Why every company should have an audience profile
Content is king. We all say that, over and over. But why?
Because it has been proven that you gain more by engaging with your customers than through any other marketing tactic.
But how do you gain an advantage?
Well, to start a real conversation between your company and your customers you need to know who they are. Enter, building an audience profile, the cornerstone of any successful marketing campaign.
Audience profiles have been used by businesses for years. The difference between those who use them effectively and those who don’t is that they know how important audience profiles are, how to build one, and how to use it. Read on to find out and improve your marketing strategy.
What is an audience profile?
A company’s audience profile is the collection of characteristics that describe its customers. But it’s much more specific than a company’s defined target market.
It’s like a snapshot of your ideal customer. It can contain information about their age, gender, income level, location and other demographic factors. But it should also include behavioural data such as how often they shop online or how many purchases they make annually.
But this data doesn’t come out of thin air. It’s a combination of research and analysis that allows you to identify your customers’ demographics, needs, wants and preferences.
The purpose of an audience profile is to help you create marketing campaigns that are relevant and engaging for your target customers. Because when you have a clear picture of who your ideal customer is, it becomes much easier to make decisions on how best to reach them.
Why are audience profiles important?
Audience profiles are important to every business, but especially to business-to-consumer (B2C) and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, which are two categories of businesses that rely on their customers to make a purchase.
But here’s the thing: most businesses don’t actually have a solid customer profile in place. They might have an idea of who their target customer is, but they haven’t taken the time — or made it a priority — to really dive deep into who those people are and what makes them tick.
This lack of clarity can be incredibly frustrating for both marketers and salespeople alike because they’re often left guessing when it comes time to make decisions about things like pricing, messaging and more.
So, remember, the better you know your audience, the easier it is to create content that will resonate with them. This means that they’re more likely to share and engage with your content, which can help you grow your brand and increase sales.
What information should be included in an audience profile?
Imagine your ideal customers as one person. Then, write out everything you know about them.
The more specific you can get in your audience profile, the better. The more accurate your information, the easier it will be for you to create content that appeals specifically to that group.
So, what types of information should you include in your audience profile? Here are some ideas:
1. Demographic information
This will make your audience profile more accurate and useful. If you’re not sure what demographic information to include, ask yourself these questions:
What is their age range? What is their gender? How much education do they have? What is their occupation? If possible, try to get this information from actual data rather than guessing.
A good place to start is to research your competitors and analyse who they’re targeting and why. Additionally, you can use tools such as Google Analytics and the public data sets provided by the Pew Research Center on a variety of industries and topics.
2. Psychographic information
This refers to personality traits and values, likes, dislikes and other personal characteristics that define who your customers are as individuals.
Psychographics help marketers understand why people buy products and services, so they can develop marketing strategies that will appeal to them.
For example, if you’re selling computer hardware to gamers, then you might want to know how competitive they are. You can then tailor your content accordingly by including facts about the latest game releases or how-to guides for beating their friends at online multiplayer games.
In order to obtain this kind of information, you should use qualitative research methods such as focus groups, in-depth interviews, and questionnaires.
3. Buying behaviour
This refers to the buying habits and preferences of your customers as well as their attitudes towards certain aspects of products and services.
For example, how quickly they convert, how often they purchase, how much they spend on average, and so on. To gain a better understanding of these factors, you can analyse your customer data using quantitative research methods such as closed surveys, experiment with marketing campaigns and conduct a statistical analysis.
This refers to the problems or issues that your customers are facing. It is important for you to understand these challenges because you can use them in your marketing campaigns and product development efforts.
To gain a good understanding of these challenges, you can use customer insight tools like Answer the Public.
Additionally, you can conduct qualitative research methods such as focus groups, social media analysis, and simply asking people you meet in person.
5. Preferred channels
Your audience may use multiple channels to learn about products and services or receive information about events, promotions and updates. To reach them, you must be able to adapt your messaging to each channel.
For example, Gen Z is more likely to be reached through mobile devices than any other generation. They also prefer to communicate through social media and messaging apps rather than traditional phone calls or email. If you’re targeting this group, your marketing strategy should reflect those preferences.
Also, you should know how your audience uses each channel. For example, some people might be more comfortable receiving promotions through email than on social media. Learn more about cross-platform marketing strategies here.
6. Preferred content types
You need to know what kinds of content your ideal customer wants to see before you can create it — whether it’s video or text-based news articles, reviews or other types of content that fit with their interests and needs.
What are the steps to creating an audience profile?
