OBTAINING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE’S ATTENTION
How do you get people to notice you?
Start with Understanding Where Your Target Audience is
First you need to understand your target audience, when you understand how your target audience spends their time, you’ll know where and how you can communicate with them. If your audience is consisted of sports fans, you could have a commercial on during a football game. If your audience is known to use social media regularly, you should create a Facebook page to engage with them directly and post content related to your field. The only way you’re going to know where they are is by understanding how your target audience spends their time.
The non-traditional method of traditional advertising
Placing Focus on the Audience
Traditional advertising has been used ever since there was the medium to carry it. TV, radio, billboards, etc. They’ve been used and abused for decades saying “Sale! Sale! Sale!” “Buy my thing!” “This Saturday only! Liquidation Sale!” It’s old. It’s tiring. And everyone has become numb to being told to “Buy, Buy, Buy.” Yes, bye, bye, bye! Forget that old way of advertising. Instead of flat-out asking your audience to buy your product, focus on telling a story that shows how your product improves their lives. Think of the Apple commercials where they show their product being used in a number of ways. From people creating family videos to students learning on the same device. Apple is showing how the iPad can help improve people’s lives in a large number of ways. They aren’t saying, “Buy it now,” but they’re showing you why you should. They’re putting the focus on the audience. When you place the focus on the audience instead of your product, the audience sees themselves using the product without actually owning it yet. This type of marketing puts you at eye level with your audience. You show that you see things from their point of view. You aren’t putting your business or your product on a pedestal for people to ogle at. You’re putting yourself within their reach. You might think that this is a lot easier when your product is more of a necessity, so what do you do when your product is a nice-to-have (t-shirt, letter-pressed print, a clothing accessory, etc.)? If this is the case, then tell a story about your product. Why did you make it? Why is it important? Why should your audience care? The idea here is to provide a purpose for your product. It doesn’t just exist without a reason, it’s meant to elevate people’s lives in some way. Show that. This advertising through the means of story is a connection your target audience will react to because they can relate to it. But of course, another way to talk directly to your target audience is via social media.
Providing a Personal Experience Through Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vine, Snapchat… How do you choose which ones to use? Do you use them all? In short, no, not yet. Each social media platform has its use, but you need to understand how it can help you reach your audience before you jump into any of them. Obviously you aren’t going to need to use all of them because your target audience isn’t either. You will realize some are more useful for you than others, but start with the social media platform where most of your audience is, then move out from there. A big advantage of using social media compared to traditional advertising is the price. To get started, the only initial cost is your time. I’ll admit, that can be costly especially if there are a lot of moving parts you need to manage, but providing such a personal experience can prove to be priceless in the long run. As your business gets bigger, you can look for the areas to improve the quality of your social media whether it’s by removing ads on your YouTube channel, or hiring your own social media representative. Compared to traditional advertising where the audience only listens to you, using social media provides a platform for a two-way conversation where the audience can interact with you. Even though you have a profile where you talk about your brand and people can write posts on your page, you can also go find where your audience is. You can do this by participating in Facebook groups and looking for those #(insert your field here)Problems tweets on Twitter. It will be a bit of a challenge as you’re going to have to be actively searching for these situations, but by doing this, you’re going to build trust with these audience members and they’re going to remember that. Then other people will take note that you’re out there helping people and they’ll realize that you can help them when the time arises as well. What I’m talking about is Content Marketing, a higher-level marketing strategy compared to advertising. Since there is so much to talk about on this topic, I will save it for next week’s post.
Get Out There
Clearly, you have some options for getting your audience’s attention and some are obviously more costly than others. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of money to invest, look for the ways you can pay through an investment of time. This typically means through social media and adding a personal touch to introducing yourself and engaging with your target audience. If you’re a larger company with some money to spend and want a good ROI, you need to know where your target audience is and what they are doing with their time. Reach out to your audience where they are, but don’t just tell them to buy your product, show them that it will actually improve their life. Once you have your target audience’s attention, it’s time to build their trust by utilizing the next step: Content Marketing. Check back next week to find out how.