One of the biggest themes in my business is that your marketing means nothing if you don’t understand your audience’s needs. That is why today I want to focus on why understanding your audience is so important to your marketing message. For me, this has been an obsession as of late as I want to learn more and more about what my audience needs from my content. I have been creating a number of surveys and quizzes to find the answers to these questions.
To help you, here is an excerpt from my book Your Writing Partner, where we discuss how to use connect with your audience to improve your marketing message.
How to Understand your Audience
“There is no B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human #H2H” – Bryan Kramer
The biggest challenge most writers have is they don’t know their target audience or what their prospects want.
As a professional writer, I often face this challenge. When I worked as a copywriter for a marketing agency, I often needed to tailor articles for different markets. One moment, I wrote for consumers who need countertops or electrical work in their homes. The next, I was penning an article for organizations that needed a bus to drive them to their next event.
Then I switch gears to help an attorney find clients for his personal injury business. Finally, I write an article for an agency’s blog to generate B2B clients. It could get confusing, so maybe we should start with what not to do.
What you should not do
Did you know that baby food scares some people? Gerber did not. The cute photo of a child on the packaging in the United States for generations represented the best food you can get for your children.
Yet, in other parts of the world, baby food means something entirely different. Something far more sinister.
It turns out that in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa, where the illiteracy rate is high, most companies put the picture of what they want the child to consume on the packaging.
If you sell a bag of apples, then you put an apple on the bag. When Gerber decided to keep a photo of a child on the packaging for another region, some people in Africa believed the baby food contained real babies. Oops!
Imagine how horrifying it was for the audience. Then imagine how the sales dropped off a cliff for Gerber in Africa. Because they did not understand their audience, they were not able to capitalize on the new market.
Steps to Understand your audience
First, You need to understand your target market. It is the first law of writing. Before you even write your first article, website page, or email, you need to consider what they want. Note: This is something we discussed in further detail in Your Writing Partner.
You should continue to do it long after the 21 days are over: read. A world-famous author once told a classroom of children, “If you want to be a great author, you need to read, read, and read some more. Then when you do that, you can read, read, and read some more. However, at that point, you then need to read, read, and read some more.”
Samuel Johnson put it this way, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
Great authors are great readers. The more you read, the more you discover different nuances, words, and ideas to inspire your content. Reading also helps you understand your audience.
The good news is that not everyone needs to like what you write! You just need the right audience to appreciate your message.If you want to discover