WARNING! You’re going to say “Ugh.” However, if you follow through with what you’re about to learn about your target audience, it will change your business and increase your profits. I promise.
The million dollar question: Who are your prospects and why do they care?
The answer to these two questions is the foundation to connecting with your target audience and any successful marketing strategy. After all, you have to know who you’re marketing to so that you can create the right message. Talking to a teenager is much different than talking to a grandmother, right? The following steps will help you not only learn about your target audience, they’ll help you build a highly targeted marketing strategy.
What Are the Characteristics of Target Audience?
We’re talking about demographics first because they’re the most fundamental descriptors of your target audience and, quite frankly, when you’re using many marketing tools you can segment by demographics. So let’s first define what a demographic is. A demographic is a statistical characteristic of a human population and an easy way to segment a population.
For instance, sex is a demographic. Is your audience mostly male or female? Other demographics include: age, religion, ethnic background, and socioeconomic status, region of the country or world where they’re from, and level of education.
You can identify some of your audience’s demographics by taking a look at your analytic information.
You may also glean some of this information from who you think is your target audience. However, the more you can base your understanding in factual information, the better.
What are Their Values, Beliefs, and How do They Live Their Lives?
While demographics can help with things like segmentation, psychographics really help you fine tune your marketing message. Psychographics is the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.
When you think about the psychographics of your audience you might ask questions like, “how does my prospect spend their time?” What activities do they enjoy? What type of car do they drive and why?
You may know some of this information from talking to people in your audience or from talking to prospects. You also know your business inside and out, and you know who your product or service is most valuable to. Sit down and begin identifying your prospects based on both demographics and psychographics.
Identify what is important to your target audience and how they might use or benefit from your business. In the next step we look at defining the problem, which is something you’ll add to the customer profile you’ve started creating.
What’s Their Pressing Problem?
What is the problem that your audience is trying to solve? Why are they online looking for your information? What led them to you?
How they search and what they search for to solve their problem is important to you. It helps you have a better understanding of who they are. Understanding your audience helps you create messages that speak directly to them. It also helps you provide better products and services to serve your audience.
If you’re unsure exactly what the problem is that your prospects are dealing with, and we’re talking about their most pressing problem as it relates to you, then consider creating a survey and use a giveaway or some other promotional offer to motivate your audience to take it.
Your business plan may include an analysis of your market and information on the primary problem. If it does, fine tune it and make sure that it incorporates any new information you have about your prospect. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to spend some time researching your audience a bit more.
You can learn a lot from your competition. Visit their social media profiles and read the comments, feedback and information from their prospects and connections. Add the primary problem to your customer profile.
What’s Your Unique Selling Proposition?
What makes your business unique? Why are you different, and presumably better, than your competition? Why do your customers buy from you and why should your prospects become customers? What benefit of your product solves your customer’s problem?
Keep in mind that your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) can be related to your products or services. It can also be how you do business or your experience or approach.
Pulling it All Together
By now you have compiled an abundance of information. You should be getting a sense of who your audience is. You may know who they are and where they come from. Hopefully, you also have a good idea of what they’re dealing with and how your product or service solves their problems and provides them with a benefit. Use this information to begin crafting a description of your ideal prospect. Write it in paragraph form and don’t worry about grammar or length. Remember to give your prospect a name make her as real as possible.
If you have a few different types of prospects or ideal customers then create a description for each one of them. Clean up the descriptions until they’re succinct and clear. You’ll use this information to help you not only create a more targeted marketing strategy and content, you’ll also use it to help you create products and services to appeal to your ideal customer and target audience.
As you gain more information about your audience and as your business grows, it’s important to update your target audience description. This information will continue to guide you and your marketing efforts. It’s an essential component of building a business that thrives.
Here’s Your Homework…
Even if you’ve been in business for a while put what you just read to work for you. Start connecting with your target audience better than your competition.
Answering these questions will help you get the ball rolling:
- How does she think and feel?
- What does she hear?
- What does she say and do?
- What pain is she trying to avoid or remedy?
- What benefit is she trying to gain?
When she asks herself this question, “What do people like me do when I have this problem?”, you want to be part of her answer. Taking the time to develop your target audience profile and implementing what you uncover in the process will make you the solution!
Now go get writing!