Almost every time we ask a new or prospective client who their target audience is, they think we mean in terms of demographics. In other cases, they don’t have a target at all, and think that targeting to “everyone” is the best bet.
We have a different approach for thinking of target audiences, and it’s always good to understand that approach along with understanding your video objectives — which we talked about last week. After all, who you are speaking to is just as important as what you are trying to achieve — because what’s a good message if you’re not saying it to someone who cares?
Forget what you thought
First of all, let’s eliminate the idea of “anyone” or “everyone” as a target. We’ve said it over and over that trying to be all things to all people rarely works. The only case in which this approach makes even the slightest sense is in a branding campaign — but if you’re more corporate than commercial, then even that is best to stay away from the general.
Secondly, let’s explain why thinking of target audiences as a demographic breakdown is a real progress killer. Thinking of target audience in terms of demographics assumes that all people within that demographic share the same wants, needs, goals and pain points. However, anyone who has their own business or oversees a field like marketing, sales or even customer service knows that this isn’t always true. It’s an unsophisticated approach to assume that all white males age 28-35, for example, have the same priorities.
Think of your target audience in terms of adjectives
The first start is to think about what “kind of people” you are appealing to — remember, that doesn’t mean age, gender, race or class. Start with a list of adjectives. Maybe you’ve created an app that helps gamify working to allow people to focus on their task and hand and they “lose “if they do something else, and you want to introduce your product. Your target audience would probably be working people. It would probably also be unfocused or hyperactive people. There are a few other things you could keep in mind: committed or dedicated (to getting a job done well), competitive, prideful, a huge number of things.
Regardless, notice how despite the relatively easy-to-link adjectives, these could still be different demographics of people. They could be people in their 30s working in an office, or they could be high school and college students trying to study. They could even be trying to meditate or focus on an art project. Either way, those adjectives will far more greatly influence your video’s tone and writing than the titles.
There will still obviously be some common demographics. If you’re an insurance company explaining a new group benefits model, you don’t have to worry about marketing to children and teens, or unemployed people. If you’re an automotive manufacturer, you don’t have to worry about people who don’t drive. This much is obvious.
We’re just saying that demographics aren’t everything.
Understanding market segmentation
Your target audience will always be divided into smaller segments. For established companies, you have the people who already like or love you, and you don’t need to worry about getting them on the hook. Of course, that’s not to say that you don’t have to worry about keeping them there. So a video should be made with those people in mind, while maybe not catering to them first.
Secondly, there’s the segment of people who could be clients, but aren’t yet — or even those who used to be but moved on to someone else. They’re someone with a need for what you do who may have found someone to suit those needs better. Or, they just don’t care enough to actually buy what you’re selling, to use what you’re offering. So the challenge then becomes making them care, differentiating yourself from the competition.
Then there’s the third segment of people who are not likely to ever care. While it is possible to convert them with a message that inspires belief in what you do, you often can’t tackle this segment with the same kind of messaging that would normally target the former two.
Your new approach to target audience
Now that you know that “target audience” probably doesn’t mean what you thought it meant, it’s all about applying that to the plan for your next video. Hopefully, last week you were paying attention when we talked about strategic video objectives (if you weren’t, how convenient — it’s right here!) because these principles go hand-in-hand.
You now know the “who.” You also know the “what” and “why” at this point. Now comes the actual production — the where and when, and, most importantly, the how.