Every marketer knows how important it is for the content in your marketing strategy to be seen by your target audience, but understanding the best methods to make that happen is not a universal skill. Just like any other aspect of business, marketing to your audience is a science that requires planning, patience and the proper knowledge.
The first step to building your audience and beginning to create your marketing strategy is to define your audience.
How To Define Your Audience
Most marketers will have an idea of the type of person that will buy their product, but the more specific you can be in defining your audience, the better results your marketing strategy will have.
As said by Envato, when you define your audience you will discover a number of other important elements for your marketing strategy. These items include:
- The products and services you’ll offer
- What price points to set for your products and services
- The type of marketing materials you’ll need (a website, flyers, posters, radio ads, blog posts, etc.)
- The benefits and features you’ll highlight in your marketing materials
- The exact keywords you’ll use in your online marketing copy
- The design of your marketing materials
- Where you’ll send or display your marketing materials
- Where you’ll advertise
There are a number of different strategies to define your audience. One method is to use a questionnaire, which is designed to guide marketers through the process by asking thought provoking questions and gradually narrowing the audience. A guide by Avalaunch asks questions such as, “When you came up with your idea for your business, product or service, who did you think it would help?” and “What problems are you attempting to solve with your business, product or service?”
Another method to define your audience is to create an audience persona. As said by Hubspot, audience personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. Within this method, there are a number of ways to create your audience personas. Hubspot suggests interviewing or surveying your customer base, while also pairing your results with market research.
A method we suggest for creating your audience persona is to ask yourself three simple questions:
- Who do you want to purchase your product?
- What kind of lifestyle does your ideal customer lead?
- What can you include to be as specific as possible?
Using this method, you can take a previously generic description like ‘athletes’ and narrow it to something more specific like ‘young women, between 18 and 30, who prioritize fitness.’ A detailed persona, like the second description, will allow you to easily describe and create marketing strategies around your desired audience.
Once you have determined your audience, the next step to creating a marketing strategy that will generate sales and expand your business is to determine the best channels to communicate directly with your audience. For more information on building custom audiences, check out this article on our blog.
How To Find the Right Channels For Your Audience
First things first – what is a marketing channel? At its simplest, a marketing channel is any method or platform used to communicate with your target audience. There are numerous different channels that have evolved over time alongside new technology.
Whenever a hot new platform appears, a marketer’s first instinct is often to jump on it as quickly as possible and add it to their marketing strategy. However, choosing the wrong marketing channels for your audience can not only harm sales, it can confuse your audience and leave them questioning whether your product is right for them.
CoSchedule encourages marketers to focus on the right channel for the audience, instead of every new one that comes along. According to CoSchedule, the most effective market channels are:
- Email Marketing
- Organic Social Media
- Paid Advertising
Depending on the audience, one channel may work phenomenally while another fails. Many factors can influence the effectiveness of a channel for a specific audience, including age, location, interests, education and the product or service you are selling.
Forbes recommends brainstorming where your target audience spends their time, whether it’s online or in the real world. If we take our previous example, where can we assume our target audience of “young women, between 18 and 30, who prioritize fitness” would be found?
A gym is an obvious location, and because our audience is young, social media would also be a good pick. Instagram in particular, known for its large fitness community, works especially well for this audience.
Partnerships with social media influencers is another channel Forbes recommends and, depending on your audience, could be a useful tool. To determine appropriate influencer partnerships for your brand, ask yourself: Who does your ideal customer follow?
Another approach from Databox suggests defining your relationship with your customer to find the right marketing channels for your business. First, determine what your product or service offers your customers. From there, brainstorm which channels offer the easiest way for your customers to find your business and make a purchase. Based on the previous example of young, athletic women, the answer could be an online shop on Instagram that offers a direct way to purchase the product.
How To Determine the Right Channels For Your Business
Once you have determined the best marketing channels for your audience, the next step for your marketing strategy is to determine what is realistic for your business.You may be tempted to jump straight into developing your plan, but without this last key piece of information you risk facing unmet goals and missed targets.
Certain marketing channels may be perfect for your audience, but not all of them may be right for your business. In fact, it’s often best to only focus on a few marketing channels at once, especially for new businesses with tight budgets. It’s always better to be strong across two or three channels than to spread your marketing strategy too thin by trying to hit everyone. ThriveHive recommends that businesses start with less expensive marketing channels. These include: social media, blogging and SEO. From there, businesses can expand to more time consuming or expensive channels such as events, email marketing and paid advertising.
It’s also likely that your business will go through a trial-and-error phase as you discover which channels will give your business the best ROI. While you may feel discouraged, you will discover the best channels to invest time and money, alongside those that you may discontinue or reduce your attention towards.
To more systematically test your marketing strategy, implement A/B testing. Also known as “split testing,” with this method, you split your marketing campaign among different variations to discover which is the most effective. Hubspot describes the many benefits of A/B testing as well as common goals businesses have when implementing it. These goals include increasing website traffic, increasing conversion rates, reducing bounce rate and more.
How To Create Engaging Content
Once you have determined who you are targeting and what channels you will be using to do so, the final step to engaging your audience is to create content that will appeal to them.
While no audience will respond exactly the same as another, there are methods you can implement when creating content for your marketing strategy that have been proven to increase traffic, online engagement and conversions.
Quick Sproutsuggests creating content that is actionable. This provides an easy way for your audience to purchase your products or services, or otherwise engage with your business. Another tip is to tell a story and stimulate an emotional response from your audience. Not only will it make your business more personable, but your audience is more likely to remember a blog article or social media post that makes them feel something.
Other strategies include asking your audience to participate in contests, sharing useful tips or information, creating videos or other visually stimulating content and ensuring your content is relevant to current trends.
Let Three Girls Media Assist With Your Marketing Strategy
If you would prefer to focus on the business side of things and let others manage your marketing strategy, please contact us at Three Girls Media for a free consultation. We have a full staff of seasoned marketing professionals and are eager to help you reach your marketing goals.
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