Understanding Your Digital Audience
Bas van den Beld, State of Digital an award winning online marketing strategist and an outstanding expert in influential Digital Marketing is speaking about efficient ways to get to know your audience. The video of the webinar is availiable here
Understanding audience is not easy. Most businesses don’t pay much attention to what the audience wants mostly because they don’t know how to. There are so many people and so much content, that people often miss a lot while surfing online. They actually miss so much that even advertising in a different way, like a live subway ad with a woman’s hair moving every time a train arrives, might turn inefficient.
4 stages of buying process
According to Bas van den Beld, the buying process has four phases:
The problem of many brands is that they are focusing on the last two and forgetting the first two phases. The solution to the problem is relevance – i.e. getting in the middle of people’s attention by knowing what questions people have and being able to answer them. In many cases, marketing managers just repeat the same message over and over again. However, it does not work – proper marketing would learn people’s real passions, share them, and get trusted by the audience.
4 types of audience
As put by Van den Beld, there are four types of audience:
are looking for an answer to a question. Even if your content answers it, they do not necessarily proceed to buying
help to spread the word about you
are already with you, no need to convince them
are influenced by other groups, and have belonged to one of them before becoming buyers
Create different content for each group of audience
Content needs to be created for all of the four groups, each one separately, because each type has its own behavior and needs its own strategy. It’s also important to know at which buying phase they are. Usually, those in unaware or awareness phase look for social media content, while the other two phases are better targeted at the search.
Look beyond the obvious
Before creating any content, research on what your audiences are. For that, you need to gather data about the people.
For instance, people’s Twitter accounts show what sites they read. “It’s much easier to put your content where your target audience already is, than to move your audience from one place to the other,” the strategist reiterates.
If people share something, it means they already have answers to certain questions. Look for the questions, they do not have answers yet – for instance, at Q&A websites. If you are able to answer – bingo! Go ahead and answer it on your own page or website.
Case Study: Dishwasher online strategy development
How can one sell dishwashers when the “buy dishwasher” search gives 147,000,000 results in Google? Here are some tips for you.
- See Google suggestions for your product – they are based on people’s real searches and show more angles to the product.
- Search for it on social media. It helps to gather information about real issues that people face with the product.
- Structure data according to the stages of buying process
- Mind-map your findings according to the stages
- Get as much data as you can and analyze it together, connecting the dots.
- Create different content for each stage
In the dishwasher case, the following videos have been created for different stages:
- Stage 1 – unaware – a free downloadable guide ‘How to load dishwasher correctly’. This has been done make people realize we’re selling dishwashers without making them hate you right away for trying to sell the dishwasher to them.
- Stage 2 – aware – made a video on how to troubleshoot a dishwasher.
- Stage 3 – research – made much more video content on possible dishwasher issues (see research described above, the findings were used to generate video topics).
- Stage 4 – buying – a dishwasher buying guide, for those who actually know they want to buy it.
- In addition, “Download Dishwashing Chore List” has been created to add to videos. The purpose of this trick is to make something that is both useful and makes people remember the brand.
To sum up with, in successful digital targeting it’s important to remember to:
- Continuously understand your audience – at which phase they are?
- Remember that not every piece of content has to sell!