September 22, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
The better you know someone, the easier it is to communicate with them. A relationship between a brand and its audience is no different. The more you know and understand the people who interact with your company, the more targeted you can make your content and messaging. Today we’re looking at how to create an audience profile that helps you reach your clients with messages that make them want to act.
An audience profile is a document that segments your target market into smaller target audiences to reach with each campaign. An audience profile has four components:
Creating an audience profile helps you make more personalized marketing campaigns. Not every product or service you offer is for everyone in your target market. Take CopyPress, for example. Not all of our clients need product descriptions or eBooks. Brands that do are still part of our target audience, but we don’t market product descriptions to businesses and agencies looking for eBooks. It makes more sense to create specialized campaigns with offerings for each segment separately. Focusing on personalized marketing helps you create higher-converting campaigns because there’s less guesswork about what’s going to appeal to your audience.
Follow these steps to create an audience profile for your marketing team:
With any marketing planning, project, or campaign, it’s always best to start with your goals in mind. Ask yourself and your team what you’re trying to accomplish by doing audience profiling. Do you want to discover areas where you can increase sales? Are you trying to figure out which content channels get the most engagement from your audience?
Your campaign and profiling goals affect the research that you do and the decisions you make throughout the process. Without goals to guide you, your profiles won’t have direction. They’ll be useless in helping you make strides with your marketing.
In addition to goals, every good marketing campaign or project relies on research to influence the right path to success. When creating an audience profile, there are plenty of data sources available to help you get information about who your audience is and how they behave as partners or consumers in your industry. Some data sources to explore include:
Analytics programs track web and content performance across all your brand channels and platforms. They also give insight into how your audience behaves when they encounter your brand or its content across the web. With analytics, you can track content performance like search engine ranking, engagement, shares, and bounce rates, among other metrics. Google Analytics is one of the most popular programs for reviewing asset performance like your website and search advertising. Most social media platforms come with their own analytics tools that measure similar metrics as Google Analytics but for those specific services.
Analytics data is primarily quantitative, meaning you measure it in numbers and you don’t have to do deep interpretation or synthesis to understand the results. If your engagement rate on a post is 40%, that’s where the analytics stop. They give you just the facts, but not the reasons why the numbers are the way they are. This is one reason why you shouldn’t rely on analytics alone to understand content performance or your audience’s habits. When you pair the analytics with other kinds of research data, you’ll have a more complete story of your brand’s standing and performance.
Qualitative data is the information that gives the “why” behind quantitative analytics. This type of data can include open-ended, self-responses from your clients, customers, or web visitors about their experiences. Common qualitative data collection types include reviews, polls, surveys, comments, and social media posts. Responses through these channels give you a better look at and understanding of the client experiences with your brand, both good and bad.
This information explains how people access your content and what they expect to see. It also gives insight into their purchasing habits, such as where they’re buying from or how much they’re spending on certain products or services. When you review this info with your analytics data, you get a clearer picture of your brand reputation and engagement with the audience. The analytics give you the statistics, and the qualitative data shows you what’s influencing the analytics and why.
Demographics about your audience give you more information about who they are on the surface. This type of information includes things like:
Demographics tell you the bare basics about your audience makeup. It’s important to know these things to make sure your target audience matches up with the actual audience you’re drawing in. For example, if you run a clothing store for teenagers, but you find the demographics of your social media followers are women in their 50s, there’s a disconnect between your marketing and your brand image. Knowing who your target audience is versus your current audience helps you make changes and shift your campaigns to appeal to the right demographics.
Psychographic information takes demographics a bit deeper to help you understand the attitudes, values, and behaviors of your audience. People’s family systems, cultures, and beliefs play a huge role in how they interact with others and how they view and approach relationships with brands. For example, many millennial and Gen Z consumers care about the ethics, values, and causes brands support.
A study from 5W PR shows that 83% of consumers from these generations think it’s important that a company’s values align with their own. A portion of the group has even boycotted certain brands based on their stance on issues. Getting this type of psychological insight about human and consumer behavior makes it easier to determine how best to reach your target audience with your messaging, based on what’s important and instinctual to them.
It’s important to know which of your brand channels receive the most engagement and visitors. In addition to social media platforms, other channels include direct marketing, your website, apps, and even any offline marketing tactics your brand uses. Knowing which channels appeal to which segments of your audience helps save time and resources when launching marketing campaigns.
Rather than blasting all your messages on every channel, you may decide to make ones specifically tailored to those who subscribe to your emails, based on their psychographics and buying habits. Tailoring your campaigns to certain channels makes them feel more exclusive, and it also helps personalize your messages further to connect with the audience more deeply.
What problems do your clients or customers have and what can your brand do to solve them? Discovering your customer pain points makes it easier to know what they’re looking for when they’re searching for content and solutions online. The more you can address the things that bug your audience, and show how your brand is a solution to those problems, the better chance you have of capturing your audience’s attention and encouraging conversions.
