Month: December 2016

Are You Talking to Me? Building Your Audience

In the last week, I have personally seen, read, heard, or experienced the following:

*A new business owner who had no idea who his product would appeal to

*A seasoned businessman who had no idea where to find his audience

*A lead generating product that had no appeal to its intended audience or any sort of relevancy to the eventual main offer for sale

What do all of these marketing disasters have in common, and what can we learn from them?

They weren’t “talking” to the right people, in the right way. In some cases, they didn’t even know which people to “talk” to.

Audience identification is one of the most critical elements of any marketing endeavor. Perhaps even THE most important. And perhaps we’d better say “business” endeavors, because without it, I don’t see how any business could succeed.

You HAVE to know who you are talking to when you begin to craft a marketing message. You have to know if you even HAVE an audience to talk to, if you plan on offering a product or service. Knowing who you are talking to, who to address your marketing messages for, makes all the difference between miserable failure and outright disaster, and smiling, happy success. Here’s why:

  • You have a message. Your message has a voice. That voice will only appeal to a certain segment of the market – those who want or need what you have to offer. That market segment is your audience – the ones that need what you have, and like how you present yourself to them. They find what you have to say interesting, attractive, AND relevant to their situation.
  • Your content needs that audience. You need eyes on your “stuff” in order to gain growth and ultimately, success.
  • Your content needs specificity. Your product or service has to fulfill some need or desire. You need to know who your audience is so you can correctly address those needs and wants.
  • Your content needs focus. Whether it’s a blog post, or that $5million ad, you have to have a place to start, and a goal in sight. You have to know what the purpose is before you create it. And that purpose is determined largely by what your audience wants or needs to know.

See why knowing your audience is so important? Everything from the number of blog readers to the number of sales you get from your marketing emails to the ultimate success or failure of your entire endeavor, depends on identifying your audience correctly. You gotta know WHO you are talking to!

Now, let’s look at those disasters we began with, and analyze a bit of what, and maybe where, they went wrong, and how to avoid them in the future.

*Our new business guy is the easiest, and least damaged, situation to deal with. About an hour of basic market research and he’s got his initial audience figured out and can now begin reaching out to them in meaningful, effective ways.

*Our older, seasoned guy has several choices, and again, can rather quickly remedy his problem, although the wasted efforts of throwing campaigns out there like paint on a wall can never be recouped. He can crunch some numbers and see exactly WHICH of his various previous efforts had the most success. Was it the Facebook campaign, or the Twitter? Was it the one aimed at the younger demographic, or the older folks? Another choice would be to simply ASK his tribe who they are and where they prefer to hang out. Who knows? Maybe his gang hangs on LinkedIn or prefer old fashioned newspaper and other offline marketing? Point is, he has avenues of finding out where they are, so he can use those locations to reach them with his marketing efforts.

*The young guy with the lead was a rather sad experience for me. He came to me for help, because he was getting lots of response from his ad, but his opt-ins were almost null. After looking at his stuff, I realized that the reason he wasn’t getting any leads was because his lead was all wrong for both his audience AND his product. His audience had said they were dealing with lifestyle issues – poor eating habits and lack of energy – and yet his lead was all about the vitamins and whatnot that are needed for “proper nutrition”. Nothing about eating habits or even about food sources for those vitamins and minerals. Nothing about energy boosting or causes of malaise. And the kid had worked long hours producing that report. (Not to mention it was too long and dare I say it, boring.) So I sent him back to the drawing board with some fresh ideas. I offered him my help in creating a new lead and follow-up mid-level offer, but he said he didn’t have it in his budget. Here’s the homework assignment I gave him:

  • A lead that outlined 5 causes of “lack of energy” and offered an easy “booster smoothie” recipe to help counteract some of them
  • A mid level ebooklet that consisted of the following – a more in-depth look at causes of malaise, a diet plan that would help improve eating habits AND provide more energy, an exercise routine or list of various exercises that are known to boost one’s energy level, and lastly, a mention of “alternative” methods including the main offer product – his vitamin supplement.

