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A strong brand communication strategy is a long term investment. There are a variety of digital communication channels to choose from and selecting the right ones is as important as the content you share. The “attract, engage and convert” funnel won’t work if you’ll be trying to talk to your potential customers using the wrong platforms and wrong content.
Customers are very demanding, price deals incentives and salesy advertising are no longer effective. Not only do they turn out to be unprofitable, but these tactics do not deliver the value the authentic and customer-focused brands can deliver. Obviously, customers do not want to hear about things that are irrelevant to them. Digital noise made them very sensitive and self aware to the point where they are using ad blockers to protect themselves from annoying advertising.
According to PageFair Adblock Report 2017, a striking number of 615 million devices now use adblock worldwide and 74% of American adblock users say they leave sites with adblock walls.
Also overly promotional content and lack of relevance are the main reasons why customers are unfollowing brands on social media.
If you want to effectively communicate your brand online the easiest thing to do, and at the same time the hardest thing to do, is to step out of your own bubble and put the customer at the center. Even if you’re a small company now, it’s important to translate your passion and idea into your brand image and focus on building long-term and valuable relationships that will make your brand grow.
And in order to do it, you need marketing precision to cut through the digital noise and reach the right audience.
Define your ideal customer
Before you start choosing the best communication channels for your brand, first define your ideal customer. Ask yourself where your customers are, how they come into contact with your brand and what they have to do to decide on your product?
This is your starting point and never ever should be overlooked. Your marketing communication must be tailored to your customers needs and you cannot do it, if you don’t know who your potential customers are.
The following can help you identify and define the different customer personas:
- Geography: region, population, climate
- Demographics: age, gender, income, family size, family lifecycle
- Psychographics: lifestyle, personality, interests, habits, values
- Behaviour: loyalty, readiness to purchase, attitude towards product, buying decision
Here is a great article from Buffer that will help you design your own customer persona.
If you know who your customers are, you can now discover how they spend their time online. Leverage the data you already have. Look through your Google Analytics to uncover how certain customers found your product, how they are consuming your content, what the sources of traffic for your website are, what their buying patterns are, etc.
Tracking data in Google Analytics will tell you the traffic sources and the keywords your customers used to land on your webpage. Not only will you discover your customers intents, but also you will be able to craft the content with the right use of language and incentives based on the queries your customers use to find you.
Join the right social party
Social media platforms serve as a source of information for many of us and your customers are there for sure. With plenty of social media platforms to choose from you can be a “social butterfly”, but should you attend every social party? Being everywhere simply because everyone else is on the bandwagon is not worth your time and money.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but really do your research here as well. Every social media channel has its own demographics and allows businesses to tell their brand story in a different way.
Facebook still rules the world of social media platforms, with over 1,870 million active users, it holds an 18% market share.
But it’s not only the number of users that is interesting from the brand point of view. The engagement of the audience will determine the time you put into social media marketing.
And the demographics will tell you which social media platform fits your business needs best.
When you’ll be choosing the social media channels you want to be the most active on, also remember and think about what type of business you have and what type of content you want to use to engage your audience. If you want to focus on quality visual content, beautiful pictures and video, maybe Instagram or Pinterest will be better for you than Facebook or Twitter.
Leverage email marketing
In today’s complex digital world, seamless customer journeys build solid, mutually beneficial relationships between brand and customer. Email marketing fits into every stage of your marketing and sales funnel and helps you foster relationships with your subscribers.
Email subscribers are a chunk of your online community that has to be really well taken care of. These are your website visitors who decided to share their contact information with you and stay in contact with your brand. Email promises your brand two important things. First of all, your voice is heard by the people who actually want to hear from you. Second, your marketing communication is effective.
Your customers are checking their email daily. They do so while watching tv, being tucked into bed, commuting, or even attending formal ceremonies!
And they check their email multiple times a day! Despite the peak time for campaigns sent being a time window between 9:00 and 11:00am, the distribution of opens and clicks is rather continuous during the 24 hours.
The engagement and the profit
Consumers prefer to receive email communication from brands and this translates directly into their purchasing behaviour. In Q1 of 2016 email marketing drove 18.4% of purchases, up from 15.5% during the same timeframe in 2015.
To benefit from the promises email offers your communication it has to rely on honesty and transparency. If you succeed in generating trust among your email subscribers they will engage with you and ultimately spend with you. Because the ultimate goal of your marketing communication is to move the customer or prospect from interest to acquisition.