The key to any successful marketing strategy is a clear understanding of your target audience. This should be your first and, arguably, most important step, as this will determine the most appropriate marketing plan with regards to content, social, search engine optimisation and design.

Research has found that audiences are more drawn to marketing that is personable and shows the ‘human’ side of a business.

Despite this, many marketers make the mistake of guessing what their target audience will want to see, without actually listening to them

How can you ensure that you are listening to your audience effectively?

Social Listening

Social listening is the monitoring of your brand’s social media channels for any customer feedback and direct mentions of your brand or discussions regarding specific keywords, topics, competitors, or industries, followed by an analysis to gain insights and act on those opportunities.

This is the ideal way to find out what your target audience is saying about your industry and, of course, your brand online. Social listening finds root causes behind social conversations and implements long-term strategy changes.

By performing social listening, you can create the kind of content your followers actually want, come up with new ideas based on industry trends, improve your customer experience by interacting directly with customers, and continuously shift your customer strategy to fit the current need.

With many people taking to social media to air their grievances or praise of a company, it is vital that you keep track of what is being said, so that you can engage with your audience that has actively mentioned your brand, whether positively or negatively.

Analytics

Monitoring and analysing your analytics closely will go a long way in helping you to develop a strategy that answers what your audience wants to see, thereby increasing conversions. These figures can be found in any number of marketing activities, from website traffic and social media data, to email open rate and click-throughs.

Use this invaluable data to pinpoint where your customers are engaging the most, and to inform the rest of your marketing activities. For example, if a blog has had a great deal of interest on your website over a period of time, work this into your social media and email marketing strategy.

Just ask

Whilst it may be a direct approach to understanding your audience, it is also one of the most effective ways to learn what they want to see, directly from the source. Just ask when speaking with existing or potential new customers, as to what attracts them to you, their likes (and possible dislikes or should we say learning curves).

Listening to your audience effectively will play a key role in any successful marketing activity, and therefore it should form the basis of any strategy.

Do you plan your social media content?

Yes? No? Sometimes? Know you should but don’t?

The content you post on social media has the power to turn your brand into a household name and turn your followers into fans. This kind of impact only comes from having a solid social media content strategy. It’s not enough to show up on every platform and sporadically update your audience when you have the time. The way to stand out on social media is to identify specific goals, create valuable posts that align with those goals, and distribute content on the right platforms. Then you can measure your results, and fine-tune your strategy over time.

Taking planning to the next level

We can’t emphasise enough that planning is key to the success of social media. One part of the planning comes down to the content, knowing what to say and knowing when you’re saying it. If it becomes ad-hoc that you write a post on the spot, you’re most likely to edit the post 2 or 3 times until your happy with it, it will be at a time that suits you (not your target audience) and sometimes it becomes a bit all or nothing.

If you don’t use a content calendar to coordinate your social media posts, we have to say, you’re doing it wrong. A content calendar gives you a high-level overview of your posts, and shows you when to publish, what to publish, and where to publish.

To create a content calendar, we recommend you use Trello, which is a project management tool. Trello might not be marketed as a content calendar tool, but it’s versatile and has some great features, and this makes it an excellent platform for content calendars.

What are Trello's key feature?

If we were to give our Top 5 features for Trello, we would go with these…

  1. Create boards, lists, and cards with extreme ease
  2. Allows you to use labels to categorize different tasks (eg planning, scheduling, drafting, and publishing of posts)
  3. A calendar view that lets you look at the editorial calendar across an entire month
  4. Invite your team and assign tasks
  5. Automate simple tasks

How can you get Trello?

You can start by signing up here and there are no pricing plans, its free!

Oh, and by the way, this isn’t an AD. It just because we think it’s a great tool!