Talk to the right audience
The first part of any marketing strategy is to figure out who your audience is, and where you can target them. Sounds simple doesn’t it! However, sometimes people waste time creating content that isn’t relevant, or for communication channels that their customers don’t use.
So how can you identify where and what to communicate, to make sure you’re investing in the right places? Here are some tips to help with your content planning:
Who is your target audience? This will be anyone that’s already a customer or client and potential new customers.
Find out what they need and what their problem is e.g. I need to rent a shared office space. If they have a problem, what is your product or service doing to fix it?
You might like to use this set up to help think about different types of customers and their needs:
As a…small business owner
I need to…find a local shared office space
So I can...work with my team face-to-face and network with other local businesses
You can also consider grouping (segmenting) your audience based on their buying needs, or location or budget they have e.g. office space needs: ad-hoc / part time / full time. You could then communicate specific messages to each group e.g. via a regular email communication.
Once you know what your audience ‘needs’ you can focus your content on the right thing!
Sometimes it can help to create user personas to get to know your audience. To do this, you create an ‘imaginary’ person that would be one of your customers. Include as much info as you can about that person:
Background - how old, male/female, relationships, family
Lifestyle - hobbies, home life, holidays, house owner
Work/career - jobs, partner’s job, financial status
Challenges - financial, time, whatever might stop them from purchasing your product or service
Where they go for info - do they research online, or speak to friends, read magazines, are they on social media, which ones etc.
Once you understand more about your audience, what they need and where you think they go for info, you can start researching some more.
A good way to find out more about your audience, and confirm your thoughts, is to research on social media. Do a bit of ‘social listening’. What are they saying about a relevant topic to your business? Who are they asking? Which brands are they interested in? Look on forums or blog comments. This can help you to find out what’s important to them, and what you can include in your content too.
Look at competitors to you. What are others offering and how is this different from your competition? This will help you to find your unique selling points and make sure you focus on these for your content.
A common mistake is to talk about yourself too much and to just ‘talk at’ your customers. Don’t do this! I use the 20/80 rule. 20% of your content should be about your brand and direct promotion. The other 80% should be content that really interests your audience and engages with them e.g. the topics that they’re chatting about online already.
Don’t share funny videos or stories just because you think they’re going to increase your reach if they’re totally irrelevant to your brand! If your content is relevant and interesting, your audience will be more likely to share it, helping you to increase your reach organically (for free).
On social media, follow other accounts that post relevant content. Think about retweeting, commenting on influencer’s posts (see working with influencers blog), using inspirational quotes, or sharing industry news from other sites. This helps to build a community and others will start to share your content too.
Need some help finding your target audience, or with content planning? Get in touch for a chat firstname.lastname@example.org