How to Identify the Audience for Your Ecommerce Store

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Overview

You have a great idea for a business, but you won’t begin making money until you find your audience and start communicating with them. This guide will walk you through the following:

  • Building out your business personas
  • Researching your audience
  • Content strategy basics

You should have at least a rough idea of your business plan, your product, and maybe a vague concept of your audience. It’s time to dive deeper to find out who would be the most excited about your product. Spending time researching your audience now will pay off later in your marketing decisions and product development. When you’re deciding on branding colors, email content, email frequency, types of segments to create in Klaviyo, etc., you’ll want to know your audience so that decision making is a breeze. This stage is crucial, so give it your all.

Building Out Your Audience Personas

Unless your product is extremely specific, you’ll likely have a variety of customers ranging in familiarity with your product, motivations for using your services, incomes, etc. For example, food subscription boxes have an audience of young professionals who like to cook, people who don’t know how to cook, and couples looking for an activity together, but aren’t as relevant for teenagers or parents with many young children. Building out your audience personas will help you understand who will be actively engaged with your product and who will not be as interested. The more narrow your focus, the more targeted your marketing can become.

So how do you figure out your audience personas? Download and complete this chart to get to know your audience. You’ll want to build out three target user personas at a minimum, but consider building out a couple casual and non-user personas, as well. If you’re finding your scope to be broad, try splitting your personas. For example, if your product is marketable to people ages 24 to 40, split them into four groups — women 24 to 32, women 33 to 40, men 24 to 32, and men 32 to 40 — and build your audience personas around each smaller group. Want an example? Head here for an audience persona example for a novelty pint glass company. 

Researching Your Audience

Once you’ve identified your personas, find them in real life and start to live a day in their shoes. Follow their social media influencers, watch their television shows, consult those who know the group intimately. Really want to get in the mind of your client base? Watch television shows and read books/magazines featuring your persona both currently and at different stages over the course of their lives (when they were teenagers, 20-somethings, as parents, etc.). While you’re doing that research, write down common expressions and references that you could use in your copy. Most importantly, answer the following questions about your different audiences:

  • What are they thinking day-to-day?
  • What are they feeling?
  • What conversations are they having with their friends and family?
  • What information are they receiving from media?
  • Where are they spending their time?

Content Strategy Basics

Now that you have a good idea of your business plan, your audience, and your product, next it’s time to iron out a content strategy. A content strategy answers the following questions:

  • Why are you creating content?
  • Who is the audience of the content?
  • Why do they need your content?

Creating a content strategy should flow naturally from your personas and your audience. Download and fill out this table to get an idea of what your content strategy should look like. Most importantly, you need to create a cohesive message throughout your marketing efforts. Before you send out information to your audience ask the following questions:

  • What message are you trying to communicate?
  • What is your objective for your message?
  • How does your message connect with the rest of your brand?

Your content strategy is crucial to helping build your brand. Refer to it often and perform tests with your content messaging to understanding how best to communicate with your intended audience.

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