One of the first questions we ask clients when discussing their video production requirements is, “who is your target audience?” Without this information the video can lack focus and any objectives for the video production will be harder to meet.
I find it quite surprising how many people haven’t given this question any serious thought. Instead, they may have quite clear ideas of what they want the video to achieve, but no real clarity on who it’s targeted at.
Tailoring Video Content To Your Target Audience
We like to work with our clients to create a customer avatar, or buyer persona, that then informs the entire video production. From the type of imagery used, the script and dialogue, to music and graphics, everything should be tailored to address your target audience and persuade them to take action having viewed your video.
For the purposes of this blog post ‘customer’ is used to refer to anyone you wish to target with your video content, which might include customers, employees, key stakeholders, or anyone else.
I find that it’s a helpful exercise when discussing customer avatars to think about your ideal customer or target. In helping our clients articulate who their targets are I will often ask them to imagine an existing customer, one they would like to replicate again and again, and use them to create a template customer avatar. Putting a name to your customer avatar, knowing a bit about them in terms of who they are, what they do, the challenges they face and what they want to achieve, really helps you to communicate with them through your video.
Key points to include in your customer avatar include: gender, sex, geographic location, education, income, occupation, interests, motivations, challenges, and purchasing habits.
Once you’ve articulated who it is you want to target with your video communications, you should now consider what you want from them. This will be closely aligned with your core objectives for your video; what do you want to achieve from your video production? What action do you want viewers to take? With these elements in place it is now possible to think about the actual video content you want to produce.
For example, if you need to inform your audience about changes in your business and encourage them to support this change, you may consider using an explainer video format with plenty of facts and figures that explain the reasons for the change and the benefits for them. However, if you know that your target audience will struggle to understand statistics, a different approach will be needed such as customers talking about how the changes have impacted positively on them in ‘real’ terms.
With your target audience in mind you can ensure that they identify with the content shared, consider the following:
- If you’re using actors in your video, are they representative of your audience? Alternatively, perhaps your audience would respond better to more aspirational content and therefore actors should reflect this.
- Will the music you use alienate your audience or reassure them that this content has been created for them? Certain types of music will resonate more strongly with a particular audience than others.
- Do you need to deliver your content in short ‘sound bites’ to help your audience retain key pieces of information?
- Are there cultural references you could use to target your content more specifically? Or would a certain type of humour be an effective way to engage your audience?
Every element of your video must be aligned with your target audience so the more detail you can provide on who they are, the better.
Calls To Action
Your video content will also reflect the action you want your viewers to take, and this will depend on your target audience. If you want your viewers to share your content you need to ensure that you’re providing them with the kind of content they want to share. Remember that what we share on social media or through emails reflects on us as individuals, therefore you need to provide video content that your targets are happy to be associated with.
Similarly, if your call to action (CTA) is to visit your website you will need to give compelling reasons for doing so, and this should be tailored to your target audience. Perhaps your targets will respond to an offer or discount, or maybe a download or links to more information is what your target audience is looking for. You’ll have a much better idea of how to convert your viewers with a good understanding of who they are.
Here at Sightline we can take clients through the process of creating a customer avatar and delving into the minds of their target audience. If you don’t yet have a clear idea of who your target audience is, we recommend that you think about those people you do know, existing customers, employees, or other key stakeholders, and use what you know about them to help define your customer avatar.