Whether you are a small retail business or a large corporation, you need to reach out to your target customers to sell your products and services. A popular saying in Hindi says, “Jo dikhta hai, woh bikta hai.” This means, “That what is seen, is sold.”
A small takeaway restaurant uses newspaper leaflets (flyers), an apparel store in a mall uses newspaper ads, and an auto maker uses TV to reach its target audience.
Digital marketing is an equaliser, as it allows businesses of all sizes to benefit from it. No wonder, millions of businesses of every size and form, across the world are using digital marketing.
Let us see what it takes to plan a successful reach out for your business.
Step 1: Define your target audience
A lot of good products fail because their promotions target the wrong audience. The single most important decision for any business is to identify the person they want to sell to. And, this takes a lot of effort.
You need to know the age, gender, education level, profession, interests and behavior of your “ideal” customer before you plan a reach out campaign for your business. In fact, the more you know about your target audience, the better are your chances to design a successful campaign.
One of our clients, Rajesh Digital, in Faridabad wanted to get more leads for “premium wedding photography” from South Delhi, Gurgaon and Faridabad. We were told that in majority of cases, the bride-to-be takes the final decision for the photographer. Based on our discussion, we defined the target audience as:
- Age: 24 – 32
- Relationship status: Engaged, In a relationship
- Location: Gurgaon, Faridabad, 10 miles radius of Nehru Place (covering South Delhi)
In less than 20 days, we generated 61 leads for them. The best part was that more than 85% of these leads were from the target audience of Rajesh Digital.
Step 2: Select the channels that your target audience uses.
The good thing is that everyone uses Facebook. So, you cannot ignore that. If you have a low budget then Facebook is the only channel you should choose. However, if you have adequate budget, you must choose additional channels.
If you are targeting college students, you must target Instagram. If your target includes professionals, then LinkedIn could be of interest to you. If your target audience includes those who love to watch Bollywood videos, then you can not miss YouTube.
However, keep in mind that some channels like LinkedIn are expensive because they realise the value of the audience they provide you. Other channels like YouTube turn out to be expensive because they require high quality video content. So, make sure you understand the budgetary effect of the channels you choose to be on.
Step 3: Decide the communication
If you communicate a lot in one campaign, nothing will stick with your target audience. Small businesses often face this problem. They can’t figure out the #1 Reason why someone will buy their products or services. And, since they have not spent time or effort to figure it out, they want to communicate everything. At the end of the day, their customers remember nothing.
When you are planning a “reach” campaign, the best idea is to focus on your name, logo, web address, and the #1 reason why people will remember you for.
Step 4: Create appropriate content.
I have to admit that most of our clients have a very poor understanding of the content required for digital marketing. As a result, they often end up getting very poor ROI and ROE (return-on-effort).
I also want to admit that it is not their fault entirely. There knowledge and awareness about content stems from either misleading or unreliable sources.
For example, Facebook clearly explains to everyone that posts that have images with little or no text always get better results than images that have excessive text. But, majority of our clients want images with too much content. They are inspired by graphic designers who have earlier worked with ad agencies to create content for newspaper ads. It takes us a lot of time to explain them that on social media, the design approach that works is “Less is more”.
Creating effective content with which your target audience relates to is not an easy job. Very recently, for our client Feel Alive, a restaurant in Sector 29 Gurgaon, we designed a promotion where we took 4 days to finalize 6 creatives to be used in the ad. Most of this time was spent in finalizing the images that showed the value proposition of the restaurant and more importantly, it showed actual customers of the restaurant. A significant time was spent in making sure that we used minimal text. You would notice that none of these images even had the logo or address of the restaurant.
Step 5: Execute and monitor the campaign
You are all set. Now, you need to roll out your campaign on the platform. But, please make sure to monitor it continuously. And, if the performance of the campaign is not as expected, modify it.
For example, on Facebook, the cost of 1000 unique eyeballs is Rs. 50. If you are spending more than that, either your audience is too niche or your message is not going down well. You need to decide whether you want to continue or change the campaign.
Reaching out to your target audience is the first step in marketing for every business. If you get it right, it can be very rewarding. If you get it wrong, a lot of money could get wasted. So, plan it really well.
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In the next blog, I will talk about engaging your potential customers on social media.