“Know your audience” is one of the most popular sayings in digital marketing—it is almost as well-known as “content is king.” Content marketers preach understanding one’s target market and writing posts for them.
While it is crucial to know your audience, few businesses can genuinely claim that they are familiar with their audience and its wants. The best marketing messages state people’s challenges, goals, and desires clearly, and make them feel like their concerns are the enterprise’s as well. Here are pointers for figuring out how to write with your audience in mind.
Speak As Your Audience Does
The best copy won’t come from an A-list marketer—it will be from the customers themselves. To create posts that appeal to your target market, speak the way they do. However, it is pretty easy to overdo this, especially if the marketers in charge of a campaign aren’t part of their audience.
If you want to nail your market’s voice, you can mine three places—reviews in your niche, conversations in forums, and interviews with members of the target audience.
Lift Concepts or Phrases from Reviews
To figure out how your target market speaks, look at reviews of your product or service. Consider as well reviews of products similar to yours and ones that belong to your direct competitors. Online reviews on Google Business, Amazon, or third-party review sites are an excellent source for studying customer voice.
Besides learning how they speak, reading reviews will show you what people like, how the product solved or didn’t solve their problem, and what they wished it could do.
For example, suppose you sell headphones, and you want to introduce a product geared for noise cancellation. When you check Amazon, you’ll find reviews like this one:
The phrases “listening experience” and “cut out the noise” sound like they would come from an audiophile, so you can use them for your marketing copy. Besides finding phrases you can use, going through reviews will help you see customers’ concerns. For example, looking through the review above will show you that some customers prefer to listen to podcasts or audiobooks to fall asleep. You’d also see that some people are particular about the fit of their headphone tips.
You can explore these in blog posts or advertisements you make for your own noise-canceling headphones. Review mining will help you find better messages while letting you keep a pulse on your target audience.
Online Conversations are a Goldmine Too
Besides product reviews on websites like Amazon, you can visit other places online where your audience talks about their experiences with your product. Quora, Reddit, Facebook groups, and stand-alone forums are excellent places for listening to audience concerns.
Quora is a question-based social media platform. Users on the site can submit questions on all kinds of topics and answer questions related to their field of expertise. On Quora, answers are arranged based on members’ votes, so you know what the users consider valuable information. It is a good place to look up audience concerns and note common issues existing products don’t address.
Reddit calls itself “the front page of the internet,” and deservedly so. According to Statista, Reddit is one of the most popular mobile social apps in the world, averaging 1.6 billion visits every month. This online forum and platform has over 130,000 communities or subreddits. Reddit users, called Redditors, control what subreddits they see on their customized front pages.
Facebook groups are a good place for community building, so it’s a valuable source of pain points for different target markets. Some groups are formed by people interested in a particular topic, while others are run by business owners or brands.
You can join existing groups and read through conversations to start—people are often willing to rant or rave about different matters within Facebook groups because they afford some privacy.
After observing the group’s dynamics and norms, you can start replying to threads. Become an active member—engage others in discussions, ask questions, and encourage others to produce deeper insights.
Joining other businesses ’ pages can be tricky. Many have bans on promoting other businesses, and they will eject you if you try. Participate so you can give value, not promote your brand.
First-Hand Sources are Still the Best
Looking at online conversations and mining reviews produces results in minutes. However, there is no substitute for live feedback. Speaking to your target market is valuable because it gives you space for follow-up questions, something you cannot do when mining data online.
When you have an audience in front of you, whether in-person or virtually, you can keep asking them to tell you more, which lets you drill down into issues to form insights. That isn’t possible with three-year-old reviews.
During your interview, it is good to ask open-ended questions. Here are some of the prompts you can use:
- Why did you (buy/sign up for) our product?
- What do you like most about it?
- How would you like it to improve?
- How well does our product respond to your concerns?
- What would prevent you from recommending us to others?
When you have real, personal stories from users or customers, you’ll know what messages to deliver in your marketing materials.
Knowing the Audience Takes Effort
It is crucial to know your audience, but it is equally important to rely on many methods. You cannot just rely on keyword research, demographics, and the creation of user personas. Although these are good preliminary steps, you need to take your research further and look at reviews and conversations.
Finally, the best way to know your audience is to conduct interviews. You need to let your audience speak to you—not the other way around. If you can create an environment where they’re comfortable enough to speak up, you’ll undoubtedly uncover valuable insights you can use in your campaigns.
When you know your audience’s pain points and the language they use, you can improve the way you create marketing copy. Knowing your audience involves talking to them, learning how they speak, and identifying their most pressing concerns.
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