If you’re just starting out, building an audience profile may sound like a daunting task. But it’s not as hard as it seems — here’s how to make an audience profile in six easy steps:
1. Determine your marketing goals
The first step in building an audience profile is to determine your marketing goals, which can be broken down into three categories:
Brand awareness — The primary goal of this type of marketing is to increase name recognition and improve the public perception of your company. This can be achieved by increasing the number of people who know about your brand, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they know what you sell or how you can improve their lives.
Increase Sales — If you want to increase sales, then you need to focus on converting visitors into leads or customers. This might mean using PPC advertising to drive traffic directly to a landing page with information on your latest product or offer. Alternatively, you may want to use retargeting ads that show specific offers based on previous purchases or actions within your website (e.g., add to cart).
Lead generation — Lead generation often involves a combination of brand awareness and sales goals so it’s important not to think about them as two separate things when creating an audience profile. For example, if you want customers who are interested in purchasing from your company today but don’t yet know what products or services exist, you may want to create content that they benefit from for free. This will help you build credibility amongst your audience.
Once you’ve determined your goal(s), you can work backwards from there to create a successful chart-topping audience profile.
2. Dive into analytics to get a better understanding of your customers
Once you’ve made a decision on your marketing goal(s), use data and analytics to create a prototype of the persona that best represents who will be most likely to support it.
Gather data from your website analytics, Google Analytics, Facebook Audience Insights and other sources that can help you understand what your audience is interested in and how they behave.
As we mentioned earlier, take note of demographic information like age, gender, location, and job type. Also consider psychographic data like personality traits, interests and values. Also, understand where your audience typically comes from. Is it organic search, your social media profiles, email marketing or paid advertising?
Another strategy you can use in order to leverage your analytics is to examine where your customers are converting and where they’re not. If you notice that a lot of conversions are coming from a particular source, then it’s time to focus your attention on that channel.
3. Use qualitative data to determine what your audience is struggling with
Once you’re armed with demographic data, it’s time to start thinking about the pain points of your audience. This part of the process should be as qualitative as possible. It can include surveys, interviews and focus groups — anything that allows you to get inside the heads of those who matter most to your business.
Qualitative research can help you answer questions like:
- What are the biggest challenges your audience faces?
- Why do they struggle in this area?
- What solutions do they currently use?
The answers to these questions will provide you with insights into what type of content to create and how you can solve their problems better than the competition.
4. Collect psychographic data
The fourth step in creating an audience profile is to collect psychographic data.
If you work for a company that sells directly to consumers, look at top influencers’ content so you can get an idea of your audience’s psychographic traits.
This kind of information helps marketers understand the beliefs, values and interests of people who are likely to be interested in a product or service. For example, if you’re trying to sell something to college students, you might want to know how many hours they study each day and what kinds of activities they participate in outside of school.
You could use this information as part of your audience profile so that you can create ads that speak directly to your target market’s interests and concerns.
5. Combine all the information
Now that you have all the information about your audience, you can put it together into one profile.
Typically, businesses include graphics so that they can easily see the information and use it to create marketing campaigns. This is also a good time to think about what your business has to offer, such as products or services, and how you can use this information to tailor your marketing efforts.
6. Adjust as needed
An important thing to remember when creating an audience profile is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Even with small sample size, you can still gather enough information to help you better understand your target market so that you can create content that appeals to them.
You can adjust your audience profile at any time. Many brands make changes to their audience profiles based on the results of their campaigns and what they learn about their customers.
Audience profile example
Here’s an example of what your audience profile should look like if you’re a DTC or B2C business!
Concerned about the environment and the effects of climate change. Only shops for items that are sourced ethically and spends most of their free time outdoors.
Challenges and goals
Wants to live an eco-friendly lifestyle but struggles with finding the time to do so.
Is looking for ways to make their life easier, such as simple solutions that reduce their impact on the environment.
Is frustrated with how many products are marketed as “green” or “ethical” when they aren’t actually environmentally friendly.
Interests: recycling, thrifting, upcycling clothes and materials, making the most of the outdoors, and gardening.
Lifestyle: Harvests produce from the garden and uses it to create meals. Enjoys a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating organic food and exercising regularly. Wants to make their home as eco-friendly as possible by using sustainable products such as bamboo toothbrushes and bamboo flooring.
Values: Sustainability, ethically sourced products, locally grown food and organic goods.
Age: 25-35 years old
Gender: 55% female, 45% male
The audience profile is a great way to share with your team the target audience and goals for your next project. It helps everyone on the team have a shared vision of who they’re trying to reach, what their problems are, and how you can solve them.
However, the profile should be a living document that changes and evolves as your company grows and changes. If you’re just starting out, it can be helpful to start with a broad description of your target customer—like an age range or job title—and then “zoom in” over time to add more details about their interests and pain points.
If you’re still unsure of how to create an audience profile, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help!