Whatever stage you are in your business, one thing that's constant is the need to connect with your audience to grow your business. Of course the first thing most people think about is creating content and getting visible. But connecting with your audience is more than just being visible, and this is where many get tripped up. You can certainly be visible, but still not make enough of a connection for your prospects to want to take the next step with you.
In fact, despite consistent social posting; webinars; videos and other content; many businesses find it difficult to make enough of an impact to gain traction. Not surprisingly, the thing I’m often asked is, “why isn't my content translating into sales?”
Visibility without connection. Problem or symptom?
Often the problem is a symptom of something else entirely. So while you’re spending hours on content, commenting on LinkedIn, retweeting, and so on – the real culprit is still there keeping you spinning your wheels.
What is it? It’s not speaking your audience according to where they are emotionally right now, and translating that into your content. Whether it’s social media, website copywriting , email marketing or face-to-face meetings; if your message doesn’t connect, it’s going to result in unmet goals.
Even more annoying is that the goal posts move. One day your audience is enjoying what you're putting out there and the next day they're not. While some blame this on social media algorithms, the underlying issue of connection is a bigger problem.
So let's talk about those moving goal posts and how to connect with your audience in a changing world.
YOUR AUDIENCE AND THEIR CHANGING WORLD
While it seems obvious to say that the world has changed, so many entrepreneurs and businesses have adjusted their business only because of the worldwide response to Covid. Some have pivoted and