It is surprisingly common for entrepreneurs to get caught up in the long-term vision they have for their company and lose sight of the fact that it is all about the user. A truth that is too often forgotten or overlooked in the digital marketing industry is that you cannot build your site to wow yourself, your family or your friends.
Every product or service should present a creative solution to a common problem, and if somebody uses your website or mobile app to help solve their problem, then you have to cater to that person.
There is a critical difference between brands that look really nice and brands that effectively engage their target audience. Many people don’t realize this. Even though they might think about their audience, they frame their audience in relation to themselves and project their own opinions and tastes.
The key to an effective brand strategy is to know the people you’re selling to. This includes age range, race/ethnicity, gender, cultural background, socioeconomic status, professional background, geographic location, interests and hobbies, aesthetic taste and spending habits. Who is your ideal customer? If you have a large target audience, break it down into subcategories. You shouldn’t have a product or service that is so broad it caters to everyone in the same way.
Once you have identified your target market, tailor your website content and design to appeal to that demographic.
For example, if your audience is an older generation, your site needs to be clean and to the point. The bells and whistles might appeal to you or impress investors, but will it be convenient for the user? Baby boomers are attracted to large font, simple design and straightforward navigation. If they are accessing your services through a mobile phone or tablet, the design has to be as easy as possible for them to read and navigate.
And although it seems obvious, it bears repeating: make sure you are consulting with your target audiences as part of your market research. If you do not have the resources to fund a focus group, find at least five people—family, friends, friends-of-friends—who match your target audience description and can test your platform and give you honest, detailed feedback.