Audience Analysis – What, Why and How

audience analysisAudience analysis is an essential component for building relevant and effective content. Audience analysis is figuring out, who will come to your content; what are their questions; why do they come; what are their demographic information; etc .The more that you understand about your audiences the better your chances of developing an accurate profile of them. Audience Analysis is a process of creating several personas – fictional character descriptions, each of which represents a specific type of site customer- by analyzing online audience types, demographic information, behaviors, goals and tasks. The analysis is also help to create scenarios or use cases which are basically communication conversations between the online audience actions and system response.

Why is Audience Analysis important?

Most SEO efforts are focused on creating and optimizing content against a list of keywords. But keywords don’t buy products and services – but customers do. To really make a difference with more effective online marketing, businesses should become sophisticated in their understanding of customer needs, behaviors and preference. Your goal is to write content and build the right website for the people who need it. Audience Analysis will guide you to create relevant and quality content.

Your website will appeal to people that share a specific demographic, professional level, role, geographic location, or any number of factors. And, each may approach with different expectations. A little bit of strategic planning greatly increases the potential of a website to reach, engage, and convert website visitors to customers.

By knowing what customer groups care about, online marketers can do a better job of creating relevant content that is easy to find on search and social media websites that inspires online audience to buy and share. The better the alignment of content availability of relevance with customer interests, the more effective content marketing plans and efforts become at increasing sales and customer satisfaction.

What are the deliverable?

Persona

A persona is “an archetype, composite picture of the real people who buy, or might buy products like the ones you sell.” Personas are fictitious users that exist mainly to be design target. Personas help you understand whom to design for and how to make user happy.

Working with persona is an act of empathizing with customer needs and organizing common sets of characteristics into a corresponding profile. Insight into customer needs will help to develop a more relevant and effective online marketing approach.

Scenario

Scenarios are short stories or descriptions that give a good sense of the people who come to the site, what they like, and what they want to do at the website. Scenario can be also tailored to interaction model between online user’s action and system’s response to user’s action.

How to do it?

4 steps for understanding your audiences

1. Collect information about your audiences

There are several methods you can use to gather information about your audience.

  • Talk to customer service representatives to understand – who are calling
  • Talk to marketing / sales representative to understand – who are they targeting
  • Read emails / comments that come through your contact us page and feedback links to understand – who are they
  • Provide a simple survey form on your website and invite feedback
  • Use demographic information from Google analytics. You can also collection demographic information from the websites www.quantcast.com, www.alexa.com, www.compete.com.
  • Use social media analytical tools to collection audience information
  • Do interview people who buy or might buy your services and products

2. List major audience groups

To list major audiences – ask how do categorize them – for example

- Students, parents, travelers, patients, drivers, local residents, entrepreneurs

- Teachers, researchers , journalists, doctors, healthcare professionals, mechanics

Or your audience groups may include – Client/ Consumer/ Customer/ Member/ Subscriber (the obvious), Media, Employee, Investor, Influencer, Reviewer, Strategic Partner, Affiliate Patron/ Benefactor etc

3. List major characteristics for each audience

You need to collect your audience demographic information, questions, technical expertise, social media usage or profiles etc. Here are some information that you may want to add in persona

  • Demographic information (Gender, Age (range), education Level, geographic location, Occupation/Role, Income Level etc)
  • Key phrases or quotes
  • Experience and expertise
  • Behavioral Information – online goals and tasks, internet usage characteristics, device preference, social media engagement, preferred content format

4. Use your information to create persona

Depending on the company mix products and services, and variations within the customer base, anywhere between 5 to 10 or more personas are created. A persona should include the essential data points necessary to understand the context and motivations for that customer group relevant to your business goals. As you know the different characteristics, questions, experience and preferences of each of the persona, it is time to map the persona with keyword groups, social topics and content type.

Finally, the key thing to remember about this audience analysis is that you must have a well-defined persona- audience profile at the end of the process. You must have a clear defined attributes and definition that will help content developer, writer to develop appropriate and effective content for each of the audience’s group- persona.

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