Audience profiling has become a cornerstone of not only your marketing strategy, but, also your overall business plan. Bringing all this information together can feel quite daunting at first and this is why marketers break it down into four sections:
Segmentation is where you conduct your audience profiling, you are literally segmenting your target market into individual audience profiles or persona.
Why is it important to conduct audience profiling for your business? With so much content across multiple platforms that is communicated with a variety of channels it is becoming more and more difficult that your target market will happen to see your marketing efforts.
It is about tailoring your message to your range of customers; an 18 year old female wouldn’t speak or think like a 75 year old male. Think about cultures or even subcultures that could be interested in your product or service. How would you address them as a group and then as an individual? Think about language, slang, context that would resonate with your desired audience.
Having solid audience personas will help you visualise them as real customers with goals and challenges, which via your product or services you can then offer them a solution.
How do you conduct audience profiling and execute it successfully? Just like a good detective or FBI agent, who will use behavioural science and they will investigate to unearth as much evidence as possible to piece together an extensive audience profile.
In this audience profiling guide, we will share with you how we dig down and discover the little pieces of data to bring our customers to life, this is the same process we use to identify our clients customers.
When we are hired to put together audience personas we are often asked how do we make them so realistic? Where did we get our information from and what tools did we use? Let’s be clear there is no tool that does this for you, well not a free one that we know of anyway.
It’s better to pull in data from a range of different platforms and create your own persona.
In this guide we will show you how we conduct our research and we also give you a template with prompts on how to present your findings.
Just like Rudyard Kipling, we start with 6 honest serving men and they taught us everything we know. Their names are What, Why, When, How, Where and Who.
Every form of marketing and research should follow these simple questions, a lot of modern marketers get too hung up on the “Why” of their business and marketing strategy, they completely ignore the rest. It’s about finding the balance but asking, What, Why, When, How, Where and Who will put your audience research in good stead.
So, with that in mind, it is now time to take a closer look at your business, ask yourself; What is your business? What services or products do you offer? Why would someone buy from you? What makes you different from your competitors? How successful have your marketing efforts been so far? Where can they buy it from? As a business owner you should already have a good understanding to be able to answer these questions. Be completely honest with your assessment, even get an outside point of view which could be less subjective.
Phase 2 seems obvious but you will be surprised how many businesses don’t do this but talk to your customer. If you are an established business you should already know who buys from you, so this will give you a good starting point. Send out surveys to your customers, create social media polls, if you can pick up the phone and talk to your customer.
A a questionnaire or a feedback form to your sales process, collate all this information and use it in the building blocks of your audience personas.
What you need to know is what people think of your business, why did they buy your service or product? How did they find out about you? Do they follow you on social?
This is a lot easier if you already have a client base but if you don’t, then don’t worry as the rest of this guide will help you find them.
If you have a website or social media accounts then it’s time to get analytical. If you haven’t already you will need to set up Google analytics for your website and Google Search console. It will show you who visits your website, what pages they visit, where they live, how old they are, if they are male and female, what time of the day. There are loads you can track and measure with Google analytics, so you can learn as much as possible. Google search console shows you keywords that pulls in traffic to your site, these are keywords people have queried in search, your website appears in the search results and it will show you how many people have clicked through. This information shows you what people are searching for and if it is relevant to your target audience.
Use Facebook’s Audience Manager for a real in-depth into people who would be interested or are already engaging with your brand. You can find out
Social media is the next step, not just your own but other peoples. It’s time to do some social stalking, take a look at the people who follow you on social, how old are they, where do they live, what do they do for work. All this information is key to really getting into the head of your consumers. Thumb through Instagram, find brands that you like and that are similar to yours, see what post are being engaged with, who’s following them. The thing with social media is people will happily share their interests, their hobbies and what makes them tick. This information will give you a good understanding on what your audience persona actually wants.
Take a look at what your competition is doing, at Creative Outlaw Media We call this competitor reconnaissance, we see how many times a month they are searched for, mentioned on social, what content they are putting out and how much engagement they receive. You will find out what they are doing well, what you can do better and what sort of things their audience engage with, this will give you and good understanding on what your personas would want to consume.