Both address the need expressed by his audience, AND offer value in helping them address those needs. Both also lead nicely into his main offer’s sales campaign.

Take away lessons:
Know your audience. Talk to them in the ways and in the places they prefer. Make your messages meaningful and relevant. Make them attractive and receivable.

Know who you are talking to, and what they want to hear. It’s vital to everything you do as a marketer and entrepreneur.

If you are stuck and need help like these clients were, contact me and we can discuss YOUR situation. There are always solutions to be found.

Did You Forget Something In Your Content Marketing?

courtesy Digital Ralph at https://www.flickr.com/photos/ralphpaglia

courtesy Digital Ralph at https://www.flickr.com/photos/ralphpaglia

Ah. Content marketing. One of those things you can’t “do business on the internet” without. One of those things all the marketing “gurus” throw into their training packages and webinars.

Write it and they will come.

Create it and they will come.

Content is supposed to solve all your traffic problems. All your sales problems. All your audience and authority and building an online presence.

Problem is – it doesn’t. Why? Just because you create it, doesn’t guarantee “they” will come. Doesn’t guarantee that “they” will ever find it. And it also doesn’t guarantee that you have created anything “they” will want to consume if they DO find it.

Content marketing gurus tend to make one big mistake when teaching, discussing, and soapboxing about content marketing.

They forget the MARKETING part of the equation.

They teach you to crank out content – blog posts, podcasts, videos, you name it – but they don’t tell you what to do with them.

They tell you to create content to create an audience – but they never teach you how to find that audience.

They discuss using content to inform, to entertain, to build relationships with that audience – but they never teach you how to do that.

And this isn’t something new. I recently heard from a professional who has been blogging for 15 years. YEARS. And no one ever really taught her, in all that time, what to do with her content. Another fellow said that he’s been cranking out content for over a year, and never knew it had to have a purpose. That it should serve some function in his business.

It’s been all about the content, and not about the marketing.

And that’s sad. And frustrating. And causes many to think that content marketing doesn’t work. Or that it’s “dead” and outdated.

It never has been and it isn’t now. The problem is the focus. The focus on simply CREATING all that content.

So what do you do? How can you fix it? How can you change your content marketing so that it actually works, and “they” actually DO come? So that when “they” get there, there’s something of value to both them and you?

Follow along, Blooms…….

1.) Create a strategy. NEVER write a single word, record a single sentence, without knowing BEFOREHAND what its purpose is. Never create content without intent. The “field of dreams” strategy of “write it and they will come” doesn’t work. Know what you are doing and why you are doing it before you begin.

2.) Do some market research. Know WHO your “they” is. Know WHAT they need to know. Know who else they read, follow, listen to every week. Do they prefer audio or video? Text to images? All of the above? Once you know who they are, what they need, and how they like to get that info, you can approach your tribe. Then, simply offer them something that both meets their needs and yours.

3.) Create a marketing plan. Now that you know who you want to reach, find out where they are. Do they hangout on Facebook? Or are they part of the Twitter crowd? Maybe they are all those suits on LinkedIn. Wherever they are, that’s where you need to be, too. You can create a paid ad campaign to lure them in, or you can start offering up bits of useful info and help, while drawing them back to your main content hoard.

4.) Create the content. Now that you know WHAT purpose your content will serve, WHO it will serve, WHERE you can find them, and HOW you will best bring them to you, you can actually begin content marketing. Write those blog posts, record those audios, film those vids. You can do it with confidence and courage, not simply throwing darts in the dark hoping something pops.

It sounds a lot easier than it is, but believe me, it’s a lot harder doing it the “field of dreams” way. And hey, if you need help creating that content, or figuring out what to do with it, that’s alright.

That’s what I’m here for. Set up a call or drop me an email. I’ll be happy to help you with all your content marketing “stuff”.

Together, if we build it right, they WILL come.