Have you ever read the children’s book “If You Give a Moose a Muffin?” It’s a hilarious tale of how one distraction can lead to another and another until you end up doing something entirely different than what you first started out to do.
Ever been there? I have.
I’ll be cleaning out my kitchen when I get inspired to cook an elaborate meal but then realize I’m missing some ingredients and have to run to the store where I see thank you cards which reminds me I need to write a letter to my grandma for the birthday gift. Before you know it, the meal is burning while I sit amidst a pile of old scrapbooks and photos. How did I get here?
There are so many different routes to engage with your readers. If you don’t have laser like focus your marketing strategy will also fall into this trap.
So how do you avoid it?
Start with the basics
There are some basics that, regardless of your audience, you need to establish. These basics include a website, blog, getting involved in the online scene by contributing to other blogs and engaging those audiences, and building a social media presence.
I call these basics, but I know they’re a lot of work.
Don’t feel bad if the basics are all you have time for when you start. Further down the road, you can expand your marketing reach. Starting with this ensures you have a solid foundation before you tackle the rest.
Tailor your plan
You’ve conquered the basics you say?
Well done! Here’s a virtual high five from your marketing team aka you. Yes, now’s the time to give yourself a high five, or pat on the back or maybe you’re not a touchy feely person and a syrup drenched chocolate chip pancake all to yourself is your thing. You do you. Celebrate a job well done.
Move beyond the things every marketer/writer should do and start doing things relevant only to your specific audience.
Let’s dust off the personas we worked on last week.
Ask each persona this question:
“What are the best ways for communicating?”
Ok so maybe that’s a bit of a trick question. To get the answer you may need to back up and, if you haven’t already, break the question down into smaller, more manageable questions:
- Where will they spend their time? Is it Facebook? Buzzfeed? Pinterest? Pokemon Go?
- What websites do they go do?
- What groups do they belong to?
- What types of content do they share?
- What types of information appeal to them? Videos? Infographics? Blogs?
- What magazines do they read?
- What are they searching for online?
The answers to these questions will help you know the best way to communicate to your readers.
If you happen to have any data shedding insights into the above questions you’ve struck gold. Often times, with a little bit of digging, you can find the answers to some of those questions. It may not be exactly what you need but like any good politician will say, a little extrapolation can go a long way. Take what data you can find and put it to good use.
Select three platforms
Now that you’ve answered all those questions and reviewed your personas you’re ready to select where to market to your readers.
Start with just three. Once you’ve gotten the hang of three and are in a groove you can add more.
For now, focus all your energy and efforts on the three digital platforms where the majority of your personas are spending their time. These platforms can be Twitter, Forums, GoodReads, Facebook, or a YouTube channel. It can even be your Aunt Michele’s 90s home designed website for all I care. If your reader is spending time there, so should you.
Tailor your content
Once you select your platforms it’s time to figure out what to do with them. Since you’re a champ and already answered the questions above, this shouldn’t be too hard.
You already know what types of content your readers are interested in and in what format too. So whether it’s satirical blogs, snazzy infographics or whimsical vlogging, you know what’s going to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to your time and effort.
The point is to speak their language, be engaging, and to hang out where your readers are. Every bit of content you create should be with your personas in mind. Would they enjoy it? Share it? Comment? Or would they pass over it because it’s too generic, not funny enough, or not their sort of thing?
Keep up the good work
Once you’ve selected your digital marketing platforms and started creating content for them keep at it!
It takes a lot of time to engage your readers where they’re at with content they appreciate. Sometimes it can be long and slow in generating results.
Patience is indeed a virtue my friend.
Stick with a consistent strategy for reaching readers. There’s certainly something to be said about changing things up if you’re not seeing results. Just make sure you’re tweaking your plan and not throwing it out the window all together.
Best of luck to you as you embark upon a journey to delight your readers where they’re at with content they value.
Candace signing off from lunch break and headed back to tech world.