If your visual marketing strategies aren’t hitting the way you’d hoped, you’re probably not taking your audience research seriously.
In marketing, the goal can almost always be boiled down to two main actions: connect and convert.
But what happens when you’re not connecting?
You’re creating all this content, showing up at every event, and throwing dollar after dollar at every shiny new strategy you can find.
So what’s missing?
Our guess: You don’t know your audience well enough to connect with them.
After all, how can you speak to your audience, show them you understand their pain, and prove you have enough expertise to help them … if you don’t really know who they are?
Audience Is Everything
Have you ever poured time, effort and resources into a new marketing strategy or campaign only to see little to no engagement? If you have, then you know how frustrating and disheartening it feels when your marketing efforts miss. Sometimes it’s even downright costly.
While there are a number of variables at play in every marketing campaign, knowing your audience is a significant step that many marketers underestimate or even overlook entirely. In fact, this is one place where you really shouldn’t cut corners if you want to see results.
After all, your audience is the backbone of your business, and they can make or break your success. That means knowing them inside out is key. Imagine you’re trying to hit a target blindfolded; you might get lucky, but precision is more likely when you can see your target – and many marketing studies agree:
1. Conversion Rates
A study by Adobe found that companies that personalize their content and communications have an 80% higher conversion rate. Why? When you speak directly to your audience’s needs and preferences, people listen.
2. Return on Investment (ROI)
According to Econsultancy, 74% of marketers say targeted messages and personalized content increases customer engagement. More engaged customers often lead to a higher ROI as they travel further down the marketing pipeline.
3. Customer Loyalty
A survey by Infosys states that 59% of consumers who have experienced personalization believe it has a noticeable influence on their purchasing decisions. Happy, engaged customers are more likely to become loyal customers.
Define Your Audience
The experts agree: The more you personalize your content to your audience, the better results you’ll see. But you can’t personalize your content if you don’t know who you’re talking to in the first place. That’s why one of the most crucial yet overlooked steps in a visual marketing strategy is thorough audience research. Here are a few ways to get started:
1. Surveys & Questionnaires
Sending out surveys or questionnaires is a great way to gather information directly from your audience. It’s important to ask about their pain points and what solutions they’re looking for, but it’s also good to ask about their interests, where they hang out, how they like to consume their content and more. If you want to speak to them with your marketing, you need to know how to find them – in digital spaces and in terms of their buying patterns.
2. Social Media Insights
If you can’t get the answers straight from their mouths, then the next best place to look is typically on social media. Dive into your analytics to find out who’s engaging with your content and when. What content performs best? What posting dates and times deliver the highest engagement rates? You can also look into each platform’s insights about your audience demographics. Is your audience made up of mostly men or women? What countries or locations are they located in? Pull all the information you can from these platforms, and then look for useful insights or patterns.
3. Google Analytics
Once you’ve explored your social platforms, see what you can learn from your website demographics, as well. While your social media channels will tell you more about your general audience, your website will have data on warmer leads and clients. After all, you typically visit a company’s website because you’ve already heard of them and want to learn more, or you’re ready to pull the trigger and are searching for contact information. That means your website data can tell you more about the prospects who are closer to converting than your general social media audience.
4. Competitor Analysis
Once you’ve learned as much as you can from direct conversation and online data, don’t forget to peek at what your competitors are doing. Now, we don’t say this because we want you to base your marketing strategies on what other people are doing – in fact we’re telling you to do just the opposite. When you look at your competitors to see what audiences they’re targeting, you can see more clearly where you fit into the market. What do you do differently than your competition, and who is looking for what you specifically offer? Who are your competitors not speaking to, and can you serve that audience? Paying attention to your industry allows you to see where people are being ignored or left out of the conversation – and where you can fill in the gaps.
5. Client Personas
Finally, if you don’t want these insights to go to waste, compile them into a client persona document. You can base your persona off of a real client, or you can use this data to create a fictional one. Either way, the goal is to identify your ideal client and gather as much information as possible about who they are, what they’re struggling with, what they need, and how you can help them. Then, when you create your next piece of content, you can speak directly to this person, and you’ll be much more likely to actually connect.
Adjust Your Visual Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve got a solid grasp on your audience research, it’s time to put that knowledge into action. Here are four ways you can incorporate your audience research into your visual marketing strategies:
Craft your message to address your audience’s specific pain points and offer solutions. You can even use their specific language if you have it. How do they describe their own problems? Do they use jargon, or are they more conversational? Pay attention to how they describe what they’re struggling with and what they want someone to do about it. That’s how you can make them feel seen and heard before you even make a pitch.
Once your message is on target, make sure your visuals match. If your audience prefers video, then be sure to make it a central part of your content strategy. If you see the highest engagement from social posts that show your face, then invest in a set of professional marketing portraits that make you feel good about yourself – so you actually use them and give your audience what they want. You can’t just learn about your audience; you have to actually take their preferences into account if you want your visual marketing to succeed.
There are so many social media platforms available now that it’s impossible to have a meaningful presence on all of them. Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, choose the platforms and marketing channels where your audience spends most of their time. This ensures that your content reaches the right eyes, and your time and effort isn’t wasted.
The Bottom Line
In the ever-evolving world of visual marketing, understanding your audience is an ongoing process. As your business grows and your audience evolves, so should your strategies. That’s why it’s so important to not only conduct audience research – but also to update it regularly.
If you’d like some help in creating visuals that speak directly to your audience, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at SchlickArt Photography & Video. We’re here to turn your vision into a reality.
Visual Marketing Education
At SchlickArt, we know your marketing visuals are only effective if you actually use them. That’s why we help you create powerful photography and video – and then we teach you how to share it. With each session, we’ll give you our best tips based on your specific marketing goals. We provide the education and resources you need to brand your content, integrate it into your marketing strategy, post it with intention, and maximize engagement along the way.
If you want even more tips and resources, we have an educational blog, newsletter and video channel to help you dive deeper, as well as professional presentations, workshops, and coaching sessions if you’re ready to take action and level-up your marketing now.
About SchlickArt Photography and Video
SchlickArt, a boutique photo and video studio in Santa Clarita, started in March 2012 with the simple idea that empowerment creates a kind of beauty and authenticity that shines through every camera lens. Built on a philosophy — rather than a product, service or person — SchlickArt has rapidly evolved, meeting professional portraiture, business photo and business video needs as diverse as the community we capture. It’s the desire to take care of you, the client, that drives us at SchlickArt.