Nice to meet you: How to create an audience profile
Much like the Cheshire Cat told Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic, if you don’t know where you want to go then it doesn’t matter which way you go, if you don’t know who you are targeting then it doesn’t matter what content you produce.
Content developed with no strategy and no target audience in mind is missing the mark and is likely to be lost in the overwhelming divulge of information available today. To ensure your content makes its way into the right hands, develop an audience profile that allows you to create for a specific person instead of a faceless mass.
Why an audience profile is an important piece of the content strategy
If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know how much I stress segmenting and getting to know your target audience. In today’s personalized world, mass blasting just doesn’t work. An audience profile is another tactic in helping you personalize your audience.
With these profiles, you can target your content to the specific needs of each of your segments. By relieving those exact pain points, you become valuable to your audience. You build relationships with these customers that will keep bringing them back.
Knowing specific details about your audience will help you create personal content. A sex therapist who has developed illustrated how-to resources about positions to help Little People who face hip rotational issues during intimacy and a foodie blogger who has made a gluten-free recipe section are examples of personal content created by doing some research and knowing the audience’s needs.
Conducting research for an audience profile
To know your audience members, you’ve got to talk to them, watch what they’re doing, listen to what they’re asking, and figure out why they need you. If you’re just starting off in business, your audience profile may be a fictional character. As your business grows, your audience profile will morph into actual details you gain from your real-life customers. (Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster discussed this on a recent podcast).
Descriptors to include when you’re creating your audience profile include:
-Demographic (Age, Sex, Location, Education, Family Status and Income)
-Social Media Preferences
-How They Like To Spend Their Free Time
-Why They Need You, Why They Love You
To find these details out, ask:
-Why is my audience in need of help?
-What is my audience searching for to help them?
-What happens if they can’t find what they need? What happens if they do?
-Where are they on the web?
-What can I provide them and where to accomplish their goals?
-How can I be of value to them?
To answer these questions:
-Interview your clients
-Survey potential clients
-Review your analytics
-Study what your competitors are offering
-Network at events where your audience members will be
An audience profile in action
With Aubia Communications, I target expat entrepreneurs to assist them with their public relations needs. Here is one of my audience profiles I created once I decided on this niche.
Traveling Tracy is a 36-year-old woman who is a trailing spouse, following her partner abroad for his/her work. She is college educated and has previous work experience in a corporation. When her spouse took this international job, she made a career choice to start her own venture that could travel with her. She has a few clients from back home and runs her new small business from an at-home office while she cares for her two school-age children with the help of a part-time housekeeper. While her spouse’s job provides the main source of income, Tracy hopes to grow her business to a monthly profit of about $5,000.
Since Tracy is just starting out with her own business, she needs help in promoting her services. She learns beginner lessons in public relations from the Aubia Communications Blog in how to pitch her business to the media, how to write compelling content for her promotional materials, and how she can plan her communications strategies. Aubia Communications can help Tracy with strategic communications planning and content development. Tracy struggles the most with aligning her business strategies with effective communications to attract new clients, especially in her new home abroad.
She is active on Facebook, Pinterest and has a LinkedIn profile that reflects her past experience. She wants to learn more about Twitter and Instagram. She prefers to communicate by email instead of messaging. When she’s not working or running the household, she likes to explore her new home and other international locations with her spouse and children.
Create your own audience profile
An audience profile is an insightful and fun technique to better understand your target audience. I would love if you shared some of your own ideas about your ideal customers in the comments below. What is the No. 1 trait you look for in clients?