What Is A Target Audience And How To Define It

Target audience is just one piece of a pie you reach out to in order to actually try the cake.

If you attempt to swallow the whole pie, ordinarly, you’ll end up without a tiny crumble. Bad idea in business, bad idea in life. 

Unfortunately, even today, when marketing education is becoming a way of life for many businesses, some digital companies are still not familiar with the concept of audience segmentation, a basic concept that any marketing activity “sails off” from.

target audience for news company

Target market vs Target audience

But before we dive deeper into how to define your target audience, let’s first go over “target market” since many people wonder whether it’s the same term. 

  • Target market is a share of people any company caters services or products to. 
  • Target audience is a share of people who you create content for. 

So, yes, it is the same: you develop content for people who’ll later buy your products. For media companies, target audience is the one concept that makes sense since their product is content

Target audiences are behind your ability to monetize your website. They will bring you profits if marketers lay eyes on the same audience segment and will be willing to pay for advertisements weaved into your materials. 

Marketers may also opt for ingraining lead generation campaigns into your content so you deliver prospects right to their doors.

There are a lot of ways to monetize your news source, but without defining a target audience it’s just as impossible as trying to hit the bullseye without knowing what it looks like.

Why is it crucial to define target audiences?

If you target people who don’t want to buy your content or even get it for free, you might drive massive traffic to your website that will just pour through, as if it was never there. 

And you’ll be just wondering why no one subscribes, or at least sticks around, while the bounce rate will shoot up so fast you won’t even have time to put your jaws back to the original position. 

If people don’t buy from you and don’t pause to read your stories till the end (leave alone clicking on next articles), it’s pointless to acquire new traffic: it won’t do much for you. 

Instead, try to figure whether you’re targeting the right people. 

Audience segmentation process 

your ideal customer

In order to pull out the very same segment that will be a perfect match for your materials, your vision, and become a happy gleaner in your field of wisdom & entertainment, start with narrowing down a broad segment of prospect readers into a smaller one.

Parameters to use along are the following:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Geo-location
  • Education Background
  • Buying habits

These 5 will be enough to construct an exemplary picture of your target audience.

Example (for online gardening magazine): Men, 40-55 years old, living in Houston, with a bachelor’s degree, monthly income of $6,000 – 8,000, spend free time gardening, passionate about plants and cultivation. 

Basically, after some time, you’ll be able to look at your audience closer and, given the right attitude, crystalize a group of readers who are on the same wavelength with all you do.

How news companies figure target audiences?

how bbc define target audience

Source: BBC

For a news website targeting several audiences is normal practice, since many of them flexibly redirect content efforts towards those audiences that show off the biggest interest (traffic-wise). 

They may just roll out all-for-everyone type of content at first. As time passes, they see the tendency toward clearing up on particular segments. 

For example, UK-based cycling news may discover that the biggest share of the visitors are men of 30-35 years old who love to watch the coverage from races and thoroughly inspect each new bike review. Based on these insights, a company can build strategies that will let those bike-lovers receive the freshest reviews for every price point, and get notifications about races going on air. 

Identifying target audience before launching a project

The majority of companies, though, act in an opposite way. Before the launch of a project a company may conduct research to define the gap in the market they’re capable of bridging. The gap stands for the data-backed need in the market that no one has addressed yet. This need is expressed by a particular group of people, that is, in fact, a target audience. 

finding a niche for news companies

Finding a niche. Source

As audiences evolve (we’re all people whose habits are changing over time), news websites monitor those amends and adjust their content strategies and website functionality accordingly.

The better you monitor your audience’s habits, the faster you define their needs, the savvier your marketing department is in implementing marketing tactics – the more impeccable your product-market fit becomes, the more revenue streams you generate.

Huuh, what a tongue twister.

Let’s move on 🙂

Should a mass news website target one segment? 

As you grow, you’ll probably see diversified traffic across pages, but eventually, the section of people who willingly return to your works will be formed. It’s your loyal audience base.

To get to know your audience, there are a whole lot of tactics you can engage into your workflow, starting with collecting feedback, meeting in person, to finding new creative ways to connect.

Whether you want it or not, the people who have serious intentions to become your “brand advocate” will appear. The only task that descents on marketer’s shoulders is to establish that solid connection between a product and that group of people who trust your work so much that payment is not a problem for staying with you.


Defining a target audience is the first and most essential step of any business, especially if you’re just starting.

Having the right content (not just great) is the direct outcome of performing correct audience research. Making it brilliant is just an execution: with right writers and a touch of creativity, you’ll quickly make it exceptional.

The greatest downbeat that may happen to you is to miss out on those who need your material and try to rivet eyes of those who see zero value in what you offer.

Read also: How the world’s biggest news websites segment their audiences (coming soon)


  • What is a target persona?

In marketing, personas are fictional portraits of your ideal customer. They’re created based on research and involve much deeper and detailed description of the target buyer. Consequently, it allows direct marketing activities better.

  • What should I do once we’ve defined our target audience?

When you know who your target audience is, it’s easy to start searching keywords for attracting them to your digital zone. The next step is to funnel them into your loyal readers.