If you’re a business with a bottom line, what's the point of a digital strategy if it isn’t contributing to conversions? Creating, distributing, and marketing your content to the right people in the right place is key to driving conversions from online channels. But, who are the right people and what are the right places? We’ll tackle how to identify your audience in step 1 of this process.
Before you begin the process of identifying your audience, you need to take a hard look at the product or service your brand is offering and what needs it fulfills. Unless you are selling the magical all-in-one: I will wash your dishes, walk your dog, and make time stand still contraption (please someone invent this), what you’re selling will have a few distinct problems it solves and needs it fulfills.
For example, if you’re selling SEO and Content Marketing Strategy services, we can assume that you are solving the problem of another business that has non-existent or weak SEO strategy and implementation, who would also like to improve it.
Product/Service: SEO and Content Marketing Strategy
Problem Solved: Increasing SEO and Content Marketing for X-Business in Need
Many times, it’s not always straightforward or your product or service can solve problems across multiple distinctions. In this case, pick your top 3 to 4 and focus on those.
After narrowing your product focus, ask the question, “Who is best served by what my product is providing?” Start broad. For example, let’s say you built a music sharing app which allows you to transmit whatever you’re listening to via bluetooth to friends nearby.
In this scenario, a group of 18-21 year old college students would appreciate your app’s functionality more than a stay at home mother of 3. Start there.
Identify Age, Sex, Income, Geographic Location, and perhaps marital status of 3-5 types of people who your product or service would help the most. We’ll use these 3-5 outlines to move into the fun part…
Notice how I didn’t start with this one; however, analyzing your data is crucial in identifying your audience. Look at what the data is actually telling you. If you think you should be marketing to a stay at home mother of 3 but are actually attracting 16 year old high school girls, there’s a problem.
Analyzing the data of who you are bringing to your site, if they’re converting and where they’re coming from gives you large amount of feedback on where you are falling short or if you are perhaps overlooking a lucrative segment.
Do the types you’ve previously outlined show up in your data? Why or why not? If so, are they converting and if yes, how can you drive more of them to your site?
In this stage, your data analysis serves to see if you’re on target with the types of people you have identified to target or not. Dive in. Get a holistic picture and if your data supports your hypothesis, craft your user personas.
Think of the prior steps as mixing the ingredients and this one as actually baking the cake. User personas represent fictional characters that define the needs, core motivations and behaviors that your real or prospective customers project. Instead of focusing on a huge target, personas allow you to find the sweet spot in your marketing campaigns when it comes to identifying your target audience.
User personas can be built to the specifications you need, but ours typically include:
Defining these 3-5 personas gives you definitive targets for any content creation and helps focus your efforts on those who will most likely convert. I personally like to reach out to real life people in my network who can help fill in the blanks about touchpoint locations and challenges that our services can help alleviate.
Understanding those who you want to target and what motivates them gives you a better idea of how to target and capture your audience for conversions. Having detailed user personas makes this task 110 times easier because you always have a reference of where, when and how to target.
Before attacking a content strategy aimed at online conversions, it is crucial to outline and identify your audience. Narrowing your product focus, identifying the people best served by your product, analyzing data, and crafting user personas will provide you with a clearly defined and actionable audience to target with content.
In the next article, I’ll outline how to Target, Engage and Track your Audience for Conversions. In the meantime, drop us a line, leave us your thoughts below or let us know how we can help.
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