Determining target audience is one of the most crucial decisions that a business needs to make. How did Fortis Anemone determine theirs?
When I first set out to become a copywriter, I looked into the advice that was available to new businesses. I wanted to see what I could apply to my own fledgling business to give myself the best chance and the thing that kept jumping out at me was ‘choose a target audience’.
This seemed counterintuitive to me because surely if you want to make money you will not rule out potentially paying customers? Considering almost everyone will need to use language to communicate with their own audiences, wouldn’t my target audience be, well, everyone?
I continued to mull over this and wondered how I could go about selling myself to such a huge array of potential clients. In the meantime, one of my first commercial jobs was to write a blog post for a digital media company. Whilst researching trends in web design, I realised the theme that bound them all together was that the latest trends are all user-centric. Websites used to be about selling yourself and what you could offer to the world whereas now they are much more about engaging with your audience, telling a story and building a relationship. This trend has been influenced by the rise of social media and asks the question ‘what will the user want to know?’ rather than ‘what do I want to tell them?’
So as I designed my own website, I bore this in mind: what would someone reading my website want to know about me? I thought they’d want to see what I was capable of; I hoped they would want to know why I did what I did. As I wrote my first blog post to explain this, it hit me: my target audience probably thinks the same way I do. If I want to be able to authentically represent someone through the language they communicate to the world with, then I need to be able to meet them at least half way. So my target audience is probably someone who could write their own content but doesn’t have time. Or who finds selling themselves uncomfortable and knows someone else could do a more effective job of it. They want to use SEO techniques but want them to be ethical as they don’t like deception and know their audience is too savvy to fall for it anyway. They know their business needs a social media presence but they can’t work out where their business ends and their own newsfeed begins. They will probably be in the arts or person-centred sectors, or they might just be someone who treats what they do as a vocation in just the same way.
Either way – if we get each other, then we will work together just fine. We are our target audience.