“I already know my customer! I have their persona, some statistics, and…”
Most of us have been guilty of writing off our target audience likes this at some point, but the truth is we might have actually been correct. At that time.
The trap that we fall into is not realizing our target audience is a constantly moving target. They’re always changing. Preferences, likes, dislikes, trends, etc…can have an effect on the perception of your brand.
So how do you keep up?
Fortunately, there are a few principles that drive these changes but don’t change themselves. Here are four insights you can learn from your online audience to tailor your website content, build influence, and increase conversion.
If you know exactly what content your audience wants, you’ll know what to give them. So how do you find that out? Start snooping and figure out the other places they hang out online. Here are a few ways to get you started:
Find the pain so you can ease it. But don’t stop it.
Pain is uncomfortable and creates urgency. It motivates people to take action.
We know if we don’t get to the top of our client’s to-do list, they probably won’t take action. All of the features and tactical reasons in the world aren’t going motivate a prospect to action. We need to find those emotional knee jerks that compel our audience to take the next step.
How do you find the pain points?
First, focus on defining the pain. Then, go beyond that and how you describe the solution to your audience. The way you describe it becomes the connection that you make with your audience. If I’m in the market for redesigning my website, I’m not just looking for someone who can design in WordPress, I’m looking for someone focused in conversion optimization who understand the value of a direct response website but can also speak non-geek and take the time to understand my needs. That comes across in their content and website.
Here’s a simple rule I use to identify what makes my prospects say, “Ouch”: Any question that I get more than two or three times, I write down. I keep a list of those frustrations because they always come up again. Don’t rely on your memory. Keep a shared doc and have your entire staff write down questions they get from each department.
Recently, I had lunch with the VP of Digital Marketing at a large bank. Before I meet someone for the first time, I always research the person and their company to prepare. After only a few minutes of poking around the bank’s website, I was really impressed. It didn’t feel like a bank website. It was easy to navigate, uncluttered and I could tell they actually cared about their visitors experience online. That’s a lot more than I can say about my bank’s website! Even though I hadn’t considered it before, just that experience made me want to look into the bank further.
When people visit your website, something will stick out to them. That something is either going to move them forward to action or backwards and off your site to your competition. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on SEO to get your site to the top of Google, if you don’t spend time on the on-site experience, it’s useless.
Don’t leave that “something” up to chance.
What’s the one thing you want your website to be remembered for? What is the reason people are going to come back? Is it the sincere tone of your brand’s voice? The simplicity of the design? A quick response? Helpful content?
Whatever it is, keep one thing in mind. Your content must be consistent with your offline experience. It should be a reflection of what visitors will experience on the phone or in your store.
You now know who your audience is and a few things about them. But what do you do with that information?
There’s a big difference between knowing who makes up your demographics and acting on them. If you can’t act on the data, it’s useless.
The more you know about your customers, the more you can tailor your content to resonate with them. Here’s a list of a few demographics and ways to apply each to your website and content. Use these as a springboard to think about your own target demographics and how you can make them actionable.
The first step to great content and a website that drives your audience to action is defining your content strategy and what success looks like. Once you’ve defined your strategy, use the insights above to zero in your target. The clearer the picture you have of your target audience, the less energy and resources you’ll waste in reaching them.
What actionable insights about your target audience have you found helpful?
Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife, son, and daughter.