Information about your competitors’ brands and how they conduct marketing also gives insights into your audience. What content do your rivals share that performs well? What’s the angle of each of their campaigns? Do they do anything that doesn’t perform well with your audience that you could improve and do better? Knowing the competition and how they appeal to the same leads is a way to make sure your messaging is different, yet still appealing to the right group of people.
The research you do and the data you find should help you collect a lot of information about your audience. The next step is to sort and group the information you found out about your audience into segments. An audience segment is simply a subsection of your larger target market, grouped by similar characteristics. How niche you go with each segment depends on your campaign goals and the data you collect from research. While every brand should find multiple segments within their target market, make sure you don’t over-sort the data.
For example, a decent-sized segment for our teen clothing store example may include females ages 15 and 16 who value environmentalism. Over-segmenting that group may narrow it down too much so that not enough of your audience members fit into the category. Imagine if you changed the segment to reflect females aged 15, born in Colorado and who use Instagram, come from single-parent families, and value water conservation issues. Do you see how the second segment is too specific? There may only be a handful of audience members, if any, who fit that category.
Finding the right balance of characteristics for your segments could take some trial and error. But a good rule is to make sure your segments are large enough to capture a swath of your audience, not just a few individuals.
After you’ve segmented your audience, it’s time to develop the right campaign messages for each one. Returning to our example of the teen clothing store and the broader audience segment, your company would now need to determine how best to reach these leads.
The data you collected from your research is still helpful here to determine the best ways to connect with this audience. Look at the qualitative data from this segment and learn what this group says about your brand online. Maybe they’re not aware that your company offers a new line of imitation leather products made from recycled materials. This line appeals to their interests and values and could be worthy of a campaign to increase awareness.
Even the best campaign messages only matter if your audience segments see them. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re putting your content and ads on the right channels. Again, the data you collected from your research helps determine where to share messages for each segment.
If the data shows that your environmental-loving teens get most of their information from and engage more with content on Instagram and TikTok, then those are the places to share your message about the recycled imitation leather line. Choosing the right channels for each message may also depend on your budget and available resources. For example, if your brand doesn’t have a TikTok account and doesn’t have the team to create and update one, then you may double the efforts to post to Instagram instead of spreading resources across two channels.
One of the best ways to know if you’ve gotten your segments, messaging, and channels right is to measure the performance of every campaign. You do this through the same sources you used to collect data to kick off the profile creation: analytics and qualitative data sources. Both areas can help you tell if your campaign messages are hitting the mark with the right audience segments. They can also tell you where you can improve to see even better results.
Monitor campaigns through both qualitative and quantitative methods so you understand the full scope of why something is or isn’t working. Analytics alone may only tell you that a particular campaign isn’t taking off on Instagram as you expected. But through comments and posts, you may find it’s because there’s a broken link in your profile. Monitoring your campaigns also helps provide more data for your next ones, and gives the insight to help you adjust your audience segments to be as accurate and beneficial as possible.
Your profile won’t stay the same forever. As the industry changes and societal expectations and public opinions evolve, your profile will, too. Segments can change as you offer new products or services or as new technology and content channels come out. It’s important to evaluate your profile at the start of every new campaign and take a long look at your segments, messages, and data. If something is outdated, remove it. If there’s new information available, add it. Doing these kinds of revisions keeps your profile up-to-date so your campaigns perform successfully.
Use these additional tips to help create and implement audience profiles in your marketing campaigns:
To go even deeper into audience profiling and understanding the minds of your clients and customers, create a customer persona for each profile segment. Personas tell a fictional story about an individual client or customer who could interact with your brand if they were real. Personas often look like resumes or character analysis sheets and list the traits that define the profile segment you include them in.
Creating personas helps with the messaging stage of profiling. Using them as a guide helps your writers and strategists find the right angle and positioning for each message within a campaign to achieve maximum results.
If you want more qualitative and psychographic data for your profile, give your audience a chance to share their feedback with your team. Creating interactive feedback options like polls, quizzes, or submission forms helps collect data about your audience wherever you share content. Preparing clear calls to action (CTAs) in your content, such as asking people to share their experiences or leave a review also increases the chances of getting helpful feedback to fuel your audience profiles.
The best audience profiles come from thorough research and accurate data. Make sure you’re ahead of the competition by downloading your free content analysis report from CopyPress. This report shows how your content compares to your top three competitors. Information on your backlinks, top-performing content, and keyword strategy tells you more about your audience’s behavior when they interact with your brand and others in the industry.
To receive your report through email, complete the form below. After you’ve had time to browse the results, schedule a chat with our strategy team. They can help you understand your results and how to apply what you’ve learned to your audience profiling and other areas of your marketing strategy.
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