In today’s market, just identifying how your product or service will best meet the needs of your customer isn’t enough to separate your business from all the competition. New advances in digital marketing technology will allow you to personalize and hyper-target your audience. To find your audience, however, you need to begin with your business persona. Here are a few ways to tailor your digital marketing strategy to fit your business and your customer.
Your marketing team should already know who your perfect customer is. If you’re selling even something as universal as soap, your target market cannot be “everyone who uses soap.” Define your audience by age, sex, income, and style, just as a starting point. Not having a defined audience not only means that you probably won’t sell well in general, but that you won’t be able to effectively use the new digital marketing tools, wasting your advertising budget. Even if you have more than one perfect customer based on different products you sell, it’s worth your time to build your buyer personas. Digital marketing isn’t like a billboard where you hope someone who sees it might want your product, instead, you’re going to send out your advertising only to people who you think already want what you’re selling. Before you market yourself to your perfect audience, make sure your business fits the image you are projecting. Too many businesses have made the mistake of trumpeting values of inclusion only for their employees to point out online that all the employees are white, or touting their commitment to the environment when their customers point out their overuse of plastic and packaging. If you truly want to make a commitment to the environment, consider installing solar panels, eliminate bags for purchases and reduce packaging. If diversity is one of your values, make sure your team not only reflects diversity but that you have it built into your company culture so that your diverse team members don’t feel they’re kept on as tokens. Any time a company engages in doublespeak, know that the internet will find out and the internet never forgets. Once you’ve made sure your business fits your values and reflects the marketing image you will project to your customers, it’s time to dive into digital marketing.
Social Media Presence
Creating a social media presence is one of the most effective and inexpensive marketing tools in your arsenal. If you’re a brand new business, social media can help build brand awareness. Don’t scatter your shot too widely. Pick two or three platforms to focus on. Depending on your products, Pinterest may be a good match. Pinterest users are primarily women aged 25-54 and a whopping 40% make over $100k annually. That’s a lot of spending power you can harness by creating a business account and creating pins that link your products back to your website. On the other hand, 200 million monthly users is not a huge demographic with which to engage. If you choose to try Pinterest, you may want to create a similar campaign on your Instagram account.
Instagram has 1.2 billion individual users each month and over one billion accounts log in daily. However, their audience skews younger, with the primary audience in the 25-34 category, with a more even distribution of men to women and your account is rarely recommended to users in the same way it would be on Pinterest, requiring a more organic approach to social media growth. Compare the Instagram demographic to TikTok where more than half of users are 16-24. You can see how running multiple accounts can help you compare ROI for Pinterest versus Instagram or Instagram versus TikTok, but if you’ve carefully narrowed your audience, it is unlikely that all three platforms will have your ideal customer.
No matter your audience, having a YouTube presence may take more effort than other social media platforms, but reaching 73% of all adults is a huge market, and all the ways you can utilize the content you create, makes it worth it. Businesses can begin YouTube with nothing more than a cellphone camera, but if you want to convey a more professional image, you may want to invest in decent recording equipment. Think about your own marketing persona. Do you want to be funny, educational, entertaining?
Think about content that shows the different aspects of your business. A pizza parlor could show how they make pizza, creating content with recipes and demonstrations and content about its employees. If the business is solar-powered a whole video could be dedicated to the value of solar energy and the process by which the business converted. The information box below each video can be used to link your products that are being showcased, post business hours and any other helpful information.
Once you have your video content you can use it across your marketing. Include thumbnails and links in your advertising emails. Create a transcript and post it to your blog. Rip the audio and start a podcast. Smaller sections can even be reposted to video-friendly platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
There is also paid advertising across all of these social media platforms that will target your audience, but millennials and Gen Z are less likely to trust advertising, instead relying on recommendations and trusting in the parasocial relationships they build with businesses and individuals online.
Small Business Tools
Once you’ve created your social media presence, there are many tools out there to help you stay on top of responses and create engagement. Social media is not a set-it-and-forget-it marketing tactic. For social media to really draw in your audience you need to create that parasocial relationship. Your customers should feel like they know you personally, and they trust you to be reliable and provide excellent products and service. There’s almost no way to track everything people say about your company on the internet because some will not tag your company in any way, and you don’t want to be spending your life tracking your social media accounts. An investment in a good social media tracking tool will save your sanity.
Aligning your company culture to truly reflect your presentation on social media, and then using that social media to expand your reach and increase sales can be your most inexpensive and most satisfying method of growing your business.