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Videographics: The science of understanding your video audience

Yes, Videographics is not a word you’ve heard of…


Well probably because I just made it up…


Because I was looking for an easy way to brand my belief that in order to produce truly engaging and effective visual content you need to first understand the audience you are trying to reach.

Clearly defining your audience makes all the difference when you’re creating visual content.


Why audience matters

Creating a visual content strategy without a clear understanding of your audience is a bit like setting out on a roadtrip across country without a map or any navigational tools. 

Sure, you’re out there and you’re taking action, but you’re not working toward a specific goal. These are the situations that marketers dread: huge amounts of time and money going out the door, without a clear potential for good ROI.

When developing your visual content strategy there are 6 key things you should be considering:

1. Who is your audience?

Just like other forms of content marketing, in order to prepare a solid strategy you need to know who it is you want to target.

The more specific you can be the more your content (and its final delivery) can be tailored to reach that demographic.

Even basic information like: “A couple in their thirties with no children, living in Sydney, coping with financial stress and limited employment opportunities” provides an initial basis for developing an understanding of your audience.

2. What’s your audience's most pressing issue, problem or desire?

I have never met a perfect person full stop… We all have at least one issue that keeps working its way to the front of our mind (or that keeps us awake at night), whether its lifestyle related - such as finding the willpower to get fit and healthy, or financial – how can I pay my bills? Right down to the mundane – I don’t know what I want for breakfast.

Whatever the issue – big or small – understanding what this issue is can give great insight into the lives of your viewers. Which combined with everything else you know about them will aid in creating powerful content to reach them.

3. Where does your audience view their visual content?

Choosing the right channel to deploy your visual content will have just as big an impact as the content itself.

It is pointless to craft a message that is perfect for your audience if you deliver it somewhere they won’t see it or where it gets lost amongst the clutter of everything else going on.

So, it’s crucial to know where your audience consumes their video content. Here are a few insights on key social media demographics:


There's also a trove of useful information in this study by Millward Brown.

With visual content, there are two critical additional things you need to consider in distributing your content to reach your audience:

Where will my audience view this content? (TV, my website, social media, YouTube, a 3rd party site)

What device are they most likely to view the content on? (TV, Smart Phone, Tablet, Computer, Laptop, Outdoor Screen).

Considering these two questions you can design the content not just to work on the distribution platform (for instance if your audience is on YouTube how do you direct them where to go at the end of your video without them clicking on to something else) but also on the distribution device (vertical video for mobile etc).

4. What benefit of your product or services solves your audience’s problem (or a part thereof)?

You’ve probably heard from everyone in marketing how you need to focus more on benefits over features… If you are still unsure on what this means it’s often easier to understand if you think about it this way:


Don’t tell me what it does… Tell me what it does for me!


If you’ve done your research properly you should be able to easily identify and articulate the problem that you’re addressing and the benefits that your product or services offer your audience.

5. Don’t BS your audience… Try and play it as straight as you can…

With the ongoing progression of programmatic and personalised platforms and ad campaigns that target audiences day and night – wherever they go - from online to instore, on TV, on our devices, out of home and everywhere else you can imagine… Your audience grows smarter and more sophisticated every day…

In short, your audience doesn’t want to stick around and watch your video content if they feel they are being sold to.

You will have a much better chance of engagement and reaching your viewers if your content has integrity and captivates their imagination and their intelligence.

If your brand is known for being honest, ethical, and delivering value, you’ll become a trusted source. It can take years to build trust and seconds to lose it forever. So, this should be your guiding star in visual content creation.

6. What is it that prevents your audience from viewing your visual content?

One last note that’s often overlooked when developing a profile of an audience is understanding what prevents your audience from viewing your visual content?

Here’s an example of a barrier that was solved by better understanding the audience - I recently had a client unsure of whether anyone in their target audience even watched video as the open and view rates on their latest video E-DM campaign were quite low…

But on further investigation we discovered that this wasn’t the problem.

By conducting a survey we were able to determine that the audience base was highly cost sensitive – they loved video they just didn’t want to pay for the data to view it on their own time and at their own expense!

By retiming the delivery of future video E-DM’s to take place first thing in the morning when the audience was at work or in a space like a shopping centre or McDonalds where they could take advantage of free wifi the viewing rates went up dramatically and drove great results.

In closing - the better you know your audience, the more effectively you can create appealing content ideas, make format decisions, handle positioning and placement, and promote the content.

While this tip might seem a simplistic one, it was not always an easy feat for us to accomplish.

It takes research, sociological understanding - and of course time.

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