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We talk a lot about ‘target audience’ and ensuring your communications strategy is always focused on them, but what exactly do we mean and how do we get to know who they are?
Understanding exactly who your customers are, what motivates them to do business with you and what inspires them to travel is the most important thing you need to plan your communications. When it comes to creating content for your marketing and communications, it will be so much easier if you are able to visualise a specific person you are communicating with. It will also enable you to reach an audience who are most likely to convert into loyal customers.
Where to start?
Understanding your (USP) goes hand-in-hand with defining your ideal target audience. What do your customers value and why do they choose you over a competitor? What makes your business unique – is it your brand, your team, your values or your industry and country knowledge? It’s these USPs that will make you the only choice for your ideal customers.
Look at your existing customers
Next, take a look at and learn from your existing customers. Start with general demographics of your customers, you can get more specific later. Who are your most profitable clients Where do they live? Are they families, young professionals or retired? What budget do they have? What kind of travel experiences are they looking for? What do they love and hate about travelling?
Then think about your customers’ preferences – why does what you do matter to them? Why do they choose you? Listen to what your customers are telling your customer services team or online through feedback and reviews. Analysing your social media and website analytics can also give you valuable insight into understanding your existing customers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, if you would like to find out more from your existing customers, ask them!
Also consider their lifestyle. What are their hobbies and interests? What do they do for a living? Where do they shop? What magazines do they read or what media do they consume? What do they value? What problems are you solving for them?
Finally, are your current customers aligned with your dream customers? If not, what do you need to do or change about your business that will appeal to your ideal target audience?
Create customer profiles
There are a lot of questions to consider when looking at your target audience, so it can help to create customer profiles or personas. These provide detailed descriptions of who your typical customer may be based on the answers to the above questions and can really help in bringing your target audience to life. Think of them as fictional characters – some businesses find it helps to give them a name and even a photo and mood board of their lifestyle and aspirations to really visualise their target customer.
You are likely to find that you have a few different customer profiles. Prioritise them as to which you would most like to work with and which ones are most profitable for your business and the product or service you offer.
An example customer profile could be:
Busy working parents with school aged children who want to spend some quality time as a family. Cash rich but time poor, they are tied to school holidays. They want a holiday where they can switch off from the stresses of their working days and the chaos of their home life, but also provides plenty of activities they can enjoy as a family. They would like everything planned and paid in advance so they can simply enjoy their holiday whilst away. They enjoy style and comfort and are happy to pay for upgrades.
Make sure you are not trying to be all things to all people. The things that make your business special are the same things that will put some people off. It can be helpful to consider a customer profile for those who aren’t your ideal customer. Sometimes it can help to understand who the right fit is, by defining who isn’t.
Now you have your target audience mastered you will be able to create content which is specifically designed to speak to these personas. You will also know which of your USPs will appeal to each of your target audience profiles and your key messages can be tailored appropriately. For example, if you specialise in family holidays then make sure your content is targeting parents and how what you offer can appeal to both adults and children alike.
It is also important to monitor your market and current trends so that your content stays relevant and up-to-date. This is especially true of the travel and tourism market where booking patterns, popular destinations and experiences can change frequently.
Now that you are confident with your target audience, take a look at our blog on brand storytelling for how you can maximise your appeal to your ideal customer.
If you feel like you need some further help in understanding and targeting your dream travel customers, please get in touch with us here.
As PR experts, we want to give you all the tools you need to find the best PR agency for your business needs. If you need PR support but aren’t sure where to start, download our PR Buyer’s Guide to identify what to look for and expect! We want you to make the right choice for your business’ success!
Hopefully these tips have been useful for your travel brand. If you’re looking for more ideas to promote your business, take a look at our blog on the ultimate guide to travel PR.