Cabin fever blog
The GetUWired small business blog here to clear the internet marketing fog.
You CAN Please Everybody: How to connect to different target audiences in your ads
If you want to catch the most fish, you need to cast the widest net, right? Wrong. Chances are, no matter what kind of business you’re in, you’ve probably got lots of different kinds of customers. So how do you write ads that connect with your target audience when your target audience includes lots of diverse types of people?
Hit them where it hurtsTrying to create one ad or angle to appeal to everyone will get you exactly nowhere. Our world is drowning in advertising, and people simply tune most of it out. Don’t you? But what people don’t tune out is advertising that hits them right in the feels – right in that “They’re talking about ME!” zone. When you’ve got a problem, it’s tough to stop thinking about it, isn’t it? Maybe a big life event coming up, or some subject that’s so important to your life that you simply cannot shake it? Your customers are the same way. The way sales – all sales – work is this. Your customers have a problem, and they buy your product to solve it. So if you want to sell your product to three different kinds of customers, you have to figure out the three (or more) different ways they are framing that problem in their minds.
Sorting – Not just for laundry anymoreLet’s say you sell retirement planning services. A patently unsexy product, but one that literally everyone in the world needs. So you’re already starting off with a potential customer base of “everybody.” Good for you.
- First, you want to sort out people you are least likely to sell to:
- Elementary schoolers
- People who are part of a Doomsday cult (they won’t need retirement savings on their spaceship)
- Broke college students
- People about to celebrate their 95th birthday
- Your target audience probably looks more like:
- College Grads - People who are young, but they’re in their first “real job” and are starting to think about “grown up” money management.
- Family Folks – These people are dealing with the stresses of managing careers and raising kids. They are very busy and have a ton of responsibilities. But they are concerned about their future and the future of their children.
- Soon-to-be-Retirees – People who are looking at retirement in 10-15 years and need to get on the stick about getting their retirement life on track – fast!
Objectivity countsFiguring out what selling points of your products will be most tempting to potential customers can be tricky for folks who are creating their own advertising. This is one really good reason to hire an outside company to do your marketing. You’re simply too close to your product to look at it objectively. Like if you asked me to name the best part of my kid, I couldn’t. Because to me, ALL her qualities are awesome! She is practically made of awesome. But if you asked her teacher, she’d probably give you a much more specific (and useful) answer. Advice: ALWAYS try to put yourself in the mindset of your customer, not work from your own expertise and insider knowledge. Your insider knowledge won’t resonate with them.
Figuring out what your target audience wants to hearIt starts with knowing the basics of your target market: age, gender, socioeconomic status, location, education, etc. Literally any kind of information is helpful, because it helps us create “characters” in our heads that we can imagine speaking directly to. We think about all the parts of your customer’s life. For the “Family Folks” category above, their three top priorities in life right now are very probably 1.) Taking care of their kids, 2.) Juggling all their responsibilities 3.) Worrying about the future of themselves and their families. You can add on to that 4.) Caring for aging parents, 5.) Paying for the kids’ college, 6.) Getting some time to do what THEY love (because they spend a ton of time taking care of other people). And just like that, you have six solid angles to base your advertising on. Get your audience’s attention by speaking to their big worries, and then promise to solve them with your product, and you’ve got a solid ad on your hands.
BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE RIGHT?? – A/B Testing to the RescueWell, you don’t. Unless you’re psychic, you won’t know until you try. And if you are psychic, you should stop selling retirement planning and play the lottery. This is where A/B testing comes in. Not only does it allow you to create a bunch of different ads and run them against each other to see which ones work best, but it also gives you the freedom to take risks because you don’t have to choose one Holy Grail ad and hope it works.
- Different ways you can use A/B testing include:
- Running ads at different times of day to see which time works best
- Running ads with the same “angle” but different wording
- Running ads with different angles
- Running ads for different products to see which product your specific market is most interested in