The Internet has totally changed the digital marketing arena.  Thanks to the World Wide Web, companies now compete at an international level for consumers’ attention.  Knowing your company’s target audience is more important than ever.

But knowing your audience isn’t the same as understanding it.  Time and again, masterful digital marketing campaigns fail to capture consumers’ attention because the companies who run those campaigns simply don’t understand how consumers function.

We live in an age of “fast and simple.”  Consumers don’t wait for answers anymore.  They pull out their mobile devices, open an Internet browser, and find out what they need to know exactly when they need to know it.

You need to reach your target audience before your competitors.  You need not only to know that audience but understand it too.  Below are four things that you need to understand about your target audience:

  • Consumers Like Fun And Entertainment Social media is, in essence, an endless stream of content – content made by friends, family members, acquaintances, influencers, and businesses.  To capture users’ attention, make sure that your own content is fun, colorful, and engaging.  Great content makes consumers stop scrolling, read (or watch) what you have to say, and then take action.
  • Consumers Like To Give Their Opinions As human beings, we love to give our opinions.  When others ask us for our thoughts, we feel authoritative and important.  For that reason, surveys are a popular form of consumer outreach.  Include questions, requests for personal stories, and other customer-centric talking pieces in your content.  They entice consumers to respond.
  • Consumers Want To Benefit Every business proposal must answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”  The same goes for consumer outreach.  Consumers want to benefit from their interaction with your company.  Offer coupons for signing up for your mailing list. Publicly recognize superfans.  Create digitally-driven contests through FanLogic.  Many consumers consider the mere possibility of getting coupons, being recognized, or winning a fabulous prize a great benefit.
  • Consumers Don’t Want To Waste Time Consumers live fast-paced, demanding lives.  Their time is valuable.  They don’t want to waste time answering long surveys or engaging with irrelevant content.  Ensure your content is short and to-the-point so that it engages consumers within 30 seconds.  Great content will hold some consumers for longer than 30 seconds.  However, many will choose to leave your content after the 30-second mark, so you need to make your point swiftly and efficiently.
  • Consumers Are Weary Of Giving Out Personal Information Big Brother is no longer just an imaginary, all-seeing entity feared by conspiracy theorists.  Internet providers can monitor every digital footprint that their customers make.  The NSA gathers billions of bits of information daily, including mobile device users’ locations.  Even social media platforms such as Facebook have participated in questionable data practices.  With so many international giants possibly watching their online activities, consumers are leerier than ever of sharing their information.  Their weariness can make user data insights difficult to obtain.  To ease their fears, designate contact information (and age, if necessary) as the only required information on your sign-up forms.  Allow consumers to opt out of providing all other information.