Creating a Target Audience for Your Marketing Campaign

by | Aug 25, 2016 | Content Marketing | 1 comment

Creating a Target Audience for Your Marketing Campaign

by | Aug 25, 2016 | Content Marketing | 1 comment

Do you know who your audience is? You probably hear a lot about targeting your content to your audience every time you take a course or read some guide to help with your marketing campaign. To build any sort of strategy that does this, you have to start with the basics by creating a complete picture of whom you are actually trying to attract with your content marketing efforts.

There are several key components of your audience that come into play when you design any facet of content marketing, from choosing keywords to developing the best user experience to increasing conversions. These include psychographics, habits, behavior patterns, demographics, characteristics, geographical location and other key variables. Once you know these factors, you can create a model or models that truly captures your ideal target audience. Then, you keep this model in mind when developing your content marketing collateral to ensure it is relevant and of value to the target audience.

Do Not Skimp on Market Research

One of the best ways to truly understand your target audience is through market research. This will help you to know as much as possible about the consumers who are or might be interested in your goods or services. This research provides valuable information to assist you in focusing your content and choosing the right keywords. The point is not to just get a list of demographics and stop there. Although demographics play a valuable role, it is more important to get a full picture that helps you truly understand the most urgent concern or concerns of your audience.

The first stage of market research is collecting as much data and information as possible. You don’t always have to do all the work yourself. There are companies that conduct market research in various industries and sell the information to companies. However, if your budget does not allow this, there are ways to conduct homegrown research.

Collect Data

Reviewing your analytics and tools, including those that concern PPC and keywords, provide information about who finds your sites, how they get there and certain behavior patterns. Google AdWords analytical tools include a report feature known as Audience Insights that also imparts some of these key features. You can also review your database to learn as much as possible about your current customers.

It is also beneficial to talk directly to patrons of your company. Interview customers to learn more about them. This is not just about how they feel about your products or services, although that might be important. It’s also about learning more about their personality, opinions and motivations. To determine psychographic information, consider asking questions to the consumers. This could include questions about their lifestyles, what movies or TV shows they like, their values, likes and dislikes, hobbies, interests, how they use the product, what features are most appealing and more. You want to learn what makes them choose a brand and what needs they have. This can be quite time-consuming, so you might only be able to conduct a few interviews.

To gain insight from even more people, conduct a survey. Develop an online questionnaire and send it out to your email list. There are tools such as SurveyMonkey and Google Forms that assist you in developing these. Ask your social media followers to fill it out and send it on to their friends. You can also simply do an A/B test on different marketing collateral to identify what people prefer without them knowing that they are providing this insight.

The employees in all departments of your company also provide valuable insight into your audience, especially those who interact with your consumers. The customer service department fields problems and issues from current customers and can provide information about the most common people to which they talk, as well as the typical needs that customers expect your products to fulfill. Your sales team also has a solid understanding of prospective customers and their characteristics.

Look to the Competition

Another area of research that provides valuable insight about your audience is looking at your competition. This provides two key benefits. For one, you can take advantage of any market research they already completed and learn more about their target audiences. Secondly, it also helps you to see what audiences they might be missing that you might want to target. One way to do this is through social listening. This simply means to pay attention to the conversations being conducted about your industry, competition and company on social media. Review the hashtags, follow your competition, follow industry leaders and spend time looking at what pops up on social media about your company, your competition and your industry.

Competitor Analysis

Monitoring social conversations not only provides you tips on what areas your company might need work in and where you are doing great, it also helps you learn more about your audience. There might be trends in the problems, certain networks that are more active or other characteristics or behavior patterns that stand out.

Create Personas

Before you start developing the content for your marketing campaign, it is time to put all this research into a usable form. The best way to do this is to create what is known as buyer personas. By doing this, you can have 73 percent higher conversions. It is more than just creating a list of demographics that acts as a profile of a potential buyer. Think of it as an actual model or person who will stand in for that audience. It should represent the ideal customer using all the information you have, including demographics, interests, behaviors, characteristics and motivations.

Client Personas

This description should go in as much depth as you want. Name the persona and write out their personality traits, priorities, goals and other relevant information beyond just demographics. Have fun with it so that you start to think of your audience as a person rather than a hard to define entity. Hang your models around your office or have them nearby to review whenever you are developing marketing content.

You shouldn’t be satisfied with creating just one persona. Most likely, you will have consumers from various groups of people, which means you need several personas. When you pull your research together, you should create as many personas as you can. Just remember that your content should focus on one persona. You might start by creating just one marketing campaign that targets a selected persona that you feel will have the best response. Then run another campaign targeted to a different persona. This makes it easy for you to segment your audience and work on developing unique and effective marketing campaigns that adequately resonate with that particular audience.

Taking the time to build personas of your target audience provides a great first step in truly knowing your audience so you can create a strong content marketing campaign. Remember that it is a tool to use in different ways. Sometimes you will start with the persona and create a campaign, and other times you will start by reviewing the most popular keywords or campaign ideas and determine which audience to target. Before pushing anything live, ensure that it fits in with a persona so that all your efforts are relevant and have an impact with your ideal consumer base. Always remember that you are not trying to appeal to everyone; your efforts are being targeted at one particular type of consumer.

Check out some of our other content marketing posts for more tips and inspiration.

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Jon Bingham

Marketing Director at BKA Content
Jon is the Marketing Director at BKA Content. When he's not crafting compelling marketing material, he likes to build Legos, buy sneakers, stare at sports cars and watch the Utah Jazz.
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