This is the question in marketing. The holy grail, so to speak. If you as an organisation can successfully engage with your target audience, you’re doing great. So, how can you do it? Unfortunately (as you might know), it’s not always easy to get to that stage. So, let’s have a look at what you can do to reach your ideal audience organically, without having to put up a whole lot of money. We’ll be looking at two consecutive steps here:

–> Define your target audience

–> Reach your target audience

Reaching your target audience – the holy grail of marketing.

Define your target audience

The first step in reaching your ideal audience is to know who they are. (If your organisation has done this step already, jump right ahead to section 2.) Sounds easy enough, but often people only have a vague idea about this group or, worse, want to reach everyone. Not knowing your audience or wanting to reach everyone is likely going to make your marketing efforts vague and unspecific. In contrast, organisations with a clear idea of persona groups are likely to be much better at generating attention. Defining personas has multiple advantages. It makes your communications more targeted, reaches the right kind of people and makes interacting with your organisation much easier and effective for those targeted users.

Using marketing personas made websites 2-5 times more effective and easier to use by targeted users.


1. Start with the overall target group

This might be the easiest step. You will likely have a vague idea of who you want to reach with your marketing, for example people who would like to volunteer with you or those who want to attend your webinars. So far so good. Most people know these categories but then stop without putting details to the individual groups.

You can now use these groups as starting points for your personas. Before we continue, though, it’s probably a good idea to define what a persona is. The team of Sendible, a social media management tool, defines:

Marketing personas are made using real-life customer research to create profiles of specific, individual customers that represent a key audience segment. They are essentially a profile of one person that reflects a key part of your audience.


The task now is to take those overall target groups and create these personas for each of them while ensuring that they are specific and individual.

2. Personas

There are a variety of factors you can include in your persona. The most important is to include those that are important for marketing your message. The following categories should all be covered:

  • Demographics: gender, age, income, occupation, education, hobbies… include anything that describes the personas situation in life and is relevant
  • Motivations: this category is easiest answered by going through a few questions. What are the challenges for my persona? Why do they get out of bed in the morning? What are their pain points (especially those, that you might be able to help with)?
  • Name: Give each of your personas a name to make them more relatable and increase empathy. Treat them like real people in your team and, if you like, give them a little background story. This will help to make them more relatable.
  • Communication: Last but not least, have a clear idea of where your persona might be active online and offline. A 20-year-old student might be better reached on Instagram whereas a 70-year-old retiree might be easier reached through good old-fashioned mail.

When working through these categories, consider the following overall factors: geographic factors, socio-demographics and psychological factors. They will assist you in creating a persona that is tangible and realistic. To make sure your creating personas you can work with in the future, consider this little memory aid:

Primary research

Can you conduct some research with people who engage with you already? Base this on chatting to actual people who use your services, volunteers, social media comments, etc.


As already mentioned, giving your persona a name, a picture and a small narrative can make them more relatable.


Does the persona appear realistic to people in your organisation who deal with users every day?


When you create a variety of personas, make sure each is unique and differentiable from the others.


What are the personas’ needs/objectives? What’s their key need? You can include this as a quotation by the user to increase empathy.


Ideally, your team can remember the different personas which will make including them in everything you do easier. Is the number of personas small enough for the team to remember their names?


Is this persona suitable to make key message decisions, design decisions, etc.?

Example: Mental health charity for young people
  • Vicky, the Volunteer
    • Demographics: woman, 25-40, no children yet, earns £30,000/year, in your local area, has experience with mental health issues (herself or relatives/friends)
    • Motivations: generally keen to engage with good causes, has not been majorly affected by the current Corona crisis and wants to give back
    • Name: Vicky the volunteer
    • Communication: Instagram, Facebook
  • Sophie, the Sufferer (children and young people)
  • Paul, the Parent: of the young people
  • Pete, the politician to influence policy

Reaching your target audience

Now that you have gotten to know your personas, it’s time to apply that knowledge and reach them. The following tips and tricks cover a variety of ways to go about this, from fairly standard common-sense processes to more niche practices. Pick the ones that are right for you in reaching your target audience.

1. Create content and share it on relevant channels

This one is an obvious one and likely precedes all the following points. Before you can share your content in any way, you need to create it. The personas you have created should make it much easier to tailor specific key messages to each persona and distribute it through the relevant channels. When creating content, keep various communication styles in mind – text, image & video, sound. Different people consume content differently. Equally, make sure your content is inclusive and avoids subconscious bias. There are multiple ways of how to devise your content strategy. We at Multiplied By are fans of an approach called They Ask You Answer.

