Have you ever tried marketing to someone and they didn’t even know you were trying to market to them? Chances are, you’re reading this article because you’re in that exact situation now. You created content, sent emails, and made calls to action, but the person you were trying to reach isn’t even aware of your existence.
You might consider this to be a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s actually a common scenario that plagues digital marketers everywhere. After spending several years building an email list, I can assure you that it’s not a quick process. You have to be willing to commit to the arduous task of getting to know your audience and nurturing your relationships with them so they’ll continue to engage with your content and take an interest in what you have to offer.
Over the years, I’ve collected tips and tricks on how to improve your odds of successfully marketing to your target audience. So without further ado, here they are:
1. Create compelling content
In the never-ending quest to find ways to make more money, some brands will resort to sleazy practices and tricks to achieve their goals. One of the worst practices is buying or using an unvetted list of email addresses from a freelance marketer. This kind of list is often produced by cheaply buying email lists from Facebook or other social media platforms. These lists are almost always made up of harvested email addresses from previous marketing activities, such as advertisements, offers, and webinars. In other cases, the content creator will send out a mass email and collect a list of email addresses to use for future marketing efforts. Regardless of the method, the end result is the same: you’re using content that was not created with any marketing objective in mind.
On the other hand, when you create compelling content that naturally leads to marketing emails, you’re giving yourself a great chance at building a valuable relationship with your audience. When customers see value in your content and can relate to it, they’re more likely to be interested in what you have to offer. In my opinion, creating good content is one of the most effective ways to get noticed by potential customers.
2. Personalize your content
Depending on your product or service, you might create content for various tiers of customers. For example, you could have an education-oriented blog post that appeals to parents, an article on how to save money that’s targeted at millennials, and an in-house training video that targets executives. Each piece of content will have different keywords associated with it that search engines can recognize and place more value on. As a result, you can drive more people to your site and increase the chance of getting conversions.
However, if you want to up your odds of getting conversions, you need to treat each type of customer as if they were a separate person. If you’ve ever shopped at Nordstrom, you might have noticed that each piece of clothing has a unique tag that can be scanned at a check-out station. When the customer scans the tag, a pop-up will appear with the name of the item and the price. That’s because Nordstrom knows that if they can get each person’s attention with a personal message, they’ll have a greater chance of being remembered and persuaded to make a purchase.
The same reasoning applies here. When you create content for marketing purposes, you have a golden opportunity to get personal. Instead of a generic “Thanks for subscribing!” message, you can write a unique letter to each individual on your list.
3. Offer a free sample of your product
When you offer free samples of your product, you’re giving potential customers a chance to try it out before they make a purchase decision. The best way to obtain free samples is by becoming a part of a trade organization that will provide you with discounts and freebies. When you join a reputable organization such as the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), you’ll receive invites to various events throughout the year that promote memberships. In addition, organizations like 4A’s will alert you to special sales and discounts that appear only in the newsletters or on the social media sites of member businesses.
One of the best things about this approach is that you’ll be able to engage with potential customers that might not even be on your radar yet. Simply put, if someone discovers your offering and finds it beneficial, but doesn’t know you or your company, you’ll still be able to engage with them and try to convince them to buy from you.
4. Use social media to promote your content
If your product or service is relevant to social media users, you have a chance of reaching a huge audience. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow businesses to take advantage of their users’ attention spans by delivering value through short bites of information. If the content is interesting, engaging, and solves a problem, people are more likely to share it and promote it to their audience.
This strategy is especially effective if you can become a part of the conversation. By doing so, you’ll be able to reach people who are interested in your product and might not even be on your radar yet. If you get a mention or a share on social media, it might catch the attention of potential customers who are searching for the information you provided.
5. Measure the success of your content
The last step in the content creation process is measuring the success of your efforts. If you follow the steps outlined above, you should see some benefits from your content strategy. A great way to track the success of your efforts is to use analytics tools that can measure the growth of your email list. By determining the number of subscribers you have, you’ll be able to assess the effectiveness of your content strategy.
The only thing worse than trying to market to people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer is not knowing if your efforts bore any fruit. Measuring the success of your content strategy allows you to track the growth of your email list and determine the effectiveness of your efforts. If you see that a certain piece of content earned you ten new subscribers, but it took you a lot of work to get there, you can rest assured that your time was well spent.
The truth is, converting a cold audience into warm leads is a slow and steady process, and it requires a lot of hard work. It’s not a matter of throwing content at the wall and seeing what sticks; you have to be willing to put in the time and effort to build a relationship with your audience. For those of you who are looking to ramp up your marketing performance, I hope this article has helped you gain some valuable insights.