Online marketing is pretty scary and creepy to the person who doesn’t understand how it all works.
My cousin posts stuff all the time on her status stating how Facebook creeps her out constantly. She gets freaked out because a tee shirt (which she shares by the way, and most likely buys) appears on her feed that says, “I’m Irish and I love The Rangers.” She’s completely spooked because the marketer nailed her!
Targeting is super important when it comes to advertising online and if you are creeping people out on a daily basis, that means you are probably doing a good job at your targeting!
Conversely, that’s why we all hate TV commercials. I personally don’t want to watch a commercial on the Swiffer because I never clean! Now, if a commercial came on about swimming or waterskiing, I’m all over it.
It is going to be very hard for you to write copy that converts if you don’t understand your audience and you don’t understand who you are speaking to. You need to give your audience what they want to see and hear and they will pay you back with money, likes and shares.
In this post we are going to discuss how to zero in on getting to know your target audience better.
More specifically we’ll talk about:
- The Audience Mindset Trick (before you even start, you need to make sure you are thinking about this the right way)
- 2 Reasons Why Targeting is Super Important (there are a lot of reasons but keep these 2 in mind – it will save you money!)
- 13 Answers You Must Know About Your Ideal Customer (and we’ll dive deeper into some so you really understand what you need to do)
- Action steps to take to do this correctly
Now, let’s get started. First you need to switch something in your brain before you start this process. It’s something we all get wrong when we start out marketing online. Here’s the Audience Mindset Trick to get on the right track.
The Audience Mindset Trick
When you write an email to a number of people, whether it’s 10 people, 100 people or 10,000 people, you’re still writing to a group of people, in other words, more than 1 person. The mindset trick, or the mindset shift that marketers have to adjust is to think about writing that email to JUST ONE PERSON, or one friend, to make it even easier. This might be a hard adjustment at first because you are certainly writing to more than one person, but once you make this shift, your entire approach will be different, and for the better.
The reasoning behind this is mostly for the benefit of the recipient. The email recipient doesn’t want to feel like they are getting a generalized email going to 1 million people. They want it personalized. Make your reader feel special and using words like YOU, instead of “you guys or you all” will make your emails more meaningful to the receiver.
It’s all about making your reader feel special and letting them know you are here to help them.
Of course, you want your products and services to be seen by as many people as possible. However, if you are catering your stuff to everybody with a pulse, you are going to get into a bit of trouble.
For example, if you are a personal trainer and you want to help everyone and anyone lose weight and eat healthy, you are going to have a problem marketing your product. Why? Because you are not targeting a specific person with specific life situations and circumstances.
To sell anything online, the more specific you are the better you will do and the better your audience will resonate with you.
For example, my friend is a personal trainer and she has a 5am boot camp class every day in the heart of downtown Manhattan, in Battery Park. Her target audience is women, age 35-40 who work a very busy schedule – the kind of schedule where you have to get your butt up out of bed at 5am because that’s the ONLY time you have to dedicate to working out. There is no other time in the day that exists for a workout to take place.
If my friend targeted every person (male or female) who needs to lose a few pounds who lives in NYC, she would have a major problem. The problem would mostly lie in her messaging. She wouldn’t be able to have a clear message to the busy female executive of age 35 who wants an extreme workout at 5 in the morning! If she was talking to “everyone” her messaging would not resonate with 100% of her audience, and her 5am class would be empty.
This is why it is extremely important to pick ONE PERSON to target and speak his/her language in your copy so your words will hit home and make that person buy from you or at least want to learn more from you.
Next we’re going to cover 2 reasons why you must get your targeting right, and yes, it mostly has to do with not blowing your entire ad budget away on dumb mistakes!
2 Reasons Why Targeting is Super Important
Targeting is important mostly because of 2 reasons:
2) Ad Spend
Let’s go through both of these.
Your Message is the words you are using in your copy. It’s the stories, circumstances, images and ultimately, the words that are going to convert a visitor into a buyer.
Let’s get back to my friend, with the NYC 5am Bootcamp. When she does her videos and ads, she is speaking to the busy female executive.
She speaks directly to busy women – saying things like “you need to dedicate time just for YOU and for just an hour, leaving work at the office, and the high heels at home.”
Would this messaging work if she was also targeting stay at home moms with more of an open schedule? Not so much.
