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My soapbox is
just about worn out. I've been preaching the necessity of knowing
your target audience for at least 10 years. "You can't write
effectively to someone you don't know," is how my spiel would
normally go. When one day someone asked me to show him what I was
talking about. "I'm writing copy for computers," he said.
"Everybody needs and can use a computer. How could a general
product like that possibly have different target audiences?"
I'll show you exactly how.
With Your Definition
Don't ever begin
an analysis of your target audience with the word "everybody."
The people who fit into your target group are individuals. They
certainly share common traits, needs and wants, but they are unique.
When defining your customer base, and the segments within it, be
as specific as possible.
If we go back
to the computer example, we would surely find several segments
within the target group who buy computers. One would be senior
citizens. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project
Report, 54% of Americans ages 60-69 go online. In fact, 21% of
those over the age of 70 also go online. In order to surf the
Internet, these people need a computer.
do seniors have when it comes to computers? Fear is a big emotion
that comes into play with this crowd. While they love the idea
of being able to keep in touch with family and friends, many in
this age bracket have a hang-up with learning to use new technology.
Ease of use and a low learning curve are some things that must
be communicated clearly.
School and College Students
up using computers in the classroom, and most likely at home,
students are generally very comfortable and confident with this
technology. If something breaks, they'll figure it out themselves
or just get a new computer. Portability, the latest technology
and speed are the biggest factors for students.
younger users, gaming is a primary function, so the computer they
want/need has to have large amounts of RAM, hard drive space and
virtual memory. What about cost? Mom and dad are almost always
the money source for a student's computer, so the student isn't
interested in the price. If mom and dad can't afford it, there
is always grandma and grandpa.
are a tax-deductible business expense, small businesses are still
concerned with price. They are also leery of low price points
and special offers because, most of the time, small businesses
will need to add a good bit of additional equipment to a basic
computer which ups the price.
also normally have no full-time IT staff, so support is an issue
that comes into play. Is help available to answer questions or
troubleshoot if and when networking doesn't go smoothly? What
about repairs? If the computer requires any service, is it done
on-site or does the computer have to be shipped to some nameless
service center? Is there a guaranteed time for repairs to be completed?
As you can see,
each segment has its own concerns about buying a computer. While
"everybody" may need one, every person does not have the
same concerns or needs when making a computer purchase.
that every member of your target audience is alike, take some time
to do a little research. Conduct an informal survey, ask questions
and talk with customers one-on-one. Find out what their wants are,
what concerns they have or what they'd most like to see you offer.
Once you find out, write so that you communicate directly with them
on their level. You'll find your conversion rates rise when you
give your visitors the information they want.
Copy not getting results? Learn to write SEO copy that impresses
the engines and your visitors at http://www.copywritingcourse.com.
Be sure to also check out Karon’s report “Writing With Keywords”
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