Imagine that you’re sitting in front of a group of three-year-olds, explaining who Abraham Lincoln was. Now imagine that you’re recounting his life story to a roomful of high school students. While the topic may be the same, your presentation to your young audience will be vastly different from the one given to the older listeners.
Knowing your audience is key to creating content that will resonate. While it’s easy to tailor and refine your message in face-to-face communication, it can be a challenge to customise it for an audience that is largely invisible. Keep reading for a crash course on how to get to know your audience.
Identifying Your Audience
Just as you customize face-to-face communication to reflect the needs and interests of your audience, your video content should be designed to best reach your virtual audience. Clearly, that’s going to be really tough if you don’t even know who they are.
Market research used to be done almost exclusively by large organisations, but today, businesses of all sizes are using market research data to better target and understand their customer base. Fortunately, technology is up to speed with the times, making it easier than ever to conduct formal or informal research.
If your brand is on social media (and it definitely should be), look at your followers. If you’re a new company or you simply need more insight, browse through your competitors’ followers. What age groups do you see? Take a look at their profiles. How do they spend their free time? A young adult with disposable income and a passport has different needs from someone juggling the responsibilities of their career and home life.
Ultimately, your goal is to get as many details as possible about the people that you’re reaching.
Communicating with nameless, faceless followers is tricky, so why not give them a name and a face?
Once you have an idea of who your audience is, it’s time to build customer personas. Customer personas are detailed descriptions of each of your ideal customers, describing things like income bracket, life phase, behaviours, interests, marital status, habits, and any other defining feature you can think of. Give each persona a name, and think of it as an actual person rather than an abstract idea.
When creating a video, refer back to your customer personas to ensure that your message, tone, and content are all relevant to them.
Putting Yourself in Their Shoes
To further connect with your audience, step into their world. Take a look at how they communicate with each other in public forums; are they formal or casual? Do they use jargon?
People naturally trust others who they feel are most like them, so if possible, emulate their tone and vernacular in your video marketing campaigns. Just remember, you don’t want to be the “cool dad” at the birthday party who uses terms and references that he really doesn’t understand. If you can’t mirror their communication patterns naturally, then just don’t.
When it comes to building meaningful connections with your audience, there are no shortcuts for taking the time to understand who they are and what motivates them.