similarly.
On Facebook Ads, this feature is called ‘Facebook Lookalike Audiences‘ and can be used to automate the process of using your previous customers to find new ones.
It works in the way illustrated above.
First, you give Facebook data of your sample audience (people who have purchased from you before). Then, Facebook's AI will analyze that audience to find a ‘Lookalike Audience' which is expected to react similarly to your sample audience.
In other words, you will have a high chance that they will purchase an item from your store too!
To create Lookalike Audiences from your list of customers, you will first have to create a Custom Audience in Facebook’s Ad Manager. (For an explanation on doing that, click here)
2. Analyze the benefits your product offers
Have you ever thoroughly thought about which benefits your products offer?
We hope so.
People buy results, not features. So it is critical to have a deep understanding of what benefits your products offer for the success of your dropshipping business.
Consumers do not buy products. They buy product benefits.David Ogilvy, known as the ‘Father of Advertising'
Keeping your product's benefits in mind doesn't only help with writing excellent product descriptions and creating incredible ad creatives; it's also incredibly helpful for defining your ideal dropshipping target audience.
That's right; you may be able to define a great target audience just by having a clear understanding of your product's benefits.
Let us give you an example.
Carbon Coco has identified the benefits of one of its main products, activated charcoal toothpaste, and clearly displayed them in the product description.
From these benefits, you could identify quite a few things that will help identify your target audience.
For instance, the first benefit (magnetic action draws out impurities) might attract people who have fears about having too many impurities in their skin.
Another example; since the product doesn't contain any nasty chemicals and is cruelty-free, it is likely that people who have the goal of making the world a better place will be attracted to the product.
Lastly, the benefits of the product being formulated in Australia and easy to use is likely to attract people living in Australia and maybe don't have too much free time to spend on products that aren't easy to use.
Hopefully, this example clarifies that you can use your product's benefit to identify parts of your target audience.
To sum up, determine what problem you solve or what need you fulfill (the benefits), and then whose problems or needs you are fulfilling (the target audience).
3. Test different audiences to find the best-performing one
The previous two methods involved defining your ideal dropshipping target audience without actually starting your marketing efforts.
For those who have a bigger advertising budget and little time, it goes without saying that finding a great dropshipping target audience will also work through simply testing a lot of different audiences until you find one that is profitable.
We like to call this the ‘quick testing method,' and it's usually used with Facebook Ads. However, you can use this strategy on other platforms too!
This method works as follows.
First, you create many separate marketing campaigns, each containing a specific target audience that you have picked based on educated guesses.
With educated guesses, we mean that you should try and find target audiences that should fit with your product.
For example, if you are using Facebook Ads and are selling a unique kitchen tool, you may try apparent interests like:
Or specific interests like:
- Bobby Flay
- Le Creuset
- Top Chef
After setting up your campaigns, you let them run for two or three days, after which you stop the unprofitable ad sets and scale the profitable ones.
The quick testing method allows you to test multiple interests quickly, collect data about your buyer persona quicker, and therefore speed up your way to using Lookalike Audiences.
One way to start is with a large and broad interest like ‘cooking.' Then, analyze the Facebook Ads Manager Dashboard results to narrow down and find your perfect audience step by step.
An alternative is to start with many small and specific interests like ‘cooking recipes.' By doing a lot of testing, you may find a profitable interest that will recover your losses in other ad sets and hopefully leave you with a profit, too!
Marketing for dropshipping: how do you reach your target audience?
You should now have a clear understanding of the definition of a dropshipping target audience, the importance of it, and most importantly, how to find your ideal dropshipping target audience.
So if everything goes well, you should be able to find your ideal dropshipping target audience now.
Unfortunately, the work doesn't stop there.
You have a clear idea of your target audience, but do you also know how to reach them?
Reaching your dropshipping target audience is done through marketing.
Dropshipping stores often use one or a combination of seven unique marketing methods, each of them having its pros and cons:
Of course, one of the things that will influence the marketing method that will be most effective for you is the platforms that your customers use the most (check your buyer persona for that!).
However, there are other things as well, think about:
- In which niche will you be operating? (Check out 25 niche ideas here!)
- What product(s) will you be selling? (Take a look at 13 product examples here!)
Either way, in an increasingly competitive market, it’s important to know your options and how they differ.
So, if you are looking to learn more about these seven marketing methods and find out which one fits you the best, check out our marketing for dropshipping article!
It was quite the adventure, but you have made it!
Just think about all the things you have learned from this article.
You now understand that a dropshipping target audience is a specific group of people you target in your marketing campaigns.
Targeting people who have no interest in your product won't make any sales. Therefore, it's crucial to find your ideal dropshipping audience!
The primary way of doing this is by developing a buyer persona. However, analyzing your product's benefits or simply testing a lot of different audiences may work as well.
Lastly, you have seen seven great marketing methods that can enable you to reach your ideal dropshipping target audience and therefore make some money on a couple of profitable marketing campaigns!
Not bad, right?
We hope to have answered all your questions, but if not, don't hesitate to ask any unanswered one in the comments below.
We are happy to help!
Good luck with finding your ideal dropshipping target audience!