Have you defined your website audience?
By: David Oswald
Are you optimising the content and user journeys on your website to achieve your objectives? Understanding who your website is communicating with is vital in order to make sure you’re working towards your sales and marketing goals.
Whenever our team start a project we always begin with an audience definition exercise. Why?
Well, it helps to narrow the focus, identify who we are communicating with and what their objectives are. This in turn helps us to plan content and user journeys so that those objectives are met quickly and efficiently.
If this is something you haven’t looked into, you’ll probably want to take note of the section below. This is a snapshot of what we do when we look at defining a website’s audience:
Audience mapping matrix
It’s actually pretty simple and it follows a few key headings…
This is everyone who your website will reach. For example, if you’re a property developer then this would be prospective buyers, local authorities, building suppliers, investors etc. It’s important to rank these audience types from high to low in order of importance of them to you. This way you can make sure that they, as the primary audience(s), are top of mind when making decisions around content.
The next step on from the above. Here we’re defining the roles that make up those ‘types’. For example, ‘prospective buyers’ could be: first time buyers, second home buyers, young families. This just helps to break down what can feel like a big audience type in smaller, often relatable, groups of people.
We’ve identified our types and roles and this is where we start to think about the ‘why’. So why is that particular audience coming to the website, what are they wanting to find out and what are they wanting to do? To take our ‘prospective first time buyers’ as an example, they may be wanting to find out about stamp duty or the prices of property within a specific development. They’re also more than likely going to want to request further information, either a brochure or to speak to someone.
Get into the mindset of thinking ‘what do we want our audiences to do when they visit our website?’. The familiar answer here is for them to ‘get in touch’, therefore generating a lead. But you need to think a bit more broadly than this!
So, other objectives will be to be recognised as a quality property developer, communicate the ethos of your property development brand and capture data for future marketing, for example.
Once you’ve defined the ‘objectives’ for the audiences, you’ll be able to start identifying what content you’ll need in order to communicate effectively with them. In the example here of our ‘prospective first-time buyers’ we’ll need to showcase existing developments, information about the quality of the properties, testimonials from other buyers and details about the local area.
When you start to think about it in this way it starts to become clear as to what the main call to actions should be, and the core messaging to each audience.
We often find that creating a persona (or bio) of a specific individual from the identified audiences can help you to ‘walk in their shoes’ and see things from their perspective.
It doesn’t need to be a lifetime biography of the person, just a few things to help make them feel real. For example, give them a name, age and photo, where they live and what they do for a living, list out what their hobbies may be and what they like to do at the weekend.
Where you can, try and make them specific to your cause. For example, our ‘first time buyers’ bio might mention that they spend Saturday mornings viewing houses and visiting the areas where they may want to live.
Constantly reminding yourself of who you are communicating with will help you to make sure that your messages are meaningful and accurate. These personas work really well for both online and offline.
It’s important to remember that things change. New products and services can mean new audiences that need to be thought about; audiences can transform, and their priorities and objectives will move with the times.
Checking in with the mapping matrix and revisiting the personas will help you to ensure that they are always front and centre of everything you do.
If you’d like us to run and facilitate an audience definition workshop or simply pick our brains about audience segmentation then please do not hesitate to give an Escapee a buzz on 01256 334567.