on | by Raine Pilones

Engaging your leads and effectively communicating with potential clients will strengthen your bond and connection with your audience as a whole. A report by Nielsen indicated that 92 percent of consumers believe opinions and suggestions of friends and family more than advertising. This goes to show that word of mouth marketing is still the strongest form of marketing to this day. Your existing clients will be your biggest advertisers but first, you have to connect with them.

Define your Target audience

Defining your target audience is crucial before you start planning. Your business won’t revolve around your product, it will revolve around your audience. The framework of all your strategies (whether it’s a business strategy, marketing, content, sales. etc.) will depend on who your audience is, their characteristics, and where they can be found online.

Target a specific demographic and look into how your product or service will serve them. It may depend on their age, gender, occupation, income level, and other factors.

Dive into the psychographics as well. This will let you know about the personality, lifestyle, behavior, and interest of your target audience. These can be used to determine what specific features of your service or product attract them. 

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Psychographics will also let you know where they frequently go online, which social media platform they use the most, and where they get their information from. Knowing these will let you know which platform to use 

How do you engage with your audience? Especially during uncertain times where their behaviors are difficult to predict?

Here are some tips and methods that will help you communicate and engage with your audience which will help deepen your connection with them.

1. Create relevant and valuable content

Content bridges the gap between your brand and your users. After you’ve researched your target market, you now have an idea of who they are and what their pain points are. Now you have to come up with content that will give them more information about their problems and also solutions on how to solve these challenges.

Types of content you can use to connect with your audience:

  • Blog posts

More people are surfing the web now than before. To gain more knowledge, to educate themselves, or to check and compare products, buyers are now going online for information and you should be there to provide it to them.

Your blog not only increases brand awareness but with the right strategy, it helps draw in the right clients. It promotes awareness and shows visitors that your knowledge about the industry is legitimate and that you are a credible source of valuable information.

Here are some of the most popular types of blog content:

  • How-tos
  • Infographics
  • Statistics
  • Case Study
  • Product Reviews
  • Product News
  • Interviews
  • Listicles
  • Guide
  • Checklist
  • White Paper Content

White paper content are great lead magnets. White papers are like ebooks but can be shorter. It can be likened to an upgrade of your blog post with added information and can be downloaded. This is another method where you can get users to sign up in your email list.

White paper content are educational materials that should be supported by hard facts and statistics.

  • Ebooks

Ebooks are often used as gated content or content that can be accessed after a user subscribes or answers a form. Ebooks are used when you have content that’s in-depth and goes beyond mere awareness. This will guide leads to considering why they should choose your product or services and subtly persuade them to choose your brand as the solution to their problems.

 

For this reason, ebooks are also popular lead generators. Of course, you should choose a topic that’s really relevant and valuable to your target audience. Remember that although the ebook is for free, you should have people download them after providing basic contact information like name, company and email address.

  • Newsletters

Newsletters are helpful in nurturing leads until you get them to convert. If the ebooks are the lead magnets that made the user sign up, then the newsletter’s job is to prep leads to the point that they’re ready to purchase.

This is a great way to let potential clients know that you’re thinking about them, in short, it’s a lead generation strategy that boosts your communication with your subscribers.

  • Guides and How-Tos

Want to build up trust and respect for your brand? There’s no better way to do this than creating content that guides your potential clients in solving their dilemma.

The effect of guides and how-to blog will benefit both your SEO strategy and content marketing strategy, provided that you are creating something that provides value to your audience.

Users want knowledge, they want to learn and most of them go online to look for tips or information to add to what they already know.

Guides and other instructional content not only provide them with the information they need but guess what? It’s content that is certain to heighten the level of engagement.

Of course, effective guides and how-to content should always be well-researched and should always be planned carefully. 

There's a reason why SEO services are in-demand these day. They're a necessary force that powers content. No matter what content you’re pushing out, make sure that SEO is implemented in each one of them. SEO and content marketing go hand-in-hand, especially today. This fact can’t be stressed enough. While it’s true that more than half of the world population are internet users, and online consumers are growing by the second, it’s also a fact that more and more businesses are setting up shop online. Competition is getting fiercer and eCommerce businesses are getting more creative with their SEO strategies. Even eCommerce platforms like Shopify are stepping up to help people keep up with their Shopify SEO feature.

So, remember that whatever content you choose to create make sure that it connects with your audience and that it’s an enjoyable piece for them, but also, that it’s optimised for SEO.

2. Ask for your audience’s opinion

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Part of developing your brand’s relationship with your audience is building trust. A relationship involves hearing both sides of all the parties involved. This means you should show your clients and leads that you are a brand willing to listen to them. This will tell them three things. 

