Marketing has evolved drastically in the last decade. Traditional marketing consisted of TV, Radio and newspaper advertisements, billboards, spreading flyers and brochures outside to passer-bys, sending e-mails to random lists of people, calling random people in their home phones to sell them services, among other types of outbound marketing. This kind of marketing does not talk with people, it talks at people. This kind of marketing does not engage with its target customers and with time, people stopped listening. Businesses realized that this kind of marketing was not really effective so they turned to a different kind of marketing – inbound marketing. This kind of marketing focuses on attracting the right kind of customers and engaging with them. Inbound marketing asks for permission to engage with its target customers and to send them e-mails and texts. This kind of marketing has the potential to make your target customers love your brand marketing. It gives you the platform to create marketing that will have your customers loving your brand and wanting to engage with it. So how can one create marketing that people will love you wonder?
Well, it’s not very easy, but with a healthy dose of commitment, a scoop of research and testing, a handful of hard work and a pinch of working smart; you’ll have a perfect recipe for loveable marketing ^_^.
Select your target market/customers
Whether you’re a business selling products and services, an NGO, a school organization or a community; you cannot market to everyone. It’s like trying to please everyone out there; we all know that is not possible. Therefore, the best thing to do is to determine who you are marketing to, who your audience is and then create a strategy that has that target market in mind. You could be a young adult fiction writer; therefore your target would obviously be young adults. You could be a community based youth group based in Riruta, therefore your target audience would be youth between the ages of 18 to 35 years old who reside in Riruta, Nairobi. If it helps, you can even create target personas; that is, a person who is a dream customer for your brand marketing. A great example is if an online bakery in Nairobi is creating a marketing strategy; one of the target customer personas would be:
Jane, a 29 year old, Project coordinator for a company based on Ngong road, loves online shopping for utmost convenience, works 6 full-time days a week, accesses the internet at least 5 – 6 hours a day, bakes at home when she has time, has a sweet tooth.
With that persona in mind, the online bakery is able to create content for Jane that she will love. Every brand or organization that is marketing should make sure it defines it’s target market in order to attract the right audience and then create marketing that will resonate with that audience.
Create content that resonates with your target audience
After you have defined your target audience, you should then create content that will appeal to your audience. The best way to create content is by creating a blog for your brand or organization. You should post on the blog consistently and frequently to stay relevant. The blog should have content that is geared towards your target audience. Using the example above; the bakery blog would contain home-baking tips for Jane to use while she’s baking at home. It can also contain updates on important events, sales or tips that will help or involve customers of the bakery e.g. discounts on certain baked goods, improved payment or delivery systems or any events that are upcoming.
Content does not only include blog posts, it also includes pictures to be shared on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram pages, quotes to be shared on Twitter, short videos to be shared on Instagram and/or YouTube. Whatever the content you are creating, you should always have your target audience in mind.
Connect and engage with your audience
After attracting your target audience; whether they have already purchased products or services from you or not, you should make sure you engage with them. It is not enough to post and share your content on your social media pages; you should also talk to your audience and get feedback from them. Using the above example of Jane; the online bakery owner should not only post pictures of baked goods, tips on baking at home and recipes. The owner should also ask Jane what kind of recipes she would like posted on the bakery blog and her opinion of the products she has tasted from the bakery. When you engage with your audience, they feel listened to and important to your brand; they are likely to become brand ambassadors and may promote your business offline.
Make your audience smile or laugh
If you see a funny picture or a hilarious joke on your Facebook timeline or Twitter handle; you are more likely to share it to your friends, than a plain post about facts. As much as sharing factual content on your page is good, it’s also important to evoke positive emotion from your audience by posting posts, quotes, pictures or videos that will make your target audience smile or laugh. It also shows your audience that you are capable of having fun and that is definitely loveable. Make sure the content you share is not harmful or hurtful; don’t have a laugh at the expense of anyone.
Research and change your marketing strategy often
Whether you are a community-based organization or a business brand, it’s very important to know that the market changes often. What was popular or convenient last year has possible lost popularity this year or isn’t as convenient. Audiences change their preferences often in this day and age and your marketing strategy has to adapt appropriately. For a brand to keep up, you have to make sure you are constantly researching. Research should be on various things; current trends your target audience is following, new technology e.g. apps or websites, new inbound marketing trends and methods, to name a few. You should carry out this research periodically to ensure that your marketing activities are effective; if they have stopped being as effective as they were six months ago, change them.
If you’re a business that sells products or services, don’t start sounding like a salesperson. Find a balance, especially on social media; or use the 20 – 80 rule. Post content that is helpful and engages with your audience 80% of the time and post 20% content about your products and/or services. If you seem like your selling too much to your audience; they will not engage with you and they might stop following your brand. They will stop listening to you.
Give away free stuff once in a while
Who doesn’t love free stuff? I do! Sometimes people just love getting free products or services. Offer free items to your target audience in form of contests, raffles or trivia. This increases engagement on your pages and your target audience will just love you for it! This will increase your reach and popularity as well.
These are just a few ways of ensuring marketing love from your audience and we can all use a little love for sure!
If you have any other suggestions on spreading marketing love please share below.
* This post appeared originally on the Storymoja Blog.