Marketing to your tribe: Finding & targeting your audience – Part 2
In the second part of this blog series, we look at how you can use all of the insight gathered from part 1 to create and activate audience personas, enabling you to reach your target audience.
Audience personas are fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers. These help you to take all the customer data you’ve gathered and piece it together as fictional people, helping you to relate to your customers as humans and making it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging, product development and services.
You can – and probably should – create more than one audience persona. It’s unlikely that all of your potential customers are going to share the exact same demographics and psychographics.
This step now is about piecing together all of the insight and research you’ve done previously to find commonalities and patterns.
Creating your audience personas
Start with their demographics, what location do most reside in? What gender are they? What age? What’s their marital status? Their income level? What industry do they work in? Do they have children?
For example, here you might have:
- Male, aged 36
- Married with two young children
- Lives in York, works in Leeds as an IT Manager, earning £40k per year
Next, do they have any identifiers in terms of media consumption and buying habits? For example:
- Works from home and tends to research holidays early morning
- Uses Instagram for destination inspiration
- Consumes a lot of video content on Facebook
- Uses an iPhone 11
And now, what do you know about their lifestyle, hobbies and routine? For example:
- Cycles on evenings and weekends
- Drives a Nissan Qashqai
- Has a Netflix subscription
What are their goals / their desires / motivations? For example, if you’re a travel company – you might have discovered through your research what type of holiday motivates them.
- Family holiday with outdoor activities
- Prefers self-catering accommodation
- Wants to be near a town
- Likes to book two holidays a year – one in the school summer holidays and one in February half term and likes to book at least 4 months in advance for each
Do they have any challenges or frustrations? For example:
- Really busy at work so doesn’t have time to piece together different stages of a trip, prefers a package with activities for children included
- Doesn’t want to pay over the odds for going away during school holidays
- Doesn’t have time to look for activities for the children before going away
Give your personas a fictional name to humanise them and help make them more relatable.
How to activate these personas to connect with your audience
1. Look at the competition
Take a look at your competitors across the channels they use to market; do they look to be targeting the same market as you, and with what success? What posts of theirs get the most engagement? And indeed, which don’t? All of this can give you some pointers as to what might work in your creative and messaging.
They might also be overlooking a niche audience which you’ve identified as a key one to target.
2. Define your features and benefits
Analyse your product and services, what features and benefits does it provide? And what people would benefit from these features? How can you match up these with the personas you’ve created? Can this audience easily afford your product / service? Will they see a need for it? Are they easily accessible – can you reach them with your message?
Once you’ve identified your features and benefits, connect this with the personas and specifically, the psychometrics you’ve identified – particularly their motivations and challenges – to give you your messaging.
3. Create your content ideas
You should have enough information to piece together a loose content plan based on the challenges you’ve identified for your personas, as well as any information you’ve gathered on what people are searching for and what questions they’re asking around topics related to your product or service.
4. Decide on channels / medium
Now you know which channels your audience spend their time on, e.g. Facebook, YouTube etc., you can look to communicate your messaging on here, using the targeting options to reach them.
Also, if you’ve discovered they engage with images and video content, make sure you factor this into your marketing plan.
You might have found that they do most of their research and purchasing on their mobile phone, in which case, audit your mobile site to make sure the experience is as user friendly here as possible.
Activating this messaging
With all of the information you’ve gathered on which channels they use at what stage of their journey and what media they consume – you should have a clearer indication of where to push your marketing efforts and your budget.
For example, if you know they consume a lot of Facebook content and roughly at what time and where, use the creative and messaging you’ve identified above to target specific demographics and interests through Facebook advertising, making sure it’s reaching the intended audience.
Additionally, if you know your audience is searching for particular keywords, use the content you’ve created answering their challenges / questions, and set up PPC campaigns to target these keywords with this content.
Use lookalike audiences
Lookalike audiences are really useful, particularly if you’ve done a lot of the above research to determine who your existing customers are, as you can feed in this information and find potential customers matching the same criteria.
Facebook is a great place to try this, you can base it on fans of your Facebook page, or visitors to your site; simply upload existing customer lists and it will create lists of potential customers who have similar characteristics and demographics, giving you a really clear indication of the potential audience you can reach.
The potential in remarketing
Particularly with more considered purchases, such as holidays or cars, most of the time it won’t be a case of just one touchpoint working or one ad leading to a conversion. This is where remarketing can come in really useful. This is a way of connecting with the people who have already engaged with your ads or visited your website, but haven’t converted.
This is really focused advertising to people who are further down the funnel and so more likely to convert, this makes it a really efficient use of your budget. You can change the messaging based on how they’ve interacted with you previously, so for example, if a person has added something to their ‘basket’ on your site but then left the site without purchasing, you can target them with specific messaging featuring that product to encourage them to come back and buy.
What to action now:
1. If you don’t already, get goals setup in your Google Analytics account (we can help with this if you’re not sure where to begin) and start tracking how your users are behaving on your site.
2. Follow your competitors across their social channels and take a look at the type of messaging and creative they’re pushing out, what do you like about it and what don’t you like? This will give you a good indication of what works and what the opportunity might be for you.
3. Create a schedule for yourself to carry out as many of the research phases above as possible, and some time to piece it all together to find commonalities.
4. Use this data to create at least one audience persona, then take a look at your current marketing activity creative and messaging – does it match with what you’ve discovered about your audience?
5. If you haven’t already, make sure you make the time to really distil your USPs and the “why” behind what you do, why does what you do matter to your audience?
If you’d like help with any of the above actions; whether it’s setting up your Google Analytics tracking correctly, or helping you gather as many insight points as possible, please feel free to get in touch with the team.
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