Having a clear understanding of your target market is important to developing an effective web business strategy. Different target markets respond to and need different types of things.
For instance, a business that targets younger people who are heavy users of Facebook should probably make their Facebook page a central element of their strategy. For certain audiences, Facebook may even be more important than a website.
In contrast, a business that an older audience and that relies heavily on search traffic may want to put more emphasis on their website.
In other words, understanding your target market can help you figure out what online channels you need to focus on and why.
In addition, knowing your target market can help you figure out where and how to reach them. This may help you figure out how to get them over to visit your website, too. For instance, is your audience going to be found via social networking getting recommendations from friends or are they going to be using Google to search for what they need? You also want to know what types of websites they tend to visit and see if you can advertise on those websites to attract their attention.
Some additional areas where knowing your target market can help you focus on the right things:
- Visual look and style. If you know your audience, you can tailor your design approach to appeal to them, e.g., men vs women
- Messaging and content. You want to use the right tone, writing style, and reading level to engage your visitors in the way they are accustomed to communicating.
Understanding your target market starts with learning the basics like demographics. Things like age, gender, race, location, education levels, and income levels.
But then it should extend into two important areas that are especially relevant to designing for the web.
- Use cases. Use cases relate to the goals and tasks visitors have in mind when they visit your website or Facebook page. You want to know what they are going to be looking for and then make it very easy for them to accomplish it. For instance, are they looking for detailed information about your products? Do they need to be able to place an order? Do they need to get support for a problem they are having with your product? By outlining the various things people will need to accomplish, you can design these capabilities into your website.
- Personas. Personas represent typical users to your website or Facebook page from a demographic and behavioral perspective. Personas tend to focus more on aesthetic and behavioral aspects of what typical users want as compared to use cases which are more functional. For instance, if your largest target segments consist mostly of older women, then you know that your website needs to have a more feminine design as well as larger, more readable fonts.
Please contact us to discuss how we can help you understand your target market.