Focus your messages on the right communication channels
How do you decide on the best marketing communication channels to reach your audience? You’ve refined your message and focused it with laser-like sharpness on the needs of your ideal prospects. You’ve incorporated strong branding that captures your identity. You’ve created a clear and compelling call to action.
Now you need to deliver the perfect message to your target audience. How do you do so as efficiently and effectively as possible?
Taking an audience-centric approach to messaging
For years, many marketers have employed a “spray your message everywhere” approach, especially on social media. Its premise is to distribute your content via every possible social media channel as a means of generating as much attention as possible. It feels good for marketers to say, “Yes, we’re on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok and more!”
But that traditional “spray and pray” tactic isn’t effective. Here’s why:
- If your target audience doesn’t congregate on certain channels, your messages are being ignored there.
- This approach spreads your message too thin. You’re broadcasting it too much in places where no one is listening and not enough in the places where they are.
- It’s time-consuming and it wastes precious resources that could be redirected to higher-value activities.
To reach and influence today’s audience, a more strategic approach is required.
A much more effective strategy is to focus your marketing where your ideal prospects already congregate online. Are they part of the 27% of Americans who use LinkedIn? Do they love YouTube? Do they hang out in Facebook groups? Are they big fans of Instagram? Or does your audience prefer more intimate marketing communication methods like email, direct mail or a personalized newsletter?
Preferred marketing communication channels vary by many different demographic factors, including age, interest, location, income, and of course, the purpose. For example, your target audience may love social media in their personal life but prefer to consult trade publications when researching their business buys. With 2.3 billion users, everyone seems to be on Facebook, but are they thinking about work when they’re scrolling through their newsfeed of friends? Probably not.
Where does your audience go to research solutions? How do they find vendors? Do they prefer to do research using Google or do they prefer referrals from industry peers? Many B2B buyers like to consult directories, trade magazines or authoritative websites in their industry.
Don’t rely on gut feelings or assumptions to make these content distribution decisions. Build your approach around what’s working. Use your content and social media engagement data to determine which channels are working best for you.
Try some experiments, measure the results and iterate your approach. Devote more time and resources to what’s working, and less to the tactics that aren’t. In this way, you will continuously improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
But don’t stop there. Go to the source: Ask customers which information sources they use when they’re searching for prospective solutions and vendors. Their insights will give you a much better idea of where to focus your content distribution efforts.
Map your content distribution
The best way to take a strategic approach to content distribution is to create a map of your assets, drivers and destinations. An Excel spreadsheet is an excellent format to capture this data. For each asset (piece of content), capture data about the drivers – or channels you plan to use to deliver your message – and the destinations, where each of them will “live” (such as a page on your website, in a trade magazine or a YouTube channel).
This approach will help you target the right messages to the right people in the right places. It will also enable you to clearly identify gaps and weak spots in your plans. It will also make it easier for you to track the performance of each asset, driver and destination so you can improve your messaging and distribution over time.
Take the good, better, best approach to content distribution
Chances are, you’re already doing some aspects of content distribution well. Why not build on those successes by using a good, better, best approach?
Focus on finding the right channels that your prospects use to research products and services. Don’t get too attached to one particular channel or assume because it’s popular that it’s right for your audience. Do your research.
Expand your scope to include your ideal prospects’ buying process. As they move through it, how do they prefer to be communicated with? For many marketers, white papers, webinars and other premium pieces of content enable you to obtain prospects’ contact information. But it’s what you do with it that makes the difference.
For example, if a prospect signed up for one of your webinars, they should receive a follow-up campaign of collateral pieces and emails that provide them with additional insights, advice and resources on the same topic. Incorporate their information and delivery preferences into your nurturing campaigns.
An ideal strategy is an omnichannel approach where you use all the data you’ve gathered from past campaigns to shape and inform your current strategy. Stop guessing at the needs of your ideal prospects and ASK them. Through interviews and engagement, you can zero-in on their needs, interests and wants. You’ll learn exactly where to reach your target audience and how they prefer to be contacted.
This type of targeted, data-driven approach provides a superior customer experience that they’ll really appreciate. It also improves your odds of achieving better results from your campaigns.
Deliver Your Message the Right Way at the Right Time
To reach your target audience, focus on delivering your message where it makes the most sense. Test and refine your approach over time. For best results, create a road map that clearly defines your assets, drivers and destinations, and where they fit along your ideal prospect’s buyer’s journey.
Remember, targeted, customer-focused communication is a must!