We are all media companies now, so the saying goes.
Ready Fire Aim
With digital marketing, it is easy to ‘post without a plan‘ and feel like we are achieving. Posting feels good.
Before we ‘do’ anything, lets figure it out first.
- how to target the right content for the right audience on the right platform
- map which of the 3 ways of generating new business might work best for your company, maybe all of them
- will Search be productive for you – it’s not always
We are a search marketing company, but our complete focus is on success and growth for clients. Our experience in what doesn’t work – that might be what makes us most valuable to talk to.
The digital audience blueprint
The following is a model to map communications out for your own business.
The two existing audiences: communications
- Community: existing and past customers, and networks – blog and email
- Prospects for nurturing: CRM connections, at various stages of qualification – intentional email and phone
The three ‘new business’ audiences: marketing
- Search: people currently looking to find products, services and providers – highly targeted content
- Social: people in our target niche audiences – outbound connecting with posting
- Partnering: those with the same values and target audiences as you – outbound connecting with a plan
The first step towards being organised and gaining traction is planning for these five audiences and considering the nature of each.
Our impact grows over time with consistent messaging and clarity. But we don’t just have one audience.
How we can get audiences wrong
- Often we choose the activity we are most comfortable with
- The type of business we are in might naturally lead us down one path over another, and we might not notice.
- Our target audiences dictate what is possible, whether we like it or not.
- Banging our heads on a brick wall won’t help.
For the sake of completion, the following might be on your mind when thinking about audiences you might be serving.
Community: Those people you are already connected with
Your network, partners, and customers will likely connect with you on social media. There is a certain level of serendipity over the years.
This is what blogs are truly for—timely communication for people who already know you, backed up by email for notification.
Nurturing: These are your prospects
Those on your list who have not converted may want to get to know you first. Connecting via email is probably the first thing you do, do you connect on social?
- Adding these people to your newsletter feels less than optimal. It doesn’t feel like a proper follow-up.
- Someone’s new experience of you should probably be better managed, and consistent.
- Most of your best content is likely already around somewhere
Drip campaigns feel like the most purposeful way of communicating with new prospects, with what they care about being the focus.
New Business Audiences
There are three audiences to generate new business intentionally
Search is prospecting primarily around people looking for the topic – the primary audience definition is ‘the topic’. Content for search is all website based.
More often with Search there is a transient interest in solving an infrequent problem.
- We provide the same content around a new audience every day – once working, its automated
- Non-informational searchers are automatically ‘in the market.’ NOW
- The more information we have on a topic, the more interest we can attract
- The more we position our messaging around the niches, the better we do
- The more we understand about where people are in their timeline, the more appropriate the message
Partnering is underrated and rarely done with intention.
Partnering can be one of the many knock-on benefits of niching. Defined target audiences increase your own effectiveness, but it enables connections with other providers with the same target (maybe together).
Referrals, finding partners with audiences in common can have a massive impact.
Some industries have more obvious partnerships than others, channel relationships are normal for IT companies, for example.
Sometimes, being partners in completely different areas can be more beneficial – as long as you have the same target audience. We work pretty well with Business Coaches for example.
Social is a tool, like a telephone, that can be used in many ways. As well as for networking and for ‘nuturing’, social channels can be used to search for new business opportunities proactively. Some will also use it for operations and support.
If you have a very well-defined niche audience, you can find people, and connect; then this is ‘actively’ adding new contacts in your target audience.
- Social platforms do not send people to the website, they are different audiences.
- Social requires producing new content for the same audience, consistently.
- We have no idea when our target audience might be ‘in the market’
A final note on ‘new business’ audiences
Niches are traditional audiences based on who people are (which is an interesting thing to try and define)
Although search is primarily a topic-based audience, which means we serve the topic first, we can enhance results with niches.
Niches compound and increase the level of interest in visitors.
It makes your content more competitive.
It is the expertise that is most attractive. The promise of your expertise in them generates more clicks, and they are more active when they get here. You merely have to tell them you care about their niche, and that’s often enough to start more conversations. Over time, as your expertise grows, a lot more.
The golden opportunity
Certain ‘big enough; niches support multiple-niche targeted search traffic as well as Social and often it enables partnerships too.
When that happens, this gives us a triple niche, the ability to get new business opportunities from all three methods; Partnering, Social and Search.
Other Audience Types
With search marketing in particular, ‘the topic’ is the primary interest of the person you are talking to. This is traditional media audiences, where you have a target audience together with intent and demand around a topic you have a defined market.
All websites miss this opportunity
Your prospective team is a separate audience. These may be mapped over the new business, prospect and community audience, or you might find them hanging out somewhere else.
Having a plan to connect and develop streams of qualified and talented individuals and attract them to your career pathways is increasingly important.
The traditional media are more digital than ever, but pr, tv, radio (podcasts?) and press are distinct. Media as a branding activity is higher up the funnel than we at Conversationware are normally involved with. This is likely to be highly rewarding networking within an industry.
B2Business vs B2Consumer
These are often considered distinct disciplines and expertise, but that is largely a historical definition. Style apart, whether or not you find new business from search, social or partnering has broken those boundaries.
Skills in digital marketing map to the Search, Social and Partnering channels and not necessarily the type of audience.
Sales and Marketing Merging
A conversation about digital marketing and audiences can’t exclude sales. In fact, it is hard to separate where marketing stops and sales starts.
In digital, the whole buyers journey is merged into one. The world will continue to go more digital, so we might as well get used to the idea.
Customer success is a growing discipline, as are Chief Revenue officers. Merging disciplines reduces friction and makes for accountability.
Transactional vs Relationship
All businesses like to think they have ongoing relationships with clients.
Your news is likely relevant, but not always. Transactional businesses find it hard to continue the conversations after the sale. Ongoing relationships can be defined as marketing, but potentially considered as operations.
Digital is changing how companies operate, every company is a software company.
Lets do marketing on purpose.