Studies show that there will be over 2.6 billion social media users by 2018. With an estimated global population of 7.5 billion people, that’s almost 35 per cent of the world’s population using social media.
As with digital platforms such as forums, social media allows businesses to engage in a dialogue with their customers and foster a loyal community. These communities are built on authenticity and forging meaningful relationships with individuals and groups alike, who relate to and resonate with your business and want to listen to your stories.
We are afforded endless opportunities to listen to our customers, to really hear their needs and wants and engage them with content that solves their problems, speaks to them and helps to build an emotional connection.
The first and biggest step in building a community of loyal customers online through a strong digital or social media strategy, is to identify your audience and get to know that audience as intimately as possible. Profiling Methodology, as below, can help to break down an audience and build a profile of our target customers.
- Demographics: age, sex, nationality, ethnicity, religion.
- Socioeconomic: income, job status/level, education, wealth, location.
- Psychographic: options, thoughts, values, morals, interests, attitudes.
- Geographic: physical location, where they live, where they visit, where they travel to, where they came from, where they went to.
A lot of businesses make the mistake of thinking everyone is their target audience. For example, thinking that if they’re selling toothbrushes, anyone with teeth falls into their target audience. This is one of the broadest examples I could think of, but when you look at the different variants, styles, price points etc. of toothbrushes, you can see there is no ‘one size fits all’.
I’ve worked with accountants who want to target anyone who files a tax return, I’ve worked with removalists who want to target everyone who wants to move interstate, and I’ve worked with e-tailers who want to target anyone with a car. This is great if you have an unlimited budget, but most established businesses have allocated a set percentage of their revenue towards their marketing, and they expect to make a measurable return on this investment.
There are a number of ways to research your audience, from Google analytics, to surveys, to opt-in forms capturing customer details. Make this research core to your business process and continue asking your customers what they want.
- Who or what is your ideal client?
- What product or service yields you the greatest profit?
These two questions alone typically allow us to develop a strong lead generation campaign that is laser focused on a very specific group of people (the target audience) and on driving interest towards a product that is highly profitable for the client.
Digital Marketing Basics
A short guide to setting up and implementing a lead generation campaign:
Audience: Always start with your audience and be specific. Without this as your starting point, we’re basically shooting in the dark and will waste a lot of time and money reaching the wrong audience.
Product/service: Understand the specific product or service that is most relevant to your audience, and ensure that it yields profitable returns when you convert.
Content: Content is King! Engage, educate and inspire your audience. Solve their problems and speak to their needs.
Channel: Fish where the fish are. Sounds obvious, but this is often overlooked. Some basic research will help you identify the places your audience frequents: Are they on Facebook? (It’s very likely they are.) Do they search using Google? (They probably do, but what are they searching for?) What websites do they visit? Are they regularly on mobile devices or in front of a computer?
Campaign: What words would appeal to them? What images resonate with your audience? You have a one- to two-second window to capture their attention; what is so compelling about your content and why should they click on your ad?
Budget: Set a number you are comfortable with. Just like your personal spending, avoid spending beyond your means. Always take a conservative approach to begin with.
Monitor, test, optimise, refine: Monitoring is the key to success when executing digital campaigns. It is important that you carefully watch and analyse what is happening. Are you getting an immediate response? Or are people seeing the campaign but not acting? Use A/B split testing for your campaign producing, say, five different images or five different straplines or hooks, with different image combinations, to see which piece of content generates the best response. Then cull the baddies, optimise where you can, and push the good ones harder.
Without first knowing your audience, developing a campaign would be pointless. Knowing who and where they are and what messages will address their concerns is key.
Remember however, all of the research and campaign efforts in the world will amount to nothing if your product or service offering is misaligned with your customers’ expectations. If your customer experience falls short, if the claims you make that entice people to transact with you are not delivered, if you don’t stand by what you deliver or the offers you provide are uncompetitive, then no amount of marketing is going to help you.
One of Australia’s leading digital marketing experts, Kevin Spiteri brings a refreshingly candid, crap-cutting approach to educating business owners, managers and marketers on the strategies to become dangerously good at digital. Starting his first business at 14, Kevin was heading up the marketing department of an ASX listed multi-national corporation at just 25. Releasing I Just Want It To Work: A Guide to Understanding Digital Marketing and Social Media for Frustrated Business Owners, Managers and Marketers in May 2017, he aims to educate business owners, managers and marketers globally about the digital and social media marketing space, helping them make educated decisions when either employing an internal resource or engaging a 3rd party agency. For more information on Kevin Spiteri and the upcoming launch of ‘I Just Want It To Work’ please visit www.kevinspiteri.com.au or book.kevinspiteri.com.au