No matter what industry you work in there will be a level of marketing required to be able to reach the right people, and not only reach them but reach them with the right message and the correct language to gain their trust. This means that you are able to build a working relationship with them, whether as one of your customers, service user, service provider, supplier or even just a potential customer, it’s always a good idea to make sure these relationships are positive. Any PR professional will tell you that keeping the public on your side when it comes to business is key to success, which is why PR professionals exist! But how do we know who our audience is, who we would like them to be and how we should approach ‘talking’ to them directly?
Consider Your Brand
By now you will have nailed your branding, know exactly what your business offers and who you would like to buy your product or service. We spend an awful lot of time making sure our business name, logo, website and marketing materials all look amazing, but it should extend further than that. Knowing who your ideal customer is will play a huge part in how you approach your marketing in general. It’s always a good idea to remember that although your business is yours, and you have created it from scratch you will have to think about how your customers feel about your visuals and the message that you put out.
If your ideal customer is in their 50s and drives a Porsche, there really is no point talking about things relating to a 18-year-old who drives an old Fiesta. Although neither is the right or wrong audience, it’s all about being relevant to who you want to reach. Your brand has to be consistent, the conversations have to be engaging and you will need to spend time on creating a profile of your ideal customer. If this isn’t something you have considered before it might be worth thinking about exactly how you can gather this information. Market research will give you an excellent idea about who you need to talk to, and the best way you can do that.
One way to access this type of information is via survey responses, creating and distributing a survey can bring priceless information to your business. If you want to avoid irrelevant answers, you can ensure you target the right audience with Pollfish, as this software aims to give you quality data using audiences that have been manually vetted. When you receive these answers back, you can then use them to answer questions such as where your customers gather their information, and where they are most likely to purchase a particular item. We used to conduct telephone market research for this information, but that is an outdated and unfavourable method and now we have willing survey participants instead to work with instead.
Once you have established who you are talking to it’s important to think about how you talk to them, and in fact, rather than talking TO your audience it’s a much better idea to talk WITH your audience. It’s not easy to get into a conversation every time, however, it’s always best to gather feedback from your online followers and your existing customers. Not only does this raise your engagement levels, which is great for online marketing, but it also helps you gain valuable feedback about what your customers and potential customers are thinking and feeling. With the world changing on a regular basis, it’s hard to stay on topic and relevant all the time, so when you are speaking to your audience remember to treat it as an ongoing conversation. Authenticity is going to help you seem approachable and become a brand people can trust. Showing that you care about any feedback you receive, can grow from it, and are comfortable with sharing behind the scenes information with your audience is always well received. Some of the most engaging and popular stories are about the actual process of an item or service in the making, rather than the finished product itself, this is because people feel involved and part of the process. Why not look at the survey responses you have gathered and use some of the suggestions and results as talking points?
Sense The Humor
Some brands can get away with being a little bit comical in their approach as this will resonate with their target audience, and some brands are all about inappropriate humour or slogans because it is exactly what their customers want. Not only that but when it comes to social media especially, we are looking for entertainment and something to distract us from our day to day stresses. Equally, it is important to know when it is not the right time to make jokes or share content that might offend, obviously some businesses are not going to be able to make jokes at all. Being self-aware and being able to ‘read the room’ could be the make or break of marketing efforts for many.
One brand that does an incredibly good job of this is Innocent Smoothies, their social media team have been praised on numerous occasions for being able to bring light humour and intelligence to their marketing campaigns, and not only online but on their branding, including their bottles, and their print media ads as well. There are many case studies available which show you how to use humour in your conversations, and how to turn this into leads for your business.
This is just the tip of the iceberg but this should shed a little light on addressing and engaging your ideal customer, growing your audience and ensuring that you have a constantly growing customer base, that sees your brand regularly, is valuable to any business, and even though there are plenty of techniques you can use, and paid services you can hire, ultimately getting your potential customers to talk to you is the first step to any long term business relationship. Stay on brand and hear what your audience is telling you at all times.