Whatever you’re bringing to market, whether it’s your skills, your business, your products or your services, one of the first and most important things you need to consider is: who is your audience?
Why is it so important?
So, why bother getting to know your target audience? Surely the product or service on offer should be at the centre of your messaging?
So much of a businesses’ success boils down to being able to recognise the demographics of your audience and what will keep it engaged. It’s worth bearing in mind that often it isn’t the product that people are focused on, but rather the end goal. The emphasis should be on what that product or service can do for your customer – and how it can do it quickly, easily, efficiently, and, very importantly, most cost-effectively.
For instance, your product could be an all-singing, all-dancing kitchen mixer, but what the buyer really wants to achieve is delicious, light, fluffy cakes at the press of a button! Oh, and with very little washing up to follow (or maybe that’s just us!).
So, when creating marketing content, you should talk about the mouth-watering cakes, rather than the mixer! You just need to know what the mixer is likely to be used for by your potential buyers and how that audience feels about the end product. This is so your content can be about the benefits of the mixer, not the specification of the product.
The more you tailor your message – and your content – for the audience, the more likely they are to engage and become part of your target market in the medium to long term.
Getting your messaging right
A perfect example of a sector that focuses on the benefits rather than the product or service itself is the Healthcare sector. You don’t often see adverts showing people suffering or keeling over – far from it! The focus is instead on the end-goal; happy, smiling people fulfilling dreams of mountain climbing, enjoying holidays, and generally engaging in activities that would normally be beyond their reach, just by having used the services or products being promoted.
And ultimately that’s what people want; their aspirations met. The service should then be woven into this message, rather than being the focus.
Finding your audience
So, first things first, you need to find out who your audience really is and what makes them tick. Useful questions to think about might be:
- What are they’re interested in?
- What do they care about?
- How can we engage with them?
- How can we keep them engaged?
- Where would they look for the products or services you’re offering?
The better you understand the users of your product or service, the better you can engage new and existing customers to grow your audience. You know exactly what’s good about your product or service and what it is you want to promote but is that what your audience wants or needs to hear? Once we know what the audience is interested in, that’s exactly the content you should look to create.
So, how do you get to know your target audience?
- Review any current data and analytics you have already amassed
- Look at previous successful campaigns among the audience you already have
- Create buyer personas
- Conduct surveys
- Check out your competitors
- Experiment with content and updates then monitor audience feedback, comments, and engagements to see what produces the best results
Targeting your audience
With so many different avenues open to not just you, but your audience, you will need to consider those best suited to those you’re marketing to. These include:
- Social Media – which platforms are most used by your audience?
- Publications – what do they read and where?
- Digital exposure
- SEO and Adwords
- Trade Shows
- Events such as meet the buyer; face-to-face
- Sponsorship of awards
One size definitely does not fit all! Your campaign needs to be punchy and compelling whatever medium you choose – but be prepared to diversify. Try to select messaging, imagery and videography that can span all mediums to reinforce the product, the brand and the message using marketing that works on different platforms.
Whatever mediums you choose, it’s important to never stop measuring your ROI (return on investment); this data will provide you with information that you can, and will, refer to time and time again to understand what works well and what doesn’t.