One Audience to Rule them All
When I was a kid my brother used to love those self-serve soda machines that you find in fast food restaurants. He would slide his cup from one spout to the next giving the button the tiniest push, catching each fizzy spurt, and mixing all of the sodas together into a grayish brown liquid. The thing I never understood, was why didn’t it really taste like anything? The Dr. Pepper didn’t overcome the Sprite and the Hi-C just settled in somewhere raising the sugar profile (as if it wasn’t high enough already).
Strangely enough, this is what I thought about when a co-worker and I were discussing audiences earlier this week. She wanted to communicate her message to three different target audiences, but in order to make her message apply to all three, we wouldn’t really be serving anything to any of them. While a topic or area of interest may apply to all, or a few, of your audiences, the way you speak about them shouldn’t. Your investors, partners, and customers all have different needs, which means your tone, call to action, and information should all be adjusted to meet those needs.
Who Are You Really Talking to?
Understanding your target audience is step one of creating any piece of content. In order to define your audience, it's important to do research and unveil their psychographics. Psychographics go beyond the “who are you” basics that demographics cover off on, they dig deeper, unearthing their personality, values, and motivations. But once you discover the persona behind your target audience, you also need to break who you're talking down even further for every piece of content you create. Are you speaking to a prospective customer or an existing one? They may have the same persona, but their needs are different, and while your overarching message may be the same, the way you deliver that message needs to be tailored to those needs.
Do yourself and your customers a favor by always identifying who you’re talking to and where they are in their journeys. And while there may be a situation where your content can also apply to a secondary audience, you should always focus on speaking to one primary audience. Otherwise, you’ll be left with something gray and flavorless that no one will really want.