Launching a marketing channel is just the first step. Here’s how you ensure you’re talking to customers, and not an empty room
Imagine this: Your brand’s Facebook page is impeccable, from its photos down to its copy. Your email newsletter is working like a well-oiled machine, with updates going out each week. And your newly-designed website is sleek and functional.
All sounds well. But is your audience — that is, your past, present, and future customers — listening? Or, are your “finely-tuned” marketing channels simply shouting into an empty room?
In today’s cluttered digital landscape, simply launching marketing channels isn’t enough. You also have to woo your audience to sign up, to subscribe, to bookmark, and to follow.
Put another way: If you build it, they won’t necessarily come.
There’s a chance your real-life audiences aren’t connecting with your marketing channels. If that’s the case, don’t worry: Here are three steps you can take to help bridge that divide:
Conduct a social media audit
Did you build that impeccable Facebook page without researching your audience’s communications preferences? That was your first mistake — and a big one. Brands should constantly be refining their marketing channels based on where their audience is. It’s your job to meet them where they are, not the other way around.
For example: If you’re a neighborhood restaurant or local doctors office, your audience is likely expecting updates on Facebook, not on a more formal platform like LinkedIn. And if you’re a PR firm who mainly represents regional press and policymakers, your audience is on Twitter, not Pinterest.
“Understanding the social media demographics of each platform is an essential step to take before determining which platforms make the most sense for your brand to utilize,” explains the social media management platform Sprout Social. The company offers a helpful demographic breakdown of Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms here.
Hone your Facebook plan
While we’re on the topic of social media: Did you know you can create custom audiences for Facebook ads using your opt-in email lists? This allows you to speak to your existing email audience on a whole new platform: Facebook.
Facebook explains: “You upload, copy and paste, or import your hashed customer list, then we use the hashed data from it to match the people on your list to people on Facebook.”
Perhaps you’re wondering: If I’m already emailing those customers, why do I need to reach them on Facebook, too? Because reams of research prove that repetition makes for the most effective marketing and communications. There’s even a term for it: “Effective frequency.”
Talk up your digital assets in real life
When do you know for certain that you’re speaking to your audience? When they’re standing right in front of you. So when you’re meeting with customers — at meetings, at networking events, or at conferences — talk up the digital assets you’ve invested in. Pass out business cards that prominently feature the URL of that sleek new website. Or, have people write down their email addresses so you can add them to the newsletter database. This tip is old-fashioned, but it’s been around this long for a reason.
Some brands assume that just because they’ve launched a marketing channel, their audience will flock to it. But savvy marketers know that’s a faulty assumption. Launching a marketing channel is just the first step — next, ensure your audience knows where to find you, and has good reason to tune in.