We have heard a lot about marketing strategies but our marketing vision is all behind the scenes of a successful marketing plan.

When developing a strategic vision, answer the following questions:

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. Where and How will you engage your audience?
  3. Who will hold your marketing campaign?
  4. What tools will you use?
  5. How can you increase engagement?
  6. How will you measure your success?

1. What Is a Target Audience?

Your target audience refers to the specific group of consumers most likely to want your product or service, and therefore, the group of people who should see your ad campaigns. The target audience may be dictated by age, gender, income, location, interests, or a myriad of other factors.

Depending upon what you sell, your target audience might be a niche or broader. For example, if you were a shoe vendor your target audience would be broad since men, women, and children all wear shoes. On the other hand, perhaps you specifically sell high-performance running shoes. Then, your target audience would be more niche — elite athletes between the ages of 20–40 who have expressed an interest in running or have run a marathon. Either way, it is important to define and segment your target audience in order to determine the creative messaging that will resonate with them, and pinpoint the channels they prefer.

Examples of a Target Audience

Target audiences center around a specific group of people. These can be men, women, teenagers, or children. They generally share an interest such as reading, running, or soccer. Personas can help advertisers investigate relevant magazine titles or industry publications.

The Benefits of Knowing Your Target Audience

As a marketer, understanding your target audience is vital. This information will define every marketing plan and strategy you execute. Airing an ad during the Super Bowl might seem like a great way to be seen by as many people as possible, but it is also expensive. Furthermore, only a quarter of the viewers would actually be interested in your product. Knowing that your target audience reads a certain publication or watches a certain show means that your ad will be seen by fewer people, but the right people.

For example, if you sell running shoes, ads in running magazines may be a better fit for your target audience. Selecting the right media is essential for achieving marketing ROI on your efforts.

In addition to increasing ROI, understanding your target market allows you to build relationships and better communicate with consumers. You can develop creativity that speaks to specific personas, and develop brands that coincide with the interests and values of those most likely to purchase the product. This is especially important at a time where consumers expect every ad to be personalized and highly targeted. In fact, 80 percent of consumers say they are more likely to do business with a brand that offers personalized interactions.

3) Engaging a Target Audience

1. Start with what you know

It’s likely that your target audience shares traits with the people you already know. These “lookalikes” are, therefore, a good bet for growing your audience.

To find new people who are interested in what you do, take a look at what you know about your current contacts. Are many of them around the same age? Do they live in a specific region? Do they respond consistently to a certain kind of content? You can use that data to find people who are similar.

Say you operate a neighborhood gourmet shop, and you notice allergen-free pancake mix is selling well to young families. You could use this insight to promote this product to a similar demographic online.

“Or, you can segment by interest,” says Shantel. “A fitness app might try to find people in a similar age bracket who’ve expressed an interest in improved health.”

2. Use social media to engage audiences

Whether you’re new to social media or have experience, taking a fresh look at your social approaches and channels can help you generate relationships. People want to connect with brands they like on social media: 66% of consumers who use Facebook follow a brand on the platform. And on the B2B front, 65% of B2B companies have used LinkedIn paid ads to acquire new business.

Effective social media posts don’t require having a social media manager on staff. Anyone can create compelling posts by sharing expertise that matches their audience’s interests. For example, if you’re an event photographer, you might post tips to set up and take a winning family photo and share your photos to showcase what you know about your field.

You can also encourage user-generated content like tagged photos. A decorator, for instance, could share DIY ideas for creating a cozy family room, and then encourage people to post photos of the décor they’ve assembled using that advice. Once people start sharing these pictures, you can post them on your social channels to add heft to your content and make your audience feel involved with your brand.

3. Focus on audience preferences

Examine the priorities, engagement habits, buying behaviors, favored pricing, social media activity, and other details of your current audience for commonalities. Then, use this data to inform or refresh your outreach.

You may find, for example, that your most engaged contacts come from LinkedIn or in response to an email campaign, which can be a cue to emphasize those channels. Or, on the message front, you may discover that your audience responds to an offer for a free consultation with your top creative talent, rather than a price break.

Marketing CRM tools and an audience dashboard can help you organize and connect all your audience data. This approach lets you see patterns that can provide insight into how audiences respond, identify what they most want from you, and pinpoint opportunities to create personalized communications that show you understand their needs and desires.

4. Expand your landing page traffic

Social posts, targeted digital ads, and other content pointing to your landing pages can bring in new audiences with the profile you want. Use strong calls to action (CTAs) in your marketing, based on audience priorities, to encourage page visits. For an e-commerce company with a budget-conscious buyer, this may be a free shipping offer.

Also, be sure you have something on these landing pages for people who want to learn more about your business. A digital ad might drive someone to a buy-now-promotion landing page that also features a newsletter signup or a link to your blog. By using multiple channels, you can broaden the audience you reach. When you have an engagement option on your landing pages for each of the visitors you attract, your efforts to get them there pay off.

3) Measure the Success of your Campaign?

1) Set Goals and Timelines

Before you start your campaign ideation or content, you need to know how it fits into your larger goals. What exactly are you trying to achieve, and when do you need to achieve it by? We recommend setting OKRs (objectives and key results) on a monthly, quarterly, or even yearly basis. With this understanding, you can maintain campaign momentum and ensure you’re set up to track them appropriately.

2) Establish a Reporting Foundation

Understanding your current marketing landscape is the first step to determine if your campaigns are successful. Start by establishing benchmarks to determine:

  • How you’re currently performing
  • How you’re performing compared to industry benchmarks

First establish your general benchmarks, then search for industry benchmarks to compare. (For example, here’s a helpful snapshot for social media marketing.) We’d suggest starting with a general KPI doc to update on a weekly or monthly basis.

Eventually, this will let you see the big picture improvements your campaigns are contributing to. Remember: The more you report, the quicker you can identify issues and pivot accordingly.

3) Identify Your KPI (and Stick to Them)

Every marketing campaign should have a clear goal, along with a specific measurable KPIs. KPI are key performance indicators — the most important metrics that determine your campaign’s success.

For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness through a digital marketing campaign, then your success may be monitored through KPI in the form of impressions, engagement, or click-throughs.

4) Start with a Test Run

Don’t be so quick to spend your entire ad campaign in one go. Start by spending slowly and A/B testing a few of your campaign components. You can test ad creative, ad copy, or even audience ad sets to help you gain a better understanding of what your marketing campaigns need to succeed.

Slower spending, in the beginning, will allow you to spend the bulk of your budget on assets that are tried and true once you’re done testing — the best way to get more bang for your buck.

5) Consider the Real ROI

When measuring the success of a marketing campaign, it’s important to remember the investment you made to get there. Behind all great campaigns are good teams, creatives, strategists, etc. These resources — your team’s time, the cost of production and editing, etc. — have a cost associated. Having the numbers available to see if your investment was worth the outcome is often overlooked, but it’s an important decision-making factor. Some marketing campaigns have great results, but if they also cost millions to put together, the results should show value to match.

References

  1. This article builds a holistic view of marketing plans. It defines 7 specific ways to grow your audience.
  2. Here you’ll find 10 tips for measure the success of your marketing campaigns.

Marketing Specialist at Rapid Result Creators, Graduated in International Business from MITT.