Promoting with Purpose: How to Understand Your Audience

04/24/2017 10:58 am ET
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Can you recall the last commercial that really resonated with you? Chances are, you felt a connection to the associated brand because the ad spoke to your humor, related to a reoccurring struggle, or reminded you of a past experience. In short: the promotion had personal traction.

Behind every great marketing campaign is an action-driven message that echoes with a specifically targeted customer group. If you’re not accurately defining or understanding that group, the advertisement falls flat—serving only to reinforce your own thoughts without relating to a larger conversation. Take the time to research and define your target market however, and you’ll develop focused campaigns that produce results.  

Define Your Customers with a Buyer “Persona”

To better understand your audience, consider the problems that your products or services are built to solve. Specifically, reflect on those who could benefit from your business by analyzing their various career choices, education levels, hobbies, ages, motivations, challenges, and other defining characteristics. Once these details are in place, you’ll then be able to create individual buyer personas that represent your larger customer groups.

The benefit of this approach is that you’ll have an easier time building content for an “Overworked Olivia” and “Disorganized David” than you will for a nameless crowd. Most likely, you’ll find several overlapping qualities among your customers, but by promoting to one or two fictionalized buyers at a time, the real people on the other side of that campaign will feel as though you are speaking directly to them, and they’ll form closer connections to your business as a result.

Stay Ahead of Your Competitors

Your competition provides excellent insight into the minds of your current and future buyers. While taking note of what makes your own brand unique, look around your neighborhood and research others in your field, paying careful attention to where they’re excelling and where they’re falling short. By evaluating how your competitors promote themselves and how different audience groups react, you’ll not only gain insight into what works best, but you’ll also uncover potential new customer personalities during the process.

Check in with Your Network

Social media gives us an inside and personal look at the lives of others. Sites like FacebookTwitter, and Instagram allow us to check up on followers, research their “likes” and interests, and see what’s motivating our customers to take action.

As important as it is to promote your brand on social media, it’s also necessary to take a backseat and listen. Research the socials pages of your followers and read their comments—taking careful note of what’s troubling them, what they are passionate about, and how they are choosing to express themselves. By picking up on the language cues of your customers, you’ll understand how they view their surroundings and you’ll be better able to align your dialect to their own—further establishing yourself as a trusted and relatable brand.

Analytics: Your Secret Sauce

There is no better way to truly understand the inner workings of a customer’s mind than to explore analytic reports. Various social media pages such as Facebook already provide businesses with insights on the demographics and common interests of their active followers, as well as information on what types of content tends to preform best.

Allowing you to see first-hand what drives engagement and promotes a reaction, it’s also worth investing in an email-marketing provider who delivers these types of analytic reports. By paying attention to the number of people clicking through and forwarding your messages, you’ll understand firsthand what type of content works best and be better able to tailor future campaigns to the specific wishes of your customers.

What’s Your Angle?

The worst mistake a marketer can make is to assume that just because your offering is great, your customers will naturally find you. Think about your product, service, or opportunity, consider who might benefit, and take the time to truly research this audience: learning about their interests, values, and personality traits, and crafting messages that resonate with them. By honing in on what moves your audience and understanding the value of this research, the content in your content marketing will take care of itself.

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