Would it work if a man saw this ad? Maybe if the high heels part wasn’t there…but the rest of her copy probably wouldn’t match the busy male executive if she was really targeting females, using images catered to females, and using other text and examples specifically for females.
The messaging is your copy, and your copy speaks to your target audience.
Ad Spend and Ad Targeting
Ad Spend is another huge reason why you need a specific target audience.
Back to my friend Laura…
Would you think she would be more successful if she were running Facebook ads and tried to target all of NYC for her morning bootcamp, or if her ad criteria looked something like this:
Live in zip code 10280
Salary [targeting job titles]
Real Estate [owns a home?]
Even the car they drive – see image below for some examples from a great article on how to target the affluent.
The latter would do her much better because it’s way more specific.
It also goes back to messaging. If Laura were writing ads to a specific group of people, the copy in her ads would match the target audience. In doing this, you can blatantly call out who you want to read your ads.
Hey Busy Lady! Here’s a Convenient Way to Lose the 10 Pounds You’ve Gained in the Last 5 Years
Ladies: Get Fit without Losing A Minute At The Office
For the Busy Female Exec Only: The Perfect Workout For Your Busy Schedule
Do you see how everything ties together?
If she were targeting all of Manhattan, both men and women, she would be throwing advertising dollars out the window and her ad copy would get breezed over and completely ignored by the majority of people her ad would not apply to.
Hopefully you are starting to see the importance of targeting and knowing who your customer, or target audience is. This is crucial!
Let’s now discover what you should know about your customer to get this right, and more specifically, 13 answers you need to have sooner than later.
13 Answers You Must Know About Your Ideal Customer
1) Are They Male or Female
2) How Old?
3) Income Per Year
4) Job Title
5) Education (high school, college, Bachelor Degree, Masters, PHD)
6) Single or Married?
8) What is his/her Ultimate Goal (that you can help them with)? BE SPECIFIC!! ex: Have 6 pack abs, higher percentage of sinking more putts, publish a book in 30 days or less)
9) What is he/she struggling with that is stopping them from accomplishing the main goal? ex: too busy, physical strength, bad habits
10) What are their fears if they can’t solve this problem?
11) What solutions have they already tried to solve this problem?
12) What would their life be like if this problem is solved?
13) Who do they already trust that could help them potentially solve this problem?
Do your very best to find the answers to these 13 questions. The more specific you are with answering these questions the better you will do. Why? Because your messaging will be correct and your ad targeting will be correct! When both of these work in tandem, you have more chances for success.
Now, let’s dig a bit deeper into some of the questions above so that we can get a bit more understanding as to what is going on.
Digging Deeper Into The Questions For Higher Conversions
A lot of the questions above are pretty self explanatory, but there are a couple of them that I want to dig a bit deeper into because they are really important to get right. The more you understand how to answer these questions, the higher your conversions are going to be. It’s that simple.
Question: What is His / Her Ultimate Goal?
When determining an ultimate goal, you need to be as specific as possible. So, an ultimate goal of “Lose 10 Pounds” is not specific enough.
A better specific ultimate goal would be Lose 10 pounds in 6 weeks with a huge focus on getting 6 pack abs so I look hot in a bathing suit.
Don’t be afraid to really dive into the heart of the ultimate goal. Without breaking down goals and making them more specific, it makes them less achievable. By knowing the specifics of an ultimate goal, you can make a more targeted daily plan to make the goals a reality.
Question: What Are The Current Struggles?
Knowing the current struggles is SO IMPORTANT. Understanding what your audience is struggling with will instantly make you more relatable because they will realize that you understand them. You will need to talk about this in your copy and you need to hit the mark on what your audience is struggling with.
Let’s stick with weight loss.
Make a list of all the potential things your audience could be struggling with like:
- Not knowing what to eat when you eat out
- Carb substitutes
- Healthier Snacks to eat throughout the day
- Getting through Cravings without reaching for the candy bar
If you don’t know what your audience is struggling with – you’ve got to learn that VERY QUICKLY.
You can learn from
- Google searches
- Social Media
- Friends / Family
Facebook has really optimized their keyword searches and results. Type in a keyword in the Facebook Search and all the relevant groups and pages will show up! If you recall, it wasn’t so simple in the past.
Another Quick Tip:
If you are making a group or Facebook page, make it keyword rich so that people can find you easily in the Facebook Search Bar.
Question: What Are Their Fears?
