Remember when you were just trying to create your business model, draft your objectives, and estimate on the returns? Chances are you were crazy about your target market. Every business owner or marketer knows that he has to tailor fit his products and services to the needs and demands of the brand’s ideal audience. After all, the target market is any brand’s biggest investors — they invest their money, time, and trust.
When marketers study the target audience, they usually look at the demographics. And that’s how it should be done. Find out what their age bracket is, are they mostly male or female, are they employed, do they commute or drive their own car, are they married, do they have strong political leanings, etc. All these are very important. In the world of content marketing, each content produced must appeal to the target market — it should help them, inform them, make them feel good, fuel them to take action, and so on. Identifying your target audience in content marketing, just like all forms of marketing, must be based on facts and research. Crowdsourcing is scientific, not gut feel.
The motivational quote “shoot for the moon; if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” doesn’t work for content marketing. More than simply identifying, understanding your audience is necessary to be able to produce a content that will engage them and ultimately convert that engagement into customer loyalty. By now, you probably know all the demographics but it takes more than just numbers and census data to really know a customer. Here are the three things you probably didn’t know about your target audience yet.
- The modern consumer is impatient
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Humans are worse than a goldfish. Over the last decade, attention spans have significantly decreased, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. From 12 seconds in 2000, the average human attention span has dropped to eight seconds. FYI, it’s nine seconds for a goldfish.
Media consumption is at its peak. A new research by Crowdtap indicates that millennials alone spend 17.8 hours a day consuming different types of media, 70% of the time on social media. This is good news for brand marketers who publish content on social networking platforms. However, whatever you want to say, say it quick and say it well. According to a study by Visual.ly, the attention span of today’s consumers when consuming content is only three minutes. This means a marketer has to deliver the message and make an impression on the target content audience in that short span of time. One trick here is to always go visual because according to statistics published by Fine Art Tips, the human brain processes visual images 60,000 times faster than text images. Note, too, that posts with visual content receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without.
Also, never let consumers wait for information. Aside from making your content engaging, make sure that the page loads real quick. A fast-loading site isn’t just vanity and luxury, it is a necessity. According to marketing consultant Rick Whittington, customers expect a website to load within two seconds max. If a content takes longer than three seconds to load, a research by Strange Loops shows 57% of prospective customers will abandon the website while 80% will never return to the site again.
You are dealing with a market that is impatient. Making them wait and bombarding them with useless content will mean huge losses in sales, engagement, and customer base.
- The modern consumer is always mobile
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Is the content you are producing being published on a platform that is mobile-friendly? If going mobile is not yet part of your marketing strategy, then you are missing a lot. A lot means over one third or more than 30% of consumers who are “only-mobile” users, according to a Nielsen study for xAD and Telemetrics called “Mobile Path to Purchase.” If you haven’t noticed yet, mobile has already overtaken desktop in popularity as mobile devices account for 64% of time spent online. And get this — 42% of mobile users consider mobile as the most important resource in their purchase processes.
If you are wondering how to spot your ideal audience more effectively, make going mobile a priority. Mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular because they provide a simpler and a more personalized platform for the target market. It also gives a sense of exclusivity. So go mobile because that is where your consumers are and that is where they expect to find you.
- The modern consumer wants to get personal
The beauty of content marketing is that it does not indulge itself with self-promotion. Its purpose is engagement and relating with the target audience. To be able to do this, a brand must appeal to the senses, it must make an impact, it must be able to influence and it must at least try to change the way people live their lives.
An article from Propelrr, a Digital Marketing Agency, suggests that marketers must create a persona of their ideal audience based on data and research. But instead of just going after the “who” and “what,” the persona must exemplify the market’s interests, frustrations, struggles, and goals. Engage with them more through surveys, polls, and posts. This way, you will get a grasp of who you should be speaking to when you publish your content. It is also important to keep track of their online behavior and media consumption — what are the stories they like to share, what platforms are they using, what hashtags they use, and so on. Most social media platforms provide analytics and insights you can use.
You think you know them so well but then you don’t. Remember that consumer’s data change from time to time. Aside from the obvious changes with age and locations, interests, sentiments, and preferences also change. Identifying your target market demands more than just getting bio and census data; you need to really be interested in them for them to be interested in you. Identifying and segmenting the market mean truly understanding how the consumer’s mind works, how to keep them interested, how to get under their skin, and how to keep them hooked.
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