Our 2018 Bloggers & Brands survey revealed a very interesting statistic. We asked about the reasons to reject working with a brand. A staggering 87.6% of the bloggers we surveyed had refused to work collaborations because they didn’t fit their readership.
This means that either a large number of businesses and agencies sent blanket emails out to loads of bloggers and got rejected, based on not being the right fit. Or, more worryingly, someone, somewhere, doesn’t fully understand their audience, customers or brand. And they thought these bloggers were a great opportunity to promote their business.
Knowing your audience is crucial, from content to brand, outreach to PR. But why is it so difficult to define an audience so clearly?
A failure to communicate
Making massive assumptions about your audience, particularly when you’re trying to attract new people to your brand and engage with potential customers, can be a huge waste of time and resources.
If you aren’t tailoring your content and marketing efforts, like outreach and PR, to an audience, you are not communicating with people as effectively as you could.
Reaching an audience requires you to engage with them on a level that aligns with their needs and interests. A broad view of an audience can let you do this in a very loose sense. But a deeper level of understanding is crucial to making sure you are putting the right content in front of the right people at the right time.
So what are the key things to keep in mind when it comes to looking at your audience in more detail?
Your audience isn’t identical
You might define your audience based on a persona workshop. Talking to stakeholders within your business and looking at transaction history to build an idea of the sort of people who use your products and services.
This can create a really broad, top-level image of the sort of people you should be trying to communicate with. Taking this approach is a great foundation for creating content, websites and marketing materials that appeal to a broad group.
The issue is that within that broad audience definition there are lots of sub-groups. This includes:
- People buying on someone else’s behalf, who don’t normally sit within your target market – such as those buying a gift
- People who sit in different professions, income brackets and demographics to the ones you’ve defined
- Established customers
- New customers
- People researching your industry and products – not looking to buy yet.
Understanding that you have different groups within your audience is key. It means you can look at different opportunities and angles that would help you to reach different segments of your customer base.
This means you can tailor your approaches to different people, meaning that when you reach out to bloggers and influencers you can focus more on a specific group, instead of a broad generalisation. This gives you a better chance of forging a working relationship with an influencer and accessing their readership.
Your audience can evolve
Don’t forget that your customer personas can change over time. So you need to periodically revisit and refresh your understanding of an audience.
For example, you could have a loyal customer base that falls within a specific age and earning bracket. But you need to be mindful that this loyal audience is going to age, and its needs are going to shift and change as time passes.
This is why you need to keep an eye on any changes within your intended audience or customer base. Their needs might change over time, as might the marketing methods they are more responsive to.
You also need to keep in mind that the needs of the demographic you are targeting might have changed too. Assuming the methods that worked in the past are still going to impact your target audience the same way isn’t necessarily the best course of action.
Changing your approach to meet evolving audience needs can help to keep your brand in front of the right people and, in some situations, make you more reactive to changes in your audience and engaging than your competition.
Understanding your audience and how to approach them
You should maintain a thorough understanding of your audience and the groups it is comprised of, in order to ensure you target them effectively. Understanding that there’s nuance and subsections within your customer base gives you far more angles and opportunities to create content, and engage new potential customers.
Audiences overlap. That’s the crucial thing to keep in mind. Your customers probably won’t purely engage with your brand. They might follow a mixture of influencers across social media and have loyalty to specific brands. They might also sit within several other groups, which contain people who would be interested in your products and services.
This means that it is sometimes worthwhile targeting subsections of your audience with your outreach and PR efforts. You could take a more tailored approach, research potential influencers and provide a more considered and refined way of contacting a blogger, which is less likely to be rejected.
Keep in mind that just because your product or service is seen as existing within a niche, your audience isn’t. There might be angles and avenues to approach, which allow you to reach new potential customers that you might never have considered before.
How can we help you to better reach your audience?
Taking the time to understand your audience is crucial whenever you’re looking to do anything within a business, from launching a new marketing campaign to designing a website. However, it is also vital that you stay on top of that understanding, ensuring that any changes to your audience are accounted for, in order to ensure that all of your marketing efforts remain as effective as possible.
Understanding your audience in more detail allows you to engage sub groups, opening your business up to new ways to promote itself and engage with new and potential customers. This could impact the way you produce emails or the routes your creative PR campaigns take.
From making sure you’re approaching bloggers in the right way to understanding how to maintain a transparent working relationship, our 2018 Bloggers & Brands survey provides the insights you need to refine your approach to influencer marketing.
We’d love to explore how our content marketing and PR strategies could boost your sales and deliver greater results for your business. To arrange a brief telephone conversation with one of our team, call 0845 421 2804 or get in touch to find out more.