08 April 2018
How to Effectively Predict What Your Target Audience Needs
Understanding your target audience is a vital component of meeting the needs of your site visitors. You’ve likely heard before that you need to consider your target audience and their needs, but how can you predict what they might need and deliver?
There are approximately 1.9 billion websites online and that number changes by the second. Choose any given topic, and there is probably a website covering it. With so many sites clamoring for the public’s attention, you must stand out from the crowd if you want people to devote some time to visiting yours.
Fortunately, there are some accurate ways to predict what your target audience needs. If you can meet their needs, then you’ll have a better chance of gaining a loyal follower.
1. Understand What Generation Your Audience Is
One of the first things you should look at when determining audience needs is the age range of your audience. For example, if you sell funeral insurance, then your target audience might be Baby Boomers or the Greatest Generation, but if you sell skateboards, your target audience is likely Generation Z.
Once you understand the age range of your audience, you can better predict their needs. Someone over 60, for example, might need a slightly larger font and more contrast between text and background than someone who is 15.
Notice how Skate America uses bold and bright comic book colors to pull in their target audience. The use of red and blue also has a youthful appearance that speaks to a younger generation. They seem to understand pop culture and the superhero movies currently on the market, and they tie into that trend with these Marvel Comics decks.
2. Study Trends for Your Site
Take the time to dig into your site analytics. You can learn a lot about your target audience when you study how they land on your website and what they do after they arrive. For example, if you notice that a lot of traffic is coming from Pinterest, then you can assume that a number of your site visitors are women. 71 percent of Pinterest’s 72.5 million users are women.
Once you see some patterns, you can make your popular posts easier to access from your home page and create user personas that represent your typical user. This allows you to put yourself in that person’s shoes and figure out what they most want from a business.
3. Anticipating Questions
One way you can predict the needs of your target audience is by figuring out what questions they might have about your product or service. Visit forums related to your industry. What questions are people asking in those forums? How can you answer a similar question on your site? Look at emails and communication from your current customers. Whatever questions those customers have, a new customer will likely have.
Take a look at how Uniquely You Orthodontics answers new patients’ questions about life with braces. The answers are from questions they’ve likely received over the years about eating with braces. The list includes foods to avoid as well as foods to eat. The guide also answers questions such as whether a bit of mouth tenderness is normal and when the soreness will go away. They even delve into sports and braces.
4. Study Trends
Even though each audience is unique, there is some advantage to studying Internet trends. Some things apply across the board no matter who your audience members are. For example, visualizations better engage all age groups. Around 93 percent of communication is non-verbal, which shows how important visualization is to your overall marketing plan. Adding videos and infographics is a smart way to engage your audience.
You can also apply current design trends to reach a younger audience, or jump in on a trending topic on social media. Engaging your target audience doesn’t always require knowing every single element about their lives. Sometimes, it is simply using good, solid techniques that work across the board.
5. Study Your Competitors
Your competitors are likely already reaching your target audience. You can learn a lot about your audience’s needs and wants simply by studying what your competitors are doing. Take the time to sign up for their mailing lists. Visit their sites on a regular basis. Study their marketing methods. Your goal is to do even more than they are doing and figure out what they aren’t offering the audience that you can offer.
You can also gain some insight into online methods by plugging your competitor’s website into a tool such as SEMRush. This will inform you of what keywords they are using and what their traffic is like. Watch their advertising on social media as well. Did you know you can set up a Google alert to inform you anytime someone mentions you or your competitor online?
Venus Clothing anticipates the needs of their customers using a number of techniques. First, they show a big, beautiful image of someone wearing one of their dresses in a beach setting so that the consumer can see one way to wear the dress. Next, they offer the ability to select other dresses in their Caribbean Escape line.
They also offer free shipping right at the top of the page, something that people shopping for this price range of clothing appreciate. Everything about the page focuses on what the consumer might need.
Meeting Your Target Audience’s Needs
Figuring out what your target audience needs requires studying the data and using a bit of common sense. Think about past questions and concerns, and you’ll be halfway to meeting their needs before they even realize they have a need.
Over time, your customers’ needs may change. The best way to continue to meet those needs is to simply ask your customers what they want and weigh that against the other data you have on hand. Focusing on your target audience is simply smart business sense and well worth the time investment.