When you or an employee at your company begin creating a new piece of content, updating your product’s or service’s features, or developing a campaign, what steps are taken?
I bet one of the first things you do involves thinking about your audience — who they are, what their challenges look like, and how they’d benefit from your product or service.
When you know your audience, you can ensure the items you sell and the content you produce consistently resonate with them — and, as a result, boost conversions and improve customer loyalty.
In this article, you’ll learn about the importance of knowing your audience and how doing so will help you convert more leads into paying customers as well as improve your customer retention rates.
Why is it important to know your audience?
Regardless of the position you hold or the team you’re on at your company, knowing your audience is beneficial. By understanding who these people are, you can tailor content to their needs, provide specific types of service and support they’re seeking, and ensure your product or service will resolve any challenges they’re experiencing.
When you know your audience, everything you do will be more likely to resonate with the people who matter most to your success — your leads and customers. This is how you foster strong, long-term relationships between your audience and business as well as a sense of brand loyalty and advocacy over time.
Now, let’s look at some ways to get to know your audience.
How to Know Your Audience
Review any current data and analytics
Look to previous successes among your audience
Create buyer personas
Keep an eye on your competitors
Monitor audience feedback, comments, and engagements
Experiment with content and updates to your products and services
1. Review any current data and analytics.
When getting to know your audience on a deeper level, begin by reviewing any current data about this group you’ve already collected. This includes all relevant analyses your company has conducted about your customers since you’ve been in business.
For example, maybe you’ve already held a focus group with real customers who shared their feelings about your product or service. This gives you a starting point to work from when learning about your audience on a deeper level — you already have some understanding of the real pain points and challenges they experience and what they need from your product or service.
From there, consider the other types of audience-related information you’re missing and need to obtain. For example, maybe you create and administer a survey for your audience members to get answers to much more specific product or service-related questions you have for them.
2. Look to previous successes among your audience.
When researching your audience, don’t neglect what’s currently working for your audience in terms of your products, services, customer support, and marketing efforts.
This valuable information tells you about your audiences’ continued need for your product or service and why they’re already enjoying their interactions with your business (e.g. your product development, customer support, marketing, and more). As your business grows and product or service evolves, refer to these successes when making decisions that impact your audience to ensure they’re beneficial and necessary.
3. Create buyer personas.
Next, create buyer personas if you don’t already have them. With buyer personas, you’ll be able to understand the needs and wants of your audience and customers. They’ll guide your product or service development and allow you to market to your specific audience more effectively.
As a result of creating buyer personas, you’ll be able to better understand a wide array of reasons why your audience members need your product or service, how you can target and convert them, and create long-lasting relationships with them. Additionally, buyer personas help your entire business — cross-team and cross-function — stay focused on your target audience so you have a larger chance of reaching and connecting with them.
4. Conduct surveys.
Another way to get to know your audience on a deeper level is through surveys. Surveys are effective for getting very specific answers to questions you have for your audience about your products or services, marketing efforts, customer support, and more.
With surveys, you can ask your audience for both general statements and specific details about what they want and need from you, which efforts of yours they already enjoy, and what they recommend you work on (as well as why). Surveys are also great because you can elect to make them anonymous, which often incentivizes participants to be completely honest — meaning, you get the real data and results that matter.
Keeping an eye on your competitors when it comes to all aspects of your business is important to your success. This allows you to understand what your competitors are and aren’t doing well, how they’re targeting the audience you share, and what those audience members are and aren’t responding to. This will help you determine how to reach your audience in an effective way that’s also unique to your business, all while saving you time in the process.
6. Monitor audience feedback, comments, and engagements.
When you monitor a person’s actions and tendencies over time, you learn a lot about what they do and don’t like, what their habits consist of, where and how they seek support, and more — and your audience members are no exception.
Monitor audience feedback over time through feedback, surveys and forms, as well as their comments and engagements on your blog, customer support channels, community web pages and forums, and social media profiles. This will tell you which positive and negative experiences many of them are consistently having so you can resolve the largest issues immediately and maintain the things that are working well for your audience.
7. Experiment with content and updates to your products and services.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with your content and updates to your products and services to better understand your audience. Testing out new ideas among audience members is a great way to determine whether or not your business is effectively evolving with your audience as you grow and create new product or service offerings and features.
For example, maybe your marketing team pitches a plan to reach your audience via an entirely new medium or engineers have plans to update features within your current product or service. If you think these plans are feasible and worth giving a try, go ahead and see how your audience reacts to these changes.
Who knows? You and your team may be onto something that helps you resonate with your audience even more than you already do — and improve retention rates. Or maybe, you learn something simply doesn’t work for your audience, and now you can avoid investing in similar changes in the future.
Get to Know Your Audience
Getting to know your audience isn’t always a simple process, but it’s a necessary one. This is how you’ll ensure you’re sharing content that resonates with your audience as well as creating products or services that your buyer personas and target customers want to buy.
It will also help you convert these audience members into long-term, paying customers who will become loyal advocates of your brand. So, start working through these steps to getting to know your audience better and begin reaching the people who matter most to your success and impact your bottom line.
Originally published Jan 7, 2020 8:00:00 AM, updated June 15 2021