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How to identify your target audience and speak their language

February 2, 2021

Knowing your target audience and how to communicate with them is the key to success when promoting a new product or service. This article will outline some formulas to help you narrow down your targets, then use those insights to create personalized content that speaks to their values, needs, frustrations, and more. 

Start by asking yourself these simple questions: 
What problem is my product or service solving? 
Who are my current customers? 
Who is my competition? How are they successful? How are they not? 
What is my unique identifier? (What sets my brand apart from the competition). 

 By answering the above, you will figure out: 
 Why your brand’s product or service deserves to exist. 
 Who is going to read your content. 
 What your competition is doing and starting points for a strategic plan. 
Why your audience should choose you over anyone else. 

Insights and Analytics

Look at your current platform’s insights and analytics. This will provide real-time, data about who your current following is and how they’re interacting with your brand.  

Facebook and Instagram insights are a great starting place to get to know your current audience. If you’re registered as a business account, within the insights section you can review ‘Your Audience’. Here you will see your follower breakdown for weekly growth (follows and unfollows), the top locations where your followers are (cities and countries), their age range, their listed genders, and their most active times (hours and days). 

If you have a website with Google Analytics, take an in-depth look at Demographics, Interests, Geo (Geography), and Behaviour Overview sections.  

Demographics and Interests will provide data about your visitors’ age, gender, and even interests that they have expressed through their online journeys and recorded purchasing activities. Geography data will present information about your visitors’ language and geographic location. The location will be broken down into country/state/city from which the visitor originated. 

There are a few main sections to evaluate in the Behaviour Overview report: Pageviews, Avg. Time on Page, Bounce Rate, and % Exit. Pageviews will tell you what pages your visitors are viewing and how many of those page views are repeat visits. The Avg. Time on Page provides data on exactly that, the average amount of time visitors are spending on a page. These areas will help you recognise what content is holding your audience’s attention. The Bounce Rate and % Exit will show the pages your audience is leaving from and will help you recognize where you’re losing their attention. By analysing these sections together, you can decipher what content you should prioritize communicating with your audience. 

 
Create personas based on your brand reflections, insightful research, and some educated guesses. There are six types of market segmentation, depending on your industry certain sections will require more detail than others. 

Personas

Demographics: age, gender identity, occupation, income, family status, and education. 
Geographics: continent, country, region, city, borough/district. 
Psychographics: interests, attitudes, values, lifestyle. 
Behavioural: awareness of the business, previous purchases, purchase patterns, usage level, product knowledge, product/service rating. 
Needs-based: problem-solving needs, functional/practical needs, emotional desires or frustrations, and value alignment (example: religious, dietary). 
Transactional: recency, frequency, and monetary (how much they spent). 

It’s a good idea to make more than one persona so you can curate content and language to suit their characteristics. It’s also important to update them over time so your data is current. 

Hubspot and Xtensio have great templates to help guide you and get your process started. 

Speaking their Language 

Once you’ve identified your target audience, how do you communicate with them? Analyse the details in your personas. Use language that mirrors theirs and descriptive words that speak to their wants and needs

For example:  
Colleen is a young new mother, who loves to cook and try new recipes, she frequents foodie blogs and is always on the hunt for innovative cooking tools that will save time and assist her in her new busy lifestyle. 

“Don’t let a busy day keep your family from enjoying delicious meals. Cooks-A-Lot’s new air-fryer is a healthy alternative to deep-frying and is easy to clean! Our hand guide also has 50+ unique recipes for you to try. Don’t miss our TGIF Sale!” 

Remember to communicate the problem you’re solving, incorporate elements about their values and lifestyle, and use phrases that resonate with them. A great way to find unique phrases and terms to implement into your communication is through consistent social listening

Utilizing the information you’ve gathered in a persona build will undoubtedly guide you to finding the right tone-of-voice to make real, authentic connections with your audience. 

If you’re launching a new product or service and want to discuss building a strong digital strategy,  contact us  for a free consultation. 

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