Find influencers in your industry, what makes them an influencer, what sort of content are they putting out. What are their social media following, how much engagement do they have? If they produce a blog, then read it. If they have a YouTube video, then watch it. It will give you a good idea on how your audience speaks, what excites them and what they find annoying. One tool you can use to help you get the ball rolling is You.Gov The information of the people on this site are a little stereotypical but like I said it’s good to help you build a foundation.
This is the easiest way to gather information for your audience, now, what do you do with this and how do you put it all into usable data for audience profiling.
When it comes to audience profiling we would say don’t create an audience, create a character.
This is more like screenwriting than marketing, your character has to be realistic, be recognisable and has to have goals and pain points. You then put your character into a story, where your business provides the product or service to help your character along their journey.
When creating your audience member, consider their gender, their age, their location, their job title, their income, their personal life; are they married, single, children etc.
When it comes to naming your audience, try to associate their name with their job title or desire. For example, if you sell Electronics your audience might be called TV addict Alan. The idea being you’ve given them a name and a brief description of their character.
All of this should reflect your research that you have carried out, you should be able to close your eyes and be able to picture this person.
This is really thinking about who they are, think about how you approach looking for a product or service, what grabs your attention? How would you gran go about engaging with a brand compared to how you would? Are they impulsive or does your persona like to know every detail of a product before purchasing? This will help with their goals, pain points, their thinking when it comes to them doing that first initial piece of research.
You should by now have a rough idea who your audience member is, it’s time to give them a backstory. What has lead them to this point in their lives in order to need or desire your product or service. By giving them a realistic backstory it will make your persona relatable and you will be able to understand their reaction to different campaigns. Think about the sort of person they are, is it their personality, is it an outside influence that has made them thinking of engaging with your brand?
Everyone has goals and ambitions in their lives, so should your audience persona. This will make them realistic and it will give you a better understanding on how you can help them achieve this through your business. What goals do they want to achieve? These could be minor or major goals, for example if you sell computers a goal of your persona could be to buy a high end computer and a minor goal could be to have a better understanding of what is the best type of hardware to buy for a computer.
Pain points and challenges are the different obstacles that your audience profiles have to overcome in order to achieve their goals. These could be as simple as less stress or worry, something that makes their life a little easier. So, going back to our computer example, they could be someone who wants to buy a computer but doesn’t really know or understand what they are looking for.
How does your product or service solve your personas pain points, how does it help them achieve their goals? Why would they need the services of your business? So if you have an audience persona who wants to buy a high end computer but doesn’t really understand the different elements of the computer, a solution could be that you provide a course about computer hardware or an informative video which helps them understand the differences between the different types of hardware.
You have identified how your product or services will solve your audiences pain points and help them achieve their goals but why would they choose your business? How does your brand grab their attention? What marketing tactic or campaign did they see in order to grab their attention?
Why should they use your product and service over your competitors, what makes your brand unique? What social platform are they on?
Do they engage with blog content, images, videos, paid ads, display ads.
This should be based on how you think your audience, based on our research will react.
What is the deciding factor that will make them buy from you or complete your end goal? What online and offline influence have they interacted with? Does your website have a good User Experience? (UX) Do you have good reviews? Testimonials or case studies? What is your pricing like compared to your competition? Are there certain times of the year or certain trends that affect your business?
It’s time to put yourself in your audiences shoes. You have a good idea of who they are, what they want to achieve, what is holding them back and why would they want your product. Now think like them, what questions would you like answers to before you would buy a product or service? These questions will help you when it comes to creating blog content or functional content on your website, this could be a video or an infographic anything to make their buying decision easier.
And that ladies and gentleman is how we conduct audience profiling at Creative Outlaw Media, this is not a quick process, do not rush it. Do your research thoroughly because you will have a better, more well rounded, solid audience persona. Also if you ever get stuck, you know where we are
The next stage is to put your personas on their journey from them having their need for a product or services to them purchasing from you. This can be figured out in the next stage called Messaging, here we will look into how the marketing funnel works for content marketing, how content is used to answer the questions that your audience might have as part of their purchasing journey.
In the meantime download our FREE AUDIENCE PROFILE TEMPLATE, start filling it up your audiences.