Creating your target audience profile may seem like a game to some but it does have an important role. You could say that these are perfect individuals your audiences can identify with. More importantly, figuring out who these personas are, helps you understand who you are talking to.
A broad picture
When you first started your business, you had an idea of which needs your business can cover and which problems you have solutions for. You must have already had an idea back then of who might be in need of what you have to offer. Use this knowledge to create a broad image of different personas which might turn to you. Define their needs and the benefits they get from doing business with you. Often times, one of the first and most apparent ideas you will get about this persona is what it is they do.
Research the demographics
Now that you have a general idea of who may choose your business and why, you can try to materialize this person my gathering demographic data. The data is available as a part of several analytic tools. Some of them are integrated into social media you use. The data cover the following: age, gender, language, race, occupation, income, education, household size, and marital status.
Pay attention to how your groups are formed. There may be certain obvious differences within a single group. As the age groups are usually the first set of data you will come across, try to make them as small as possible. This is particularly noticable in certain stages. For example, an age group of 45-65 can include people in the workforce with children who are still in school, as well as grandparents who have retired. Of course, only if you find that this type of information is relevant to what you do.
The next step after gathering the data is the analysis. You are to recognize the most prominent trends including ages, occupations, ethnicities. Are these trends telling you anything at all? Run them against your broad picture and see how you can fit them in.
The cultural influences
Apart from the language your audience uses and their race or ethnicity, have a look at their geographical position. The geographical position will show you the markets you should focus on. Moreover, it could also tell you something about the cultural influences that may be dominant across your target audience. Not only that, but different regions and even different climates can determine the lifestyle people of the area. The knowledge of this will help you determine whether you are talking about active nature lovers or urban dwellers. You can get an idea of the places they like to visit and the way they like to spend their time. You will find out whether your audience lives the California way, or the Alaska way, to give an example.
You know the type of problems you may be able to solve. You also have a rough idea of where your audience is and what their lifestyles are like. What you are still to find out is their interests, values, attitudes, desires, and needs. These will help you shape a real person.
For example, let’s imagine you are a developer of a weather app. You can help those who wish to have no surprises when they are planning their weekend gateways or their long mountain hikes. The demographic data will reveal a lot. Is your customer Margaret who is a retired high school teacher, keen on living a healthy lifestyle and who never misses an opportunity to go on a walking holiday or spend an afternoon hiking with her husband? Is it Brandon who is a 30-year-old storm chaser? The examples may be a bit broad, but the analysis could really lead you to these types of conclusions.
Now that you know who you are talking to, you need to be able to know where you can find them, and what their online behavior is like. Do they spend any money online? Do they do their own research, or do they rely on the data shared by their friend on social media? How often do they spend their money online and what do they spend it on? Are they very likely to click on an ad?
Narrow it down
With everything you have managed to find out you can now narrow down your broad picture to several different profiles and deal with their concerns. List their needs and their problems. How do you fit into that picture? What is that makes you so special to be able to resolve their problem, that is what are you bringing to the table? Find the channel where you can come across them. Do they read the news, or are they on social media? What makes them skeptical and what you can do to reassure them and gain their trust? There are a lot of questions, but once you know who you are talking to, you will find out answers to all of them.
Your business depends on sales. Everything you do is sales-driven, and thus it is an important role of every digital marketing agency to be able to target the audience well. A persona will tell you what to sell, to whom, where to sell it, how to sell it and under which terms. Ability to gather the data, analyze it, and fit it into your broad picture will help you make a success of your digital marketing campaign.