Knowing your target audience is the first step before thinking about developing any piece of content, whether it is an animated explainer video, a blog post, a newsletter, a whitepaper, or anything else.
You have to give them something relevant, something they care about, in order to get their attention and, ideally, their engagement and trust. You really have to carry out thorough research in order to understand what pain points they have, what content they’d like to get, what opinion leaders they follow, among other details. This is the only way you'll have a clear idea on what to communicate and how to do it -efficiently-.
Of course, you might find out several techniques that will lead you to sketch a stereotype of your buyer persona. Today we'll share with you 3 different ideas that will certainly help you on this adventure. Keep on reading!
You can start doing some interviews with a few people. On one hand, you can carry out interviews with the people who are constantly in contact with your target audience: sales people, if you're working in a company that has this type of team, or with your customer service team, they will undoubtedly have a big picture of what their pain points and needs are.
On the other hand, you can do some research among current and past customers, in order to understand exactly what their profile is. You can look into demographic aspects, such as age, gender, and location, and psychographic aspects, in order to better know their interests, behaviours, consumption habits and those types of characteristics.
Another good idea is going out there in your market/niche and talking to those who resell your product (or a similar one), and to those who buy it.
Interviews are a great way to get answers to questions that are specific to your business, having a direct approach with your target audience, or with those who know them in depth. Piece of advice: prioritize phone calls or face-to-face interviews over email.
You can carry out surveys as a secondary instance of research and a complementary tactic. If you don't have a specific target audience defined yet, you can use tools like Survey Monkey or Google Consumer Surveys that will let you target a broad group.
Make sure the information you collect is actionable; don't ask questions just because you're curious! Also try to keep it short (usually, the more questions, the fewer responders) and always be neutral (don´t use language that can lead the customer in a particular direction), like this example:
You can use the following questions archetypes (among others): who are you? what are you using the product for? how is your life better thanks to it? what do you like the most about it? what made you sign up for our product? did you consider any other alternative / which one? is there anything else you'd like to share with us? - Of course, you can include other questions that are specific to your business, or even broader, more inclined to personal preferences or browsing habits; it all depends at which stage you are at.
The benefit of carrying out surveys is that, although they won't give you deep information like interviews will, you can get interesting and useful data on a larger scale, and they are not as time-consuming as personal interviews might be.
Social Media Analytics
Using social media platforms to better know your target audience can be very revealing. You can start by analyzing what your customers are saying about you. You can track your mentions by using platforms such as TweetDeck, or more complex dashboards such as Sprout Social. Another useful tip is analyzing who else your customers are following on Twitter or use Followerwonk to see who's linking to your content and any potential prospects in your niche.
Tip: another great way to research how your customers behave is by analyzing what kind of content that you’ve produced that they post on their social networks. You can use the Google URL builder to track the click-throughs of different pieces of content through Google Analytics.
The great benefit of social media platforms is that you can gather information from spontaneous activities. Sometimes people are not willing to give interviews or to fill in a survey. Resorting to social media networks can help you understand who they are and what they care about.
Still have some doubts? You can check out this article in which we share a simple step-by-step guide on how to identify your target audience. Enjoy it!