You know you’re not targeting everyone on Earth for your product or service. You know having a target audience helps to narrow down marketing specifics and copy style. But to really get inside the head of your target audience takes time and thought.
It’s not hard to find examples of target audience details or buyer persona templates, but the key isn’t coming up with a great imaginary persona. The key is in understanding your audience in a meaningful way in which your competitors don’t. Then, you can meet your target audience exactly where they are with an amazing product or service that they will love.
If you consider the following three questions in relation to your customers, you can better understand what drives them and connect with those needs.
- What values do they hold?
Tap into what your audience values. If you know what they care about, you know what to promote. Different generations hold different values. Different industries hold different values. Know where you want to connect with your audience.
Younger audiences (ie. Millennials) want value-driven companies. Largely related is the fact that they want to purchase from businesses that care in some way or another. Share how you or your business contribute to one of your values to demonstrate your worthiness of the Millennials’ dollar.
The same younger audience is also less likely to immediately trust a brand or company. This is partially due to the overwhelming competition in most sectors, as well as the availability of information that can prove whether or not a company truly holds the values they share. This means showing off just to show off will not work with this audience; you have to actually prove that you mean what you say.
Older audiences place higher value on personal experience and expertise, meaning they’re used to speaking to a live person rather than a chatbot, and want to communicate professionally, without teen jargon. Having clean lines and a continuous brand colour palette shows professionalism. You can also skip the complicated user interface and make things straight-to-the-point with this audience.
- What are their future goals?
Knowing where your target audience wants to go allows you to meet them where they already are. Different consumers will have different goals. Rather than targeting all of these possible goals, consider where your product or service can offer the most value.
Are your ideal customers looking to change the face of the industry their business works in? Market with innovative style and techniques.
Are your ideal customers the owner of a small startup and want to see it flourish to leave their day job? Share simple and easy ways to grow across a variety of channels.
Maybe your ideal customer knows nothing about the field you’re in, and you’re hoping to change that. In this case, industry jargon and language that you learned in grad school is not going to be appealing. You may even be driving customers away if they don’t understand what you’re offering in plain terms.
On the other hand, maybe your target audience are existing experts in your industry and they are looking to bolster their success. This audience wants concrete information and to know that you know what you’re talking about. Picking a specific niche is much more valuable to this audience since they already know the basics.
- Why are they on social media?
Most businesses are on social media, but are you relating to your consumers in a way that they will interact with you? Knowing why your audience is on social media will ensure your content is relevant to them.
“Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.” — David Alston, author
Many use Facebook to connect with family and friends; if you’re a mom-and-pop-styled store, you want to be active here to contribute to the part-of-the-family feeling.
Younger people often browse Tik Tok or Instagram for entertainment. Here, you can share content that is entertaining as well as informative or educational. Or maybe include content that is purely for entertainment. Things that are easily shareable are more likely to get around on social media, increasing your reach.