Target group analysis: 5 tips to get to know your target group better

by Guidebook

Which people do you specifically address with your company? What characters, needs, wishes and fears are behind these people? This article offers you valuable first aid tips on the subject of target group analysis.

Who are you writing your content for? Take three minutes to think about this question. Or even better: write down the answer.

Zielgruppe definieren

If you now see (a) nothing (b) yourself or (c) an answer à la "people between 20 and 80 who are interested in topic X" in front of you, then you should deal with your target group as soon as possible.

A target group is a group of people that a company or blog wants to address with its content and marketing measures. It is therefore potential customers/users who make use of your offers.

Don't worry, you are not alone. Many companies are in a similar situation. I also avoided the topic of target group analysis for a long time. On the one hand, this was due to the fact that I wanted to reach "many people" with my rather special project (topic "consumer awareness"). Ideally also those who do not yet know anything about their happiness. On top of that, I simply didn't feel like dealing with this task.

The bad news: such an attitude can possibly cost you success or at least delay it. The good news: it is never too late to change it!

Play Profiler. Set Engage with your target group and transfer You get into them.

The broad masses do not make the success (Or: that is why a target group analysis is important)

It is a widespread fallacy to think that a large target group (= more people) also promises more success. In fact, the opposite is more likely to be the case. If you try to address "everyone", offers and statements become vague - and in the worst case nobody feels addressed.

Moreover, you are making life difficult for yourself. Because if you can't hold on to a clearly defined target group, basically every text and every marketing measure is a speculative shot in the dark. And the risk of making yourself unpopular is great. After all, it is impossible to please everyone.

Your opinion does not count (most of the time*)

Ouch, that hurt now.

But that is often exactly the (sore) point. Far too often we start from ourselves when we design content. The "what I like, you're sure to like" assumption, however, is fundamentally a wrong approach.

Put your opinion aside and slip into the role of Sherlock Holmes instead. Dive into the minds of the perpetrators - pardon me - customers and find out what characters and motivations lie behind them.

*Exceptions prove the rule. Namely, if you yourself belong or once belonged to your target group. This possibility does exist. For example, if you start a business out of a quest to satisfy your own needs or out of pure passion for a topic. With such heartfelt projects, you cannot - and should not - completely detach yourself from the target group. Nevertheless, you also have to get rid of tunnel vision here and not conclude directly from yourself to others. Keep in mind: compared to the people you want to reach, you are now on a different level. After all, you have already found part of the solution for yourself with your project. 

On online research for facts and figures

To find out exactly what interests and needs are hidden behind your target group, you can tap into various sources. To do this, you don't even need to contact people directly. Use online tools and existing data to gather basic information. For example:

  • With the help of Analysis tools like Google Analytics & Co. you can analyse the usage behaviour of your users. However, it is essential that you observe the DSGVO.
  • Keyword analyses are ideal for getting a first impression of the needs of your target group. In this way, you will not only find out exactly which solutions and information are being searched for in relation to your topic, but also with which choice of words.
  • Stop after current market studies about your topic. Where is the trend?
  • Step Social media-Groups on your topic. There you play fly on the wall and can find out what keeps people busy.
  • Research on Blogs and other websitesthat serve your keywords, for common questions and relevant content.
  • Use Community portals or the helpful tool answerthepublic to find out what questions are being asked in relation to your topic and what issues are being discussed.
  • Browse the competition or with the big players in your sector: how do they go about it and what kind of people do they attract?

 

Get to know your target group exactly: Face to Face

Ideally, you should go one step further. Don't just secure existing clues. Get to know your target group personally. That is: talk to people and ask questions.

  • "When it comes to issue X, what is their biggest problem?"
  • "What are you particularly interested in?"
  • "What makes you as a person?"

In this way, you get to know people's individual needs and interests and also create a trusting connection.

You don't have to go door to door for this. There are various other ways, for example:

  • Surveys: If you already have a community, surveys are a great way to identify the wishes and problems of your users. Surveys can be initiated via a blog post, newsletter or even your social media channels.
  • Interviews: Admittedly, you have to go a little more on the offensive here. But direct surveys and interviews are also suitable for those of us who have yet to build up our community. For example, interview your target group at events. Or ask people if they would be willing to do a small interview to help you.
  • Get-to-know-you talks: if you offer a service, free initial interviews are a wonderful way to get to know your target group better. It also inspires confidence.
  • Facebook groups:  become active in Facebook groups to exchange ideas with your target group online. You can either do this in existing groups as a member, or you can start one yourself.

 

Create personas

Persönlichkeit auf WebseiteSo-called personas can be created from the customer information gathered through research and interviews. These are profiles representative of a target group. Although they are not existing persons, they are created from the real characteristics of a specific group.

Accordingly, you have names, ages, interests, lifestyles and faces. You can imagine it a bit like a social media profile. A persona never represents the entire target group, but only a section of it. You may therefore create several personas for your company.

The advantage of this method is that you create concretely defined individuals from a previously anonymous group. Interests and needs are much clearer here. Suddenly you have a face in front of your eyes and not just a diffuse uniform mush. Your processes - be it Content planning or product design - you can now align them much more easily with target groups or personas.

Which blog post would Maria Müller like to read? And what colour would she prefer for a book cover?

Besides, concrete profiles are much more memorable. You could also print out your persona and hang it up in the office!

Are you still struggling with this task? Then your first persona might just be your ideal customer. A Sandra Holze offers a great guide to this on her blog.

Conclusion

The better you know your target group, the more likely you are to develop the right arguments, content and approaches to win satisfied customers. And there lies the key to success. You don't have to use all the analysis methods mentioned. But a combination of online research, direct customer contact and personas will increase your chances of landing a hit.

Who are you writing your content for now?

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