You don’t know me! Get personal with your audience.

Metrics Monday brings momentary panic as department managers get their first glance at the numbers from the week before. Spikes, dips, negative customer feedback and jagged red lines precede the rolling up of the sleeves. The content is fine – even good. After all, you wrote it yourself and you know your audience. Or do you?

Write for your true target audience

Ask any business owner who his target audience is and the response is often an emphatic, “Everyone!” Actually, it’s not. What are the odds that a 17-year old kid earning minimum wage at his after-school job will purchase a $30K car? Slim. He may, however, pocket his earnings to buy a new tablet or smartphone. Make your content matter to your true target audience.

Casting a wide net doesn’t help when it comes to content. Personalize…

Casting a “wide net” doesn’t help when it comes to content. Personalize…

Develop personas

A persona is a fictional character created by companies and marketers to help them identify their target audience. Companies often create multiple personas. Some even name their personas to humanize them. Developing personas is a long-haul process that may change multiple times. It’s also an excellent way to predict your customers’ decision-making and spending habits. You need information. Time to get nosy!

Many companies put a great deal of resources into creating personas. Others go the DIY route and tap into their email lists to perform surveys, request feedback and even contact a portion of their customers for information such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Income
  • Education
  • Profession
  • Family status
  • Spending habits
  • Internet/web habits
  • Social media habits

The more you know your audience, the more you can focus on what matters to them in an authentic way.

Cover your content bases

Customers want simplicity – don’t muck it up. While you may want to add the birthdate and name of the quality control worker who approved the product in your content, leave it out unless it’s pertinent. A wall of text that rolls off the tongue like a dissertation on dirt is a no-no. The average website visitor stays on a page for 15 seconds. While SEO is imperative for your audience to find what they are looking for, don’t stuff keywords. Just be real. Content isn’t only copy. Content is also imagery, social media, videos, blogs – the whole communications gamut.

Content communicates the message to the user, the visitor and the customer, who is also a person. The person cannot see your face or the intent in your eyes, so strategize your words and tone to send the correct message.

Content gaps + bad metrics = opportunity

Metrics Monday doesn’t have to be a pain. Consider bad metrics an opportunity to better understand your audience. Look for the gaps in your content. They are easy to find. The squeaky wheel complainers are almost certainly your Tour Guide to Gaps and Opportunities. Don’t just read their feedback. Read into it.