Smarter business choices
Research plays a big part in developing your marketing strategy. You’ll want to combine psychology, sociology, consumer habits and trends together, then and pull in your brand messaging.
Once you’ve answered four key questions about your brand, you can start the research process. During which, you will explore how you are going to reach your audience (right after you figure out exactly who they are).
Create audience personas
First and foremost, you need to create audience personas, using a bit of imagination and backing that up with data.
If you have existing customers, you can send out questionnaires and combine the responses with web analytics and social media insights to get a fuller picture of who your audience is.
If you don’t yet have customers because you’re starting up a new business, consider who your ideal customer would be.
To create an audience persona, give your customer a name and write up some details about them. For example, what they might do for work, likely demographics, how they may behave and what you expect their characteristics might be.
You will need to understand your customer, know what their pain points are and what makes them tick. Once you know this, you can work to provide solutions for your customers. Everything you do should be tailored towards meeting their needs.
Plan for the context
Through audience personas, you can figure out where your ideal customers hang out, both online and offline. It’s also important to contextualise this information and check it suits your brand.
Ask yourself if those places are an appropriate fit. If they are, consider what sort of activity your audience will be doing at the time. Is there a particular emotion they will feel? Will they be engaged? Are they going notice your brand, under the circumstances?
Researching your market helps you make smart business decisions.
It’s not just location, but also timing that matters. Let’s say your target audience loves spending time at trendy bars but this happens late at night after a few beverages. Will they be too pre-occupied to remember seeing a flash of your brand in that setting? If so, will it be worth the investment?
Check your brand ethos
The world is changing: more and more consumers want to guarantee the brands they support have ethics and sustainability credentials that are spot on.
What would be the reflection on your customers if they supported your brand? Have you positioned yourself so that your target audience would be proud to associate with you? Does your brand ethos reflect their typical moral compass?
These are important questions if you want to tap into growing sustainability markets that serve consumers looking to lessen their carbon footprint and reduce waste.
It’s all the more important that you align with your target audience’s views if you want them to be committed to your brand long-term.
Tell stories that captivate
You get to know your audience well by doing market research. Once you know them well, you should know what topics will get them going.
How can your business add value in those areas? Write a blog on it. Plan a social media campaign around it. Tap into those topics through videos, podcasts and magazine interviews.
Need some help in this area? Contact me to learn how I can add value through copywriting, polishing or creating your content, and through creative coaching.
Continue testing and tinkering
Research is absolutely not a one-time thing. You need to keep revisiting it.
Once your marketing plan is tightening up, write or produce some of your content to trial how it works. Reflect on the content you’ve published and analyse what had the best response.
If something doesn’t connect with your audience, adapt. Remember, none of your efforts are wasted. It’s all part of a process. As long as you are open to continuously reviewing and refining your content, you’re doing it right.
Build what works into a long-term content strategy that gives your audience exactly what they want, and gives your business what it needs, allowing you to scale up and grow.
What you learn through your research helps you develop a content strategy that actually works and is as cost-effective as possible.
Learn to love the research and you’ll be able to connect with your audience on a deeper level, building trust and long-term customer loyalty.