Last time, we learned that studying your audience — how they think and feel about your brand — is crucial for creating and maintaining loyalty. Yet, we all know that learning about your audience is just the first step. Once you feel like you’ve defined your audience, it’s time to get into analytics and find them.
When marketing to your audience, there are two players at work to ensure your brand makes a connection with consumers — the channels of communication and the content.
One way to work out which avenues will be most effective to communicate with your audience is to dive into your website’s analytics. Even though every brand uses a different platform, most popular website programs like Wix and WordPress are designed to aggregate visitor data.
Then, look at your presence on social media. The option of a business profile on Instagram, and now TikTok, gives brands access to invaluable engagement metrics that they can monitor. Facebook for Business works similarly. Some brands make the mistake of thinking that on whichever platform they have the most followers is the platform where their content is performing the best. Pull up the your brand’s engagement stats on all of your platform. Where you want to put the majority of your energy, is where your engagement rate is strongest.
With ads flooding into every space where consumers are, exposure no longer correlates closely with engagement. Impressions aren’t enough to be certain that your brand’s message is inspiring a connection with your audience.
Once you’ve combed through your data and narrowed down the most effective platforms, you need to look at your content. The content brands put out has to not only reinforce your message in the eyes of your current customers, but it also must engage new eyes.
There is no telling if a single piece of content can engage your whole audience, so you need to have a diverse body of media. At a minimum you want to have mentions in relevant publications highlighted for consumers to see, stellar lifestyle/product photos for visual content and a continuous presence on social media. Keep in mind, most brands in today’s content-driven world have a blog, video channel, or something market-specific to engage audience members outside of the path to purchase.
To reach your audience, you need to tailor owned, shared, earned, and paid media content to be consumed in the channels that your audience frequents.
For example, Twitter and Instagram are two completely different platforms, so you wouldn’t present a message in the exact same way on each. Tweets are perfect for small consumption—a quick thought, or a short announcement. That short announcement can then be given to audience members through a selfie story by the CEO on Instagram, where video is the most engaging medium.
Not only do you need to tailor the message to the channel, you need to also tailor the message to the audience.
I worked with a CBD brand, let’s call them Bud + Co. They chose their target audience, men and women ages 25-40, based on the CBD market and consumer data. So, they put their marketing dollars where 25 to 40-year-olds spend time: Instagram. They had quality content that centered around the benefits of CBD to reduce stress and inflammation. At the end of the company’s first year, they came to us saying, “we just looked at our sales records through our website, and our customers are mainly men and women age 50-65.” What was the problem? Bud + Co. wasn’t reaching its target audience. The dilemma they needed help facing was, do they switch their strategy after knowing who is actually buying their products? Or, do they change their messaging and try to reach those in their target audience?
Simply put, yes. Yes to both! Remember, your audience is made up of customers and potential customers. These groups are closely related by demographic and psychographic factors like age, income, and media and shopping habits. Therefore, if you find the best channels to reach your customers, potential customers will always be there too.