  1. The opinion of your clients matters to your business. 
  2. You aim to improve your services or products and are not afraid of criticisms.
  3. You’re not just providing your services to make money off them

3. Invest in Branding and Web Design 

As much as we’d like to say that, “It’s not a beauty contest, what matters most is what’s inside” – this doesn’t quite apply online. Truth is, people will judge your website’s appearance and it takes just 50 milliseconds for a user to form a first impression for your web designer to make a good impression on them. If they find that your website doesn’t look good on whatever device they’re using, they’re most likely going to bounce.

The website is what houses your content. You can compare it to a mall and what’s inside is the content. People tend to flock malls that are clean and modern-looking, they can shop more comfortably that way. The same thing goes for websites.

People have expectations of how a website should look like. So don’t think too outside the box. For example, if you’re a gym or a fitness store in the UK and you’re setting up your eCommerce site, you don’t want to have it designed the same way as the Candy Crush Website (that’s an outrageous example but hopefully it made the point.). Similarly, if you’re a gym in the UK or an eCommerce store in New Hampshire, you should work with a digital marketing company that specialises in working in those locations too, this way, they can target SEO in UK, New Hampshire or wherever your location is and solidify branding.

Make your web design simple and easy to navigate. Add in its capacity to look good in whatever device the user chooses to view it on. This means, your website should not only look perfect on a desktop or laptop, but it should also look flawless on a smartphone or tablet.

E-commerce A/B testing is a popular method to know what works and what doesn’t with your target consumer. You can do this with logos, navigation bars, where to position the search box or what design draws in more people and which layout makes them enjoy browsing your site more.

If you’re not too sure about what works with your audience, you can outsource digital marketing services to an agency and have them help you figure it out. 

4. Don’t make it all business

Your business isn’t about your product, it’s all about people. Maybe you already know this or maybe this is not a concept that you’re used to but, this is the truth. The most successful businesses nailed the ability to connect with their audience. 

Now that social media is everywhere, and almost everyone has them – from a high schooler to the president of a country to a royal, there’s a new trend and that trend is transparency. People crave to be close to a brand, to know everything about a brand and its intentions. Now that they can see more, consumers now care more about where their money is going.

Go the extra mile. You can connect with your audience by making it all about them and not about you.

Reach out to your audience, reply to comments, and share posts (or share and highlight them on your website). These are all important factors when creating a personal relationship with your customers. Not only will these actions result in repeat customers, but you’re also showing the world what kind of brand you are.

5. Use video to connect with your audience

Video is a powerful tool to connect with people since humans are visual creatures. 65 percent of us are visual learners and a huge number of us process information based on what we see. 

The great thing is that there are a ton of platforms you can use to get your videos across. Videos are now more accessible and shareable on any device which gives you more opportunities to reach more people.

You just have to plan your video strategy effectively. Have more relevant and more targeted content. One way you can effectively connect with the viewer is to imagine how you want them to feel when they watch your video. 

It all starts and ends with the audience. Do you want them to laugh? Do you want them to feel excited? Inspired? Enlightened? This will guide you in planning your video content.

6. Keywords

This falls under search engine optimisation and a more technical way of connecting with your target market. Knowing the right keywords your target audience is searching for will let you know what topics they are interested in. 

For example, you’re a dentist in the UK and are targeting clients around the area. What you want to do is look for long term keywords your target audience is looking for and create content from those root keywords. For example, they’re interested in dentures. What you want to do is to create content about ‘types of dentures’ or ‘how dentures work’, to name a few, and optimise it for search engines so that people can easily find it. There are digital marketing companies that work with SEO in UK and who can provide you with content to match so that you don’t have to get all technical on your own.

This strategy can lead to better insights that will help your business connect with your audience by knowing what they’re interested in,

7. Use humor and compassion

No matter what the circumstances are, you should always aim to develop an emotional connection with your clients. 

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The most successful campaigns are those which were able to build an emotional connection with the audience. An example would be Coca Cola’s emotional branding campaign “Share A Coke – Share a feeling” and also their campaign “Hug me”. Here they targeted a broader demographic consisting of children, young adults, and adults. The creative way that they brand their products, like putting emoticons on cans so people can share their feelings with acquaintances or allow consumers to personalise their containers and post it online, carries over to the viral culture that we live in today. 

Key Takeaways

Everything in business revolves around your customers. Even search engine optimization aims to increase its sophistication in natural language processing to smoothly understand the user and give them the best results for their queries. Although it’s important to be attuned to SEO, you have to start and end with the customer in mind.

If content or SEO isn’t one of your specialties or you simply don’t have the time to focus on these tasks there are content marketing services available to you and partnering with a digital marketing firm might be the most viable option.

Search engine optimisation will always be a priority whether you’re in the UK, Australia, or the US, yet, at the end of the day, it will always be about the user. So, do as Google does, and aim to satisfy your clients.

Tags: Insider Marketing SEO

About the Author

Raine Pilones is a content creator for Axadra and a digital marketer specializing in SEO. She has been in the marketing industry for 7 years working in tech and TV production. A writer by day and a reader by night, she enjoys aquathlons, long runs and playing short trills on the piano.

Raine Pilones
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