Pick the right channel for reaching your audience

There are so many available methods out there that allow your business to reach your target audience. The key is to choose the right medium to optimise your audience outreach.

A friend of mine recently asked if I had any tips on marketing her personal website via Instagram. I answered by asking a series of questions, and that automatically led to her understanding that Instagram should not be her focus for marketing efforts. Too often, people get caught up in the hype on the most popular social media platform, when they should be focusing on what works. It’s the typical battle of quantity versus quality.

In order for you to be able to pick the right channel for reaching your audience, you first need to ask yourself the questions listed below. Bear in mind that this list is the bare basic to getting you on the right track for making the correct choice.

What is the product / service you are trying to market or promote?

Although the type of product or service you are trying to market greatly affects the medium to use, there’s always a chance you can creatively devise a unique way to market. In the past, for example, mobile phone manufacturers ran simple campaigns through traditional mediums such as newspaper ads and TV commercials. Today, a huge number of consumers buy mobile phones after researching through forums and review sites. The most unique medium is YouTube, where reviewers film unboxing videos, and even drop tests on mobile phones.

Understanding consumer reaction to marketing efforts through different mediums is a big part to making the right choice. If you are marketing the latest mobile phone, will consumers react better to a video advertisement on the coolest features or to a brochure they receive in their mailbox? If you are running a blog on interviewing entrepreneurs, will readers react better to Instagram posts or catchy / insightful headings on your Facebook posts?

Who is your target audience?

Knowing the demographics of your target audience gives you a lot of important information.

Firstly, it gives you an idea of what attracts them. When the Blackberry was still one of the most popular brands in the mobile device industry, their marketing efforts were focused on showcasing the stability and security of the operating system, together with features such as the exclusive BBM, and internet faxing. Although the Blackberry was used my both novice and expert personal users, it was really most attractive to the professional users. There was a time when there was not a lawyer who did not have a company-issued Blackberry.

Secondly, it tells you where or what are they spending their time on. Here in Southeast Asia, you see loads of Uber and Grab ads on Facebook, but why? Because they are ride hailing apps, which also means that a big group of their target audience are expected to spend a lot of time on Facebook, especially on their mobile phones.

How are your competitors reaching the same audience?

When you are able to understand how your competitors are reaching a similar target audience, you are able to establish a baseline, or a rough gauge as to what the industry and its consumers are expecting.

Examine what methods your competitors are utilising, and just as importantly, their results. What social media platforms are they publishing content on? What type of content are they publishing? What is the public response to the published content?

There is absolutely no shame in replicating what works. Replication of effective methods may not always guarantee success, but it certainly improves your results. With insights on how your competitors are faring, you should aim to right their wrongs, and improve your own efforts.

What are the objectives of your marketing strategy?

Stop blindly throwing away money at the common marketing platforms just because they are the most popular or that they have the highest number of users! It is of utmost importance that you know what you wish to achieve with your marketing efforts. Are you trying to build brand awareness because your company is new? Are you building product awareness so as to showcase unique or revolutionary features? Are you driving sales for your latest product launch?

Each objective requires a different strategy, and thus a different medium and call-to-action. Lastly, NO – you cannot have all the objectives at once. You need to focus your efforts for optimal results!

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