You have heard it once or twice before and you will hear it again – the way companies reach their audiences is changing by the minute. The way we advertise and establish digital marketing campaigns is constantly morphing and adapting.
As John Donnelly III points out in his article, “How Social Conversation Can Help You Discover Your Brand’s Next Great Campaign,” it all comes down to the customer. If the customer is not happy with your brand, they are not buying. So, what does the customer see in your brand that makes them happy? If you’re struggling with how to find the information to answer this question, you’re not alone. In the past, companies have used focus groups and surveys to understand how the customer sees the brand, but while both tactics are helpful in gaining initial insights and acquiring basic demographics such as income, location, and household size, they ultimately fall short. To truly answer this question we need a deeper level of understanding the customer; we need more data.
This is where digital marketing shines, as we can easily collect the data we need to create unique profiles that embody a customer. We can gather information about their hobbies and opinions on current events, identify their favorite news source and most frequently read blogs, learn about their family pets, relationship status, and interests, and so much more.
How, exactly, can we compile this information? Yes, there are major software programs that can provide us with enough data to make your head spin, but oftentimes our most valuable insights come from some of the most tried-and-true digital tactics.
1. Review your keyword strategy. This can be a great place to start, because it is important to understand how customers are looking for your brand and/or products. Is your target audience searching for “yoga pants” or “stretchy leggings”? The distinction between the two isn’t wildly different, but by analyzing their search behavior and combining a number of these seemingly insignificant details about your audience, you can begin to paint a more defined picture of what they truly care about.
2. Audit social media conversations. For many SEO and Content teams, continually creating engaging copy can be a daunting task. Conducting an audit of your audience’s social media conversations can be a great way to connect the dots on customer values. For example, say you find out that a good percentage of your female persona is interested in practicing yoga. Now your content team can play with copy that relates to a wide variety of related causes and values, from fitness to “zen” to peacefulness, and everything in-between.
Additionally, as discussed in Nielsen’s article, “How Social Media Impacts brand Marketing,” social media is becoming a top platform for consumers to express their loyalty to their favorite brands. Once you’ve established causes and themes that resonate with your audience, SEO and Content teams can further leverage these social posts by creating fluid content that demonstrates your understanding of your consumer’s needs.
3. Discern media partnerships. As you work through the audit of your social media conversations, marketers can also work to identify relevant media partnerships. If you find out that your male audience gets their news from the New York Times, it might be a good idea to look into advertising on those pages. Further, as consumers write reviews or share branded pieces that pertain to your products, it is important to capitalize on these connections and create dynamic partnerships.
When it’s all said and done, we know one thing to be true: it will always be critically important to understand who your customers are. In the world of digital marketing, this means you not only need to have a broad idea of who your audience is, but a narrow, specific persona that is rich with interest- and value-related details. The better you know your audience and the more content you create that speaks to this, the easier it will be for customers to establish deep, long-lasting connections with your brand.