Connecting with consumers can be a real challenge for marketers.
In our media-obsessed, overstuffed online world, it can be difficult to determine how to build meaningful relationships.
The first step? Connect with the right consumers.
And if you’re not sure how to do that, this post is for you!
First, Flip The Script
Our friends at Affinio recently released an eBook entitled, Influencer Marketing in the Retail Industry: A Guide for Retail Marketers, that encouraged us to pen this post.
They say, in part:
“Instead of building strategies and then finding the audience, we believe in flipping this process. The “build it and they will come” model is outdated, yet many marketers still use it. Before marketers can successfully strategize and implement an influencer marketing initiative, they must have an intimate understanding of their ideal audience.”
How do you find your ideal audience? You start with trust.
71% of consumers trust (and rely on) their peers to make buying decisions.Connecting with consumers a challenge? You need to flip the script.Click To Tweet
These guidelines will help you get started:
- Understand the makeup of your target audience and their peers (including their peers’ interests)
- Research the interests of your audience (you can use a tool like Affinio)
- Based on similar interests, identify influencers who create and share content around your target audience/their interests
- Make a plan to engage with those influencers; share their content, comment on their content, build a relationship
For one of our clients (who happens to be an expert on content marketing), the process we created was as simple as finding influencers for his blog and sending out a series of tweets to connect, engage, and start sharing their content.
For those who were responsive, we then made an ask of contributing.
This simple outreach project has garnered hundreds of responses and a 6-figure reach increase in only three weeks.
Connecting with consumers and/or influencer marketing doesn’t have to be hard or costly, but it does take a little homework!
Connecting With Consumers Using An Audience-First Approach
Here’s an example Affinio uses in their eBook (which you should totally download — it’s a quick, data-driven read!):
“Let’s say you’re a retail marketer for an outdoor clothing & gear brand. Sure, males aged 25-55 might need outdoor gear; but what products they need and the reasons that they want them are based on their interests, not their gender or age. This is where demographics are limiting.”
Affinio’s advice for an audience-first approach to connecting with consumers goes something like this:
- Segment your social audience based on their shared interests and affinities
- Look at who or what your target audience chooses to follow
- Take note of passions, interests and ultimately what an audience cares about most
- Use these insights to make data-driven decisions
Using the same outdoor clothing and & gear brand, here’s what the Affinio tool uncovered based on the audience-first approach:
Perhaps this outdoor brand already creates content and influencer outreach based on outdoor adventures, runners, and sports.
But what if rock climbers and surfers are totally unknown?
Digging in, this brand could identify new, interest-based communities to market to, while also noting insights such as:
- Most-visited domains
- Most-used emojis
Can you see the incredible value in that?!
As a marketer, having these insights can allow you adjust messaging for each segment (new and old) you’re marketing to, and align directly with an audience’s interests.
How Are You Connecting With Consumers?
While there’s more than one way to connect with your consumers and target audience, starting with audience development is key.
We love using Affinio to wow clients and help us have an audience-first marketing mentality.
What are you doing to ensure your messaging is connecting with consumers in a deeper way? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
Latest posts by Brooke B. Sellas (see all)
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