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Do you know where they are coming from?

A target audience is the group of people that you want to reach with your product or message, as they are the people who would most likely take positive action after seeing it. Focusing on a specific target audience will help you to create a tone of voice that speaks to the specific group of people you have identified. 

They usually share certain commonalities that mainly fall into three broad categories. Firstly, demographic targeting considers common characteristics and qualities that describe an individual or a group of individuals, these characteristics include occupation, location, age, education, income, parental or marital status, as well as more broadly gender or race. For example, advertising anti-wrinkle moisturiser to women or men aged 30 years and older with concerns about visible aging, as opposed to a pre-teen or teenager. Secondly, interest targeting focuses on people’s interests, tastes, and life events and allows your message or product to reach groups of people based on their past interaction with similar messages or products. For example, selling golf products on social media, you would advertise to people who have demonstrated a genuine interest in the sport, as opposed to those who like the odd article about Tiger Woods or the Ryder Cup. Thirdly, behavioural targeting specifically makes use of web user information, related to an individual’s online browsing and shopping behaviour, to deliver messages or products to the group of individuals who have previously shown an interest in similar messages or products. For example, someone browsing specific sneakers on an online store without finalising a purchase, will begin to see advertisements of that store and sneakers on their feed as they navigate the web, as a reminder of their expressed interest. 

Getting to know your target audience through these methods, enables you to create content that is useful and relevant to them. Regardless of your communication channel, keeping the needs, interests, and demographics of your audience at the forefront is important – especially with the regular circulation of false information. Consider the following strategies for engaging with and empowering your target audience. Firstly, protecting your brand and your audience has become increasingly more important, due to the ease with which false information circulates. Building trust between your brand and your target audience through maintaining authenticity, transparency, and consistent and clear communication, is thus very important. Consequently, your target audience might become sceptical of any product or message that does not align with the things and tone you communicated about your brand. Secondly, educating your target audience on your brand, your product, or the message you want to communicate can also contribute to lowering their susceptibility to false information. Thirdly, regularly checking for signs of disinformation and misinformation, by tracking your media coverage, and monitoring how your products are advertised and the tone they convey is also important. This might minimise your audience’s susceptibility to consuming false information, as they will be able to discern or recognise your tone of voice. Finally, it could also be useful to include contingency plans for disinformation and misinformation in your communication strategy. For example, having a detailed crisis plan that includes various scenarios and related counter-narrative and a list of trusted media outlets for a quick response.

Protecting your audience and brand from false information could prove to be difficult. Contact TRi Facts to verify your online content and reviews and assist you in developing strategies to combat the spread of false information.