2. Cooperation with others (organisations or influencers)

Now that your content is ready, a great way to share it with people who might benefit from seeing it is teaming up with likeminded organisations or influencers and ask them to share it. They don’t have to work for the exactly the same cause as you are, but might be on the periphery. Especially if you’re a not-for-profit, your relationships with others and their likeminded causes can be a great asset. Find those organisations that have a similar audience to that which you would like to attract and ask them to share your content on their channels. A quick personal message to them can often be enough to get them to share your content and, thus, lead people to your page.

A grumpy piggybank is surrounded by money. By involving others in your marketing, you can easier reach you target audience.

Example: a mental health charity might partner with an influencer who is dedicated to help people get rid of their debt and become financially healthy. Financial worries can cause mental health issues and, thus, a partnership might reach the right kind of people. Both parties (and users) will likely benefit from this cooperation.

Another potent way to work together is to plan content together or involve others in your creation process. Let’s say you’re that mental health charity we just mentioned and you’re writing a blog post about reasons for mental health issues in adults. You want to talk about 5 different reasons, for example health, financial worries, loneliness, etc. Why not find an organisation or influencer for each of these reasons and get a quote from them that you can incorporate in your post? Not only does this increase the expertise of the article, but you will now likely reach each of their audiences when they share the finished post with their following. (This is also brilliant for your SEO!)

3. Guest contributions

The previous point can be taken one step further. Getting guests involved in your content creation can be expanded to asking them to create a full piece of content for you. This has multiple advantages: you are getting fresh perspectives, devoting less time and resources to creating content and – most importantly in this context – likely getting someone from outside your organisation but in a similar field. When they share this piece of content with their networks and introduce your organisation to them, it’s a win-win for everyone. Equally, guest contributions don’t have to be by experts or professionals. You can easily ask someone who is involved in your organisation as a volunteer, for example, to do a social media take over and lead the content for a day or two.

4. #UseHashtags (#LearnHowToUseThemFirst) #Hashtag

Hashtags are a science in themselves and we don’t have the space here to go into detail. Basically, a hashtag serves to contextualise and group certain posts together. People follow hashtags that they are interested in and, if your post uses that hashtag, will see your content even if they don’t follow you specifically. The number of hashtags to use varies on each platform. For example, Instagram allows up to 30 tags and many people utilise this, whereas 30 hashtags on Twitter would not be rewarded. If you’re keen on upping your hashtag game, check out this or this post.

5. Comment on people’s posts and questions

Another fairly easy way to engage with your target audience is to, well, engage with them. Follow relevant hashtags, organisations and influencers yourself and engage with their content. Try to not just advertise your organisation in each comment/engagement, but just engage in conversation to topics that might relate to your cause. Like others’ posts, follow relevant organisations yourself and maybe join a group or two on Facebook/LinkedIn to engage on a certain topic on a deeper level.

6. Invite people who like a post to like your page

This tip is Facebook-specific. The platform has a great functionality whereby you can invite people to like your page if they have liked a piece of your content. This works great if one of your followers has shared your content which is then liked by their followers. You can now ask that follower to like your page. Easy. From experience, the majority of people will follow that invitation because they have already shown an interest in you by liking your content in the first place.

7. Look at what others in your field are doing

If you’re looking for more ways to engage with target audiences, have a look at what ‘the competition’ is doing. What creative ways have other organisations found to engage their target audiences? You won’t be able to see what they’re doing behind the scenes, but if they are collaborating with others or devising creative ways to engage more interested people, it’s likely going to show on their channels. Don’t hesitate to talk to people and ask them what they are doing. This might be easier if you start with someone who is on the periphery of what you do, thus not directly considered competition. Have a chat and share ideas.

8. Chat to existing users

Similarly to the previous point, chatting to your own followers and service users can give you helpful insight. How have they found you? Why have they started engaging with you? Their answers might surprise you and help you focus your content strategy more clearly.

Whatever you do, just get started. Some of the points mentioned here require quite a bit of work, others less so. Mainly, it’s important to get started and spend some time up front to make sure your personas and content strategy are based on solid footing. These things will get easier and become second-nature over time. If you want to have a chat about reaching your target audience and want to get serious about this part of your strategy, get in touch and we’ll see how we can help.