We think a huge part of your brand’s success is found in understanding your audience and creating a community around your product, service or business. In order to do that and create brilliant content that keeps them engaged it’s important to ask a few questions about your audience; who are they? where are they? what do they like?
Illustration by Giovanna Milanezi
A good starting point is to write down everything you already know about your customers. Speak with everyone in the business from customer service, to PR, to the managing director and even better speak to your existing audience, find out everything you can. At Paved With Gold we build upon this with further research to develop personas for their different audience types. Each new project is informed by a Discovery Phase, where we analyse what competitors are doing and find influencers that can reach our clients target audience.
We work with our clients to build personas for their target audiences. This helps us understand who our clients should be trying to connect with and how.
- Basic demographic information. Age, sex, gender, occupation, income etc.
- Where they are. Geographically in the real world but also where they spend time online.
- What they enjoy. Hobbies and interests but also what content they engage with most.
- Who they hang out with. Find communities or conversations to be part of.
- Who they trust. Celebrity, customer and blogger endorsements or in-depth reviews.
We find this information through several different methods, knowledge already acquired, surveying existing customers and surveys with potential users. Creating personas is useful to get everyone on the same page and thinking about audiences in the same way. It’s a fun process too, taking this information and creating stories around daily lives of the different personas, it really helps to make them real.
Take a look at your competitors
Looking at content from competitors or similar products gives us an understanding of what our audiences will respond to and engage with most. We can learn what content our target audiences likes, shares and talks about. We can sometimes even learn from their mistakes and see what content was least liked.
Another key part of our process is to find how to differentiate our clients brand to build their own following. Something that worked well for a competitor might not work for our client and so we look at positioning our content messaging differently.
Create "frenemies", just because they are competitors doesn’t mean that you can’t be friends. You might have lots in common, but when it comes down to it your core beliefs or aims are different. You can learn a lot by sharing with your competitors especially if you’re operating in a new space. They might have tried out something that really didn’t work, or something that did, their might also be opportunities for partnerships. Pairing up can make penetration into new markets and areas a lot easier.
Identify key influencers
We work with a lot of startups and young companies that are just launching or still in the early stages of developing their products. Many people don’t yet know about them so it’s important to find the right influencers to talk to. Our aim here is not only to get influencers to share our product with their audience but to also build relationships with them. We then use this relationship to collaborate on content, special edition products and ongoing campaigns. It’s not just a link we want from them, we want it to create long lasting evangelists.
It’s this strategic research and analysis from the beginning that helps inform everything moving forwards, from the language used in copywriting, to the overall feel of content, to how we go out and connect with influencers. Over time analysing what works and what doesn’t, and backing up next steps with the numbers. Our aim being to really get to know our target audiences so we can understand the best ways to engage with them and build a long-lasting growing community.