How do you use your target audience profile?

This is article #
in the series:
Questions to help you build a better website
August 2020

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How do you use your target audience profile?

Knowing who your target audience is is only half the story. To actually get the most out of it, we have to correctly apply this knowledge to our website. 

For that, we need to consider three things.

  1. What motivates your audience?
  2. What are their hangups? 
  3. Implementing your findings 

What motivates your audience? 

We all have positive reasons (e.g. wants and desires) and negative reasons (e.g. fears and worries) why we get out of bed in the morning. 

An effective website uses these motivations to emotionally trigger their audience. For example, if your audience cares a great deal about fashion, emphasizing your fashionability (by way of photography, language, and design) on your site will draw them in. But if they couldn’t care less, doing so would be a waste of time.

You can get at a lot of your audience’s motivations by re-interpreting the psychological profile you already built up. Sometimes this will be quite easy. Perhaps they’re constantly talking about owning expensive gadgets. Or perhaps they worry about their children and their family members a lot. 

At other times, you’ll have to dig deeper or a more obvious motivation might hide a subtler deeper motivation.

For example, if they spend a lot of time showing off what they own and wear then they probably care a lot about owning and wearing designer things. But it also suggests that your audience is very conscious of—and motivated by—status. 

Similarly, if they spend a lot of time exchanging recipes, sharing cooking advice and showing pictures of things they baked or cooked, then they care a lot about cooking. But again, on a deeper level, it hints at their desire to be respected for their kitchen skills.

If you carefully go through your profile, you should be able to come up with a list of such motivations that you can tap into when you build your site. 

What are their hangups? 

But that’s hardly the only thing you can extract from their profile. Just as important are their hang ups as these can often end up being roadblocks to your website’s success. 

Sometimes these are the flip sides of the motivations you already listed. For example, if they care a lot about status, then a dinky looking website will turn them off.

Sometimes you need to read between the lines a little. If you find a group of people who spend a great deal of time trying to appear sophisticated and mature, then they might be turned off by bright colors or cartoon figures as they might perceive those as childish (even if they’re not, chances are they’ll be overly sensitive!). 

In the same way that you created your list of motivators, try to identify some of the biggest problems you’re going to have to tackle to get your audience to buy your product. 

Implementing your findings

Once you’ve fully reinterpreted your profile in terms of these facets, you’ll have a much better idea of how you can make your website appealing to your audience. Now it’s just a matter of finding the strongest emotions you want to use and tackling the biggest hang ups that might lead them not to buy your product. 

At this point it’s also important to think about what emotions you’re comfortable tapping into. 

You might decide not to activate your audience’s most potent emotional triggers. Don’t feel you have to! In the end, it’s important to be proud of what you’re building, and how. That will make it much easier to market it and create content for it as you push forward. 

Besides, it will make your website appear far more honest and genuine. And that matters. After all, the best relationships are those built on a foundation of trust. 

So, armed with these triggers and hangups, you've got the pieces in place to begin designing one of the most important aspects of your website, namely its introduction. The hook is vital to get right. How you make sure you do so is something we'll tackle in the next article in the series.

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