What lies at the heart of every marketing campaign? Is it the fancy graphics? The hot celebrity pushing your product? Or is it something else?
The truth is, it’s the audience that is the heart of your marketing campaign. If you don’t connect with them, you run the risk of your campaign falling flat. By making a connection to your audience, you stand a better chance of making an impact, and better still, building a lasting relationship.
So how can you focus your marketing campaigns and make them more audience-centred? Here are some of the techniques you can use for making marketing campaigns that matter to your audience.
Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons
Identify your audience
A common mistake made by businesses is that they’re targeting the wrong audience. The internet and improved communication tools mean that audiences are larger than ever, but that can make them more difficult to target. It’s important to identify your target audience by asking questions such as:
- What’s my target age group?
- Where do they live?
- What are they interested in?
By spending time identifying your audience, you can make sure you’re advertising to those likely to choose your products, rather than casting the net far and wide. In some cases, you could discover a whole new audience segment that you didn’t realise were interested in your company or products.
Get to know your audience
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can work on getting to know them. Where do they shop? What language do they use? By spending time building a clearer picture of your market, you can then create campaigns that will appeal to them the most.
So what are some of the ways you can find out more about your target audience? You can conduct research in the form of surveys and focus groups, use data from social media analytics, as well as create personas based on who your customers are.
Remember that your audience’s behaviours and attitudes can change over time, which is why regular research is important for the future and longevity of your business. Spend time reading consumer insights to help you stay up to date on the things your audience are interested in.
Bring back trust and honesty
Many businesses are fast to make bold claims, but can they always be trusted? As people become more exposed to marketing, the wearier they become of it. Can you trust an ad that you see or Facebook? Are those statistics real? By being seen as a real, honest company, you can help build the trust that is so important to businesses.
Building trust helps people have faith in your product or service. There are several ways you can do this. From sharing customer testimonials to sharing the inside story of your business, there are different things you can do to instil trust in your business. Take a look at some of the ways businesses are using video marketing to build brand trust.
Be different to your competitors
When it comes to your competitors, it’s better to stay ahead of the game than fall behind. However, if you rely on your competition to give you ideas and inspiration for your own campaigns, you run the risk of appearing inauthentic, and driving your customers straight into your competitors’ arms.
Why not try something completely new and different? Take inspiration from other industries, not-for-profits and different organisations to help you get ideas. It’s easy to get complacent and stick to industry norms, but that won’t help you in the long-term.
Canva has put together a great list of 71 ads that will make you think, showing you how being bold with your campaigns could deliver big results for your business.
Use content your audience can respond to
Getting a reaction from your audience is one of the simplest ways to know you’ve created a stand-out marketing campaign. If you think of the Christmas TV ads that are launched every year, they all try to generate some kind of response from the viewer. Most of the time, it works, and the chatter around Christmas TV adverts grows each year – bringing plenty of attention to the companies behind them.
But if you haven’t got the budgets that John Lewis or Tesco have, then you need to get creative with your content. Visuals can be very important in a marketing campaign, and should emit an emotional response from the viewer. This could be sadness or humour, and even outrage.
Marketing and photography – is it important? When you look at the impact a great visual can have, then the answer is a clear yes. The images you use within your marketing campaigns can have a significant impact on the result. Social media, in particular, relies on strong visuals to connect with an audience, which is why platforms like Instagram are so popular.
If you take a look at some examples of effective content marketing, you can see how photography can be used in different ways. Luxury companies like Rolex and car manufacturers rely on photography that makes you want the product, while other marketing campaigns might reflect situations and emotional responses that grab your attention and make you stop and think.
The great thing about using photography in marketing today is that it’s becoming easier than ever to take high-quality photos. You can buy your own kit and learn to use it easily, while even some of the photos taken on a phone can be used effectively in a marketing campaign.
Get your audience involved
If you want to get your audience to take notice of your marketing campaign, why not involve them directly? We live in a great time where anyone is able to create content using devices they carry around with them all the time, and they love to do it. It’s the reason why people tag brands and companies in their Instagram photos or mention them in their tweets.
There are a lot of creative ways you can get your audience involved in your marketing campaigns. From creating content-sharing campaigns to using real customers in your campaigns, there are different ways you can get the audience involved. This not only helps you connect your brand to your customers better, but it can build up the trust mentioned earlier in the article.
More and more businesses are using this approach – using ordinary people to share stories that are relevant to others. Banking ads are a great example, showing how people can learn to love their high street again, or how they can save to embark on life’s big milestones like marriage or homeownership.
Get clever with targeting
Traditional advertising methods had their downsides. A TV or Radio ad, for example, could reach a mass audience, but with no real way of targeting them. Things are different today, and online advertising provides some incredible opportunities to target an audience. Facebook, is especially great for creating ads that can be targeted to a certain location, age group, demographic and interest. To help you get the most out of your money, using targeted ads could help you reach the right audiences with your marketing efforts.
Personalise the experience
One of the key things a marketing campaign should address is ‘why is this relevant to me?’ Customers want to know what a product or service should do for them, and why they should care about it. And this is where personalisation can be useful. By using personalisation, you can use techniques that hold people’s attention for longer and make content that’s more relevant to them.
While many people have concerns about data, there are still many users who would exchange some of their information if they benefited from a discount or a special offer. Many companies will ask for a date of birth with a promise of a special offer on your birthday, but providing your date of birth could provide some excellent data for a business.
There are some great examples of personalisation in marketing. Large companies like Netflix and Amazon are using it to great advantage, keeping customers interested in their products and services as a result.
Keep an eye on what everyone else is doing
It’s important to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to marketing. By keeping an eye on the latest trends and developments, you can feed your own creativity. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and replicate what others are doing, but it’s a good way of brainstorming ideas for your own campaigns. Think about the advertising and marketing campaigns that have made an impact on you recently, what was it about them that made you take notice?
Your marketing strategy is important to your business. If you’ve been using the same techniques for years, or you’ve seen your results decline for a while now, then a fresh approach could turn things around for your business. No matter what you do, remember to focus your efforts on your audience, it really could transform your business.