Knowing your audience

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Author: Chelsie Loader
Date: December 6, 2021

There’s something intensely satisfying about watching something and feeling like it was meant just for you. Well, maybe not when Facebook ads pop up about the exact thing you talked to your friend about. That feels creepy. But instead, an instructional video that shows the exact problem and how you can solve it, or a front-page service film that offers you precisely what you’re looking for. We’re certainly guilty of buying a facial cleanser because the ad for it popped up on a day we had a breakout. On the flip side, movies like Shrek 2 – a favourite of the team here at The Jaspar Picture Company – thrills because it does a great job of entertaining kids and adults alike. Who doesn’t love a kid’s movie with some brilliantly subtle adult humour? Knowing who your audience is can give your film the chance to be appreciated by an audience who identifies with it, and it gives them cues to help them feel familiar with the project you’ve created. In Hollywood, this exact skill has grown massive through movie trailers. These days, trailers are million-dollar edits that specialise in depicting the exact type of movie to its potential audience, flagging exactly what kind of film to expect and by extension, who will enjoy it. Marketing strategies through posters, online interactions and even through casting are all pivotal aspects of this. So how can we create that on a smaller scale, and does it even matter if you don’t have your exact target audience in mind? Spoiler alert: there’s no easy answer. So, here are some of the best tips for nailing your audience.

Do you NEED to know?

The first step doesn’t seem very intuitive. I mean, of course, it’s important to hit your ideal audience! But there’s a lot of space between having a preferred target, and absolutely needing to reach the right crowd. Let’s say for instance you’re trying to grow your brand on social media. While larger companies sell specific products to specific crowds, many smaller companies will focus on simply growing as much as possible. So while having teenagers seeing most of your social content about selling antique furniture isn’t ideal, ‘going viral’ is incredibly valuable and better places your company for future sales. In this instance, it’s not as important to hit your ideal audience as it is to gain broader recognition and ‘disrupt the market’. Alternatively, your product might be specific enough that there’s no need for broader recognition and instead would benefit from a specific zoom in. A common example comes from board games, where enthusiasts will spend hundreds of dollars to buy almost their exact vision of a great game, with lots of minutiae that the majority of people wouldn’t care about. In this instance, crafting a promotional film would benefit from speaking directly to this audience by assuming a level of familiarity and in-jokes’. Decide who your audience is before you make any assumptions about their importance.

Make your style work for you

The beauty of film is that you can say so much without saying anything. Without any spoken words, the framing, pace, direction, colour and backgrounds all tell us something about what we’re watching. You don’t need to hear a monologue from a character about a monster if the movie opens up in the middle of the night, with branches blowing in the wind and the camera filming from deep in a forest onto an unsuspecting car. Likewise, you generally don’t want to fool people with your style into thinking a film is more or less suited to them. It’s tempting to dress up your corporate you’ll need fewer blood-stained singlets and more suits and offices. Checking whether your style of genre matches your audience can be tricky, so we’d recommend breaking it down first. Age, profession and purchasing intent are the best basic tools here and can do the work for you. Ensuring the little hints of the genre are in line with your audience can help guide them into a level of comfort and familiarity that may be the difference between using your services or not. As always, experimenting can help your film stand out but ensure it isn’t to the detriment of the film’s
effectiveness.

Get on the map

The next step after styling your project is to make it as accessible as possible to your audience. After all, there’s no point making the perfect film if no one can see it. Much of the advice here is intuitive, such as not making your film Snapchat-affiliated if your target audience is older than 25. But there’s more depth than meets the eye. If your film has a highly specific audience in mind, you’ll need to put some time into putting together a plan for how to reach them. Audiences from certain industries could require varying efforts, and accessing occupational networks will be key. If you’re appealing to healthcare workers, you may need to do some research and find online communities, including Facebook groups, social clubs and support groups to make sure your film is seen. Partnering with interested parties will help too, as a health network will be able to organically support your project. For less specific audiences, you’ll be better suited if you keep it easy to view: with intuitive website access, and coverage on digital marketing platforms.


It’s clear how knowing your audience can help you – and the team here at The Jasper Picture Company know audiences like no one else. As one of Melbourne’s top filmography firms, we’ve got the experience and know-how to form the right plan for you and deliver on it. Check out our website for more information on how we can help you, or to learn more tips and tricks to crafting your ideal film.

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