Understanding Your Target Audience

February 5, 2018 Seth Spriggs

When it comes to creating content for your customers it is essential to know who you are writing for. You might have a great piece of content or a great offer, but it may not be very effective if you’re writing for the wrong audience.

Here are 3 things to consider to help you better understand your target audience:

1. Know your buyer personas

buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and information you already know about your existing customers. For example, you may envision a parent of or homeowner and attach specific characteristics to them, like jobs, number of children, or even the types of cars they drive.

Knowing your buyer’s persona helps marketers and business owners better envision their customer so that they can create content, services, and offers for a specific person with real interests, rather than a generic audience.

For example, if you’re providing running training programs, you may offer separate newsletter or content for an avid marathon runner vs. someone who’s just getting started with a 5K. The novice runner may wish to receive advice on getting started, whereas the marathon runner would like to learn about professional running gear and tips for increasing speed.

A great way to help you create buyer personas is to interview your existing customers.

You could contact them in person, over the phone, or send them an online survey. Ask them questions about their interests and needs.

Here's a template to help you get started:

2. Understand your buyer’s journey

By delivering the right content in your customer’s buyer’s journey, you can help them with their purchase decision, but it’s essential to start by understanding where they are in their journey: awareness, consideration, decision.

In the awareness stage, your buyer is dealing with a problem and is often trying to understand it by doing more research. For instance, in the case of John Smith, he wants to get in better shape and run a 5km race, but he doesn’t know the first thing about getting started or how to train. 

In this stage, it’s a good time to share educational content that focuses on your buyer's need (ex: learning more about cardio health), instead of giving them your solution (ex: sign up for running lessons).

In the consideration stage, your buyer has clearly defined what he/she is looking for. In this case, John decides he should develop a schedule and get some advice from a blog, a running group or 1:1 trainer.

This is a good time to offer your prospect your solution to their problem (ex: training schedules that work for busy professionals).

In the final decision stage, your buyer has decided on a solution, strategy, method or approach and is compiling a long list of vendors or products. At this point, John is ready to make a purchase decision and is looking for running trainers in his area. They’re now investigating if you’re the right business for them, so it’s a great idea to share testimonials and reviews, pricing details or trial offer information, to help them make a decision. 

 TIP: Help people find your business by claiming your free Yellow Pages listing.

3. Find out how to reach your audience  

When it comes to distributing your content, it is essential that you know where your audiences are and how to reach them.

Look at your online reports to learn how customers are finding you and what content they consume the most. If you’re on social media, make note which posts are most popular for your buyer persona.

Here's a great way to create content that speaks to your audience:

  • Find the top 5 blogs they read

  • Find the top 5 podcasts or radio shows they listen to

  • Find the top 5 news sources they watch

  • Find the meetups or events they go to

TIP: Extend your audience reach by getting featured on all of those places.
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