Talking to your audience in a manner that directly speaks to them and gets them to do what you are seeking of them plays an important role in your overall marketing plan. In advertising for each campaign, there is a clear message to the target market to connect with them emotionally through need or want. This emotional connection is what drives many to buy and continue to buy when the product or service meets or exceeds the expectations. Blogging is a bit different as brands are not developing a new commercial or print ad every day. When we think of blogging in this way, we have to look at the overall blog, the purpose of the blog and who is our audience and how we will effectively talk to our audience to get them to come back each day, read, comment, share and buy from us. This is an interesting dynamic that we do not hear much about.
Lifestyle of Your Audience
Talking to your audience effectively is having a clear understanding as to who they are, how they wish to be contacted and spoken to and how you fit into their lives. Mapping out a buyer persona is just the beginning as knowing who they are as far as the numbers (ie single mom, 1 child, owns home, household income under 100K). Their lifestyle and how they spend their time is most important to them. Are you there when they need you to be? Are you interrupting them when they are trying to get the kids off to school or making dinner when the kids are whining, “mom I am hungry, is dinner ready yet?” every 2 minutes? While there are numerous variables that we are unable to determine and foresee, there are some that we can look at and see where we are best suited to fit into their lifestyle.
Talking To and With Your Audience
Your audience needs to be spoken to in a way that is not only convenient but comfortable for them. They hold the purse strings and attracting their attention is not only golden but it is necessary. New bloggers feel this regularly as they try and infiltrate a very crowded space. Why should people read you when there are a million others to read? What makes you so great that they need to come back and support your blog and/or your company? The way in which you talk with them and not to them is what sets bloggers apart. Helpful and useful tips, how to problem solving, reassurance, issues of every day life, etc straddle the fine line of talking to and with. Talking to is generally associated with a one-way communication and traditional advertising where the brand sends out a message and we are expected to have that emotional connection and act. In blogging we are both talking to and with our audience. Talking to is the new visitors that find the article as they are seeking information, use the information to solve their problem and move on. This could lead to a purchase as we have all sat down and known exactly what we were looking for, found it, bought and wait for it to deliver (whether that be results or in the mail). Do we even remember the site’s name?
Now on the other hand, talking with is having that emotional connection and the article resonating with the readers for them to take some sort of action; even if that action is a different point of view. They remember and return. They have a connection with you that makes them be so compelled to subscribe, comment so as to associate themselves with you and return to see what you are saying next.
How to Talk Directly to Your Audience
Becoming your audience is one of the best ways to talk to and with. As a small business social media marketing agency I need to understand the challenges of small businesses and how many hats they wear each day and where their focus is. If I had a staff of 85 would we really understand the challenges of small businesses? Maybe but not very likely. Look at brands and their advertising and you can see how they speak to us by understanding and being us. They tend to be successful as they know our price point, they know their competition and the likelihood that we will buy the competitor if the price is more in our range, they know that for a mom with small children that when they point out that the lower priced laundry detergent has more water than cleaning agents that they will spend more to have the cleaning agents to ensure that their clothes are clean. Do college kids care more about cleaning agents or the price? Some buy what their moms or dads did but when on a budget and seeing that their friends are using something else and have more beer money, I am thinking that cleaning agent is not a big factor as really will their parents know that they used a different detergent? See how we can talk directly to our targeted audience?
Can Advertising Talk With Your Audience?
Advertising in the traditional sense has never been associated with talking with our audience. Social media marketing is changing that through the platforms where we can not only watch commercials online but we can also see or hear the spot and then connect online. Are the days of one way communication over? Could be. That pretty much quashes the notion that TV, Radio and print will be a thing of the past, right? Social media will not kill traditional advertising in the same way that television did not kill radio, that cable did not kill major networks. We can look at commercials and see how they have focused in on their target and are speaking to but with them as they understand the lifestyle better and who they are talking to. It is interesting as we are seeing more commercials that are taking on more what I call advertising to kids. Holiday ads for parents are a nightmare as the ads speak to the kids by showing them how the product works and how cool it is.
Have you also noticed where we are seeing ads that cater to adults showing how products work and making us want them as they are not only cool, they can be useful and connect with us on how we spend our free time? The Call of Duty, Black Ops has done just that. They have what is to be regular people, a woman in a suit, a woman in a more casual outfit, men in suits and jeans, celebrities – in other words attracting and speaking to people in their life as they know you all are playing their game so now upgrade to the Black Ops. Take a look:
They are not only showing who is playing their game, they are showing that you are not alone, that the person behind the code name may be a celebrity and that going to the next level is what everyone else is doing. They are driving sales without saying BUY THIS NEW GAME.
How are you talking to and with your audience? Do you have to do both?