Knowing your audience will help you master your marketing. Seriously – it’s true!
Ever heard the famous phrase from the movie Field of Dreams where Kevin Costner says “if you build it, he will come?” He may have been talking about his corn field, but this quote as is relevant in the movie as it is to building an audience for your business.
Why is having an audience important?
In short, an engaged audience will help you grow your business. In fact, I’d go as far as to say without an audience you don’t actually have a business.
Why? Because you have no one to talk to, promote your products or services to and no one to buy from you. You need an audience to make sales. It’s that simple.
Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, summed up relations between businesses and their target audiences well when he said:
“Building a successful brand isn’t just about return on investment (ROI); it’s also about building authentic relationships with people.”
This is essentially what PR and marketing is about – building relationships – but for many brands, creating two way conversations with the right audiences online and offline can be quite a challenge.
Why? Because in this digital age we live in, where there are so many options available to us to promote our brands, making the right decision on what channels to use, messages to convey content to create can not only be overwhelming, but also very hit or miss in terms of results … unless of course you know your audiences.
That’s where I come in. If you want to know more, read on.
5 top tips on how to get to know your audiences
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that everything you do, from marketing to product development and service offerings, is dictated by your audiences.
So how do you actually get to know your audiences so you can create and build a positive relationship with them? Here are five top tips:
TIP 1: Identify your audiences
The first step in the process is to identify who your audiences actually are. They could be:
- Customers (current and prospects)
- Industry influencers
- Internal stakeholders i.e. your team, board members etc
- Political figures
… to name a few. Basically your audiences are made up of people who have an influence and interest in your business. Also remember that every brand has multiple audiences – not just one!
To really define who they are, think about why your business exists – what problems or issues it solves and what your product or service means to your customers.
Also think about the supply chain or any businesses you come into contact with before your product or service hits the market. Can they help your business grow? Can they facilitate introductions to potential customers? If so, then they should be on your list of audiences as they impact your business.
TIP 2: Research your audience
Before you start communicating with your audiences, it’s important that you get to know them. A ‘one size fits all’ approach won’t work because they’ll all have different needs depending on who they are and their relationship with your business.
The key is to know them well enough in their different roles to communicate with them effectively.
One of the best ways to get to know your audience is to do your research. Focus on things like:
- Publications they read
- Type of online content they consume
- Social media channels they use
- How they communicate with their own customers
- Their online and offline tone of voice
Once you’ve gained an understanding of these traits for each type of audience you have, you can find patterns that you can use to your advantage i.e. using the right social media channels to target them, creating content you know they like to consume etc. This will help you form the basis of your content strategy and put you on the right path to build your audience.
TIP 3: Pinpoint their issues
Your research and knowledge of your audience should help you pinpoint any issues that your audiences may be facing.
Where do the opportunities or problems lie for them? How can your product or service provide a solution?
These could relate to anything, for example, issues with Government legislation that you may be able to advise on like GDPR, tips on how to market their brand of you’re a marketer or the inside track on how to use a certain product or service related to your industry.
Knowing their pain points and challenges will really help you not only understand what they need from you, but it will also give you the information you need to ease their pain and become a trusted brand in their eyes.
TIP 4: Create a plan
The key to success in effective PR is planning. If you’ve read any of my blogs before you’ll know I love a good strategy!
So here’s my recommendation for you – using the information you’ve gained so far to create 6 to 12 month PR strategy targeting the audiences you’ve identified. That means:
- Setting goals and objectives
- Creating branded messages to attract the attention of your target audiences
- Deciding on your tactics – social media channels, type of content to create etc
- Creating metrics to track your performance when building your audiences
Creating this plan will help you stay focused, build your credibility in your field and open two way conversations that will ultimately benefit you and your business by driving sales.
It’s important to remember when making your plan that you need to position your business so you are seen by your identified audience. If they attend local networking groups then so can you, if they prefer Twitter to LinkedIn, use Twitter as your online platform. Your research and planning will help you be seen and heard in the right places at the right time by the right people.
TIP 5: Get started!
This is the stage of the process where you should begin delivering on your plan to get the attention of your target audiences.
You should be publishing content on at least a weekly basis and posting updates on your chosen social media channel daily. By following the right people and posting updates at the right time, you’ll maximise the reach of your content within your target market, attract new followers who are the right fit for your business and you’ll raise your profile in the marketplace.
Do you want to learn how to build influence and become to go-to expert in your industry? Check out my membership site Headliners: The PR & Digital Marketing Academy to learn more.
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