Knowing the fears of your customer if their problem is not solved is HUGE. If you go back to my selling with emotions post you will see that fear is one of the 6 emotions of why people buy stuff! You need to get the fear part dialed in.
It sounds a little bit cruel to sell with fear, but if you are not up to it, then maybe marketing is not your line of work. Injecting the “what ifs” in your copy is a tactic that will help sell products. Now don’t go thinking you need to scare the heck out of your customer in order to sell them things…that’s not what we are trying to do. However, you can introduce true scenarios if the reader does not solve their problem, like yesterday.
Notice in your every day life how marketers do this all the time. Think about car commercials where they scare the shit out of you showing an accident that can be avoided with special safety features.
Think about any product and you can see how fear is being used. Dog and cat food….is your dog getting enough protein? What are the dangerous ingredients you are feeding your pet?
Here are some examples we could play on with the weight loss niche
- You might get a disease if you don’t cure your problem right now (diabetes, heart disease)
- You won’t be able to fit into the clothes you want to wear / you won’t be desirable
- You could risk getting tired all the time (can’t do as much, have enough energy for the important people in your life)
Obviously, there are tons of fears for weight loss, and we can go on forever. Get the fear stuff right. It’s very important. Don’t overuse it but bring it in when the time is right.
Question: What Solutions Have They Already Tried?
You’ve got to know what else people are doing to solve their problem before they land on your solution.
A good rule of thumb is that you can never really go wrong talking about spending a lot of money and wasting a lot of time. These 2 will always work for the most part.
You can safely assume that people are trying other solutions that are expensive and timely. For example, if someone were to try a weight loss program on their own without following an expert’s advice, that could take more time than if they would just follow someone who knows what the heck they are talking about when it comes to losing weight quickly. The difference of hitting your desired weight goal in 3 months as opposed to 9 months is HUGE!!!
Question: What Would Their Life Be Like If This Problem is Solved?
This is where you talk about the other end of the rainbow. The silver lining. The sunshine and butterflies, if you will.
You need to paint a picture of what life will be like once their problem is solved. Be descriptive! The worst thing to do is let the reader assume what the outcome will be like. Don’t let them assume or guess. TELL THEM. Tell them how they will be happy and free once all that weight is off their body. Tell them how they can go to a store and pick out any clothing article and feel confident in it. Tell them how much their energy will increase so they can play more with their kids. TELL THEM! You can also do this by telling your own story because when you’ve done this all right (explaining your struggles, etc), you will be the model example of how your reader wants their life to be when they overcome this huge problem.
Question: Who Does Your Target Audience Already Trust?
We sometimes call this the “Celebrity Factor”. This is where you want to come up with 10-15 celebrities in a niche that your target audience already looks to for help and guidance. This will help you with targeting later on. If you could find people your target audience already follows, then it’s easier to find your audience!
The goal here though is to go one, two, or even three layers down. What does this mean?
I talked about this in another post but it’s worth repeating here because it’s relevant.
Let’s say you want to market tennis products, and maybe even tennis lessons. Choosing Roger Federer or Serena Williams as one of your celebrities is not the way to go. Why? Because they are too big and too general. Regular Joe Schmoe who knows nothing about tennis could like Roger and Serena just because they are huge tennis superstars and sports icons. See what I mean?
If you are looking to help women become more confident you wouldn’t target people who like Oprah. She is way to broad and general. Remember being specific is the name of the game.
So to get this right, you would need to go a few layers down. Find an obscure tennis celebrity that only true die hard people into tennis would know about. Those are the celebrities you want to target because that is where your die hard fans are going to be hiding 🙂
Ok – we are done covering the last few questions that I wanted to dive deeper into so you really understand what we are doing here.
Now, it’s your turn and time for you to get to work.
Post Wrap Up – What This Means For You
In this post we learned what we need to know about our target audience to be able to relate to them and show that we understand them. There’s more we can always learn, of course, but this is the core stuff.
The action step for today’s post is to do all you can to answer these 13 questions to the best of your ability. You may not get it 100% right initially but you will learn more as time goes on.
I’ll refer you over to this great post that will give you some ways and help you get these answers and really get into the minds your customers. The current post you are reading is more about the answers you should know and why you should know them, but the next step is finding the answers, which could be another challenge in itself…it may take some time, but you’ll get there!
And finally, another great resource to find your ideal customer – check this post out by Ben Adkins about getting your audience to trust you.
Want to be forced to write copy that converts and holds your hand in getting to know your exact target audience?
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