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 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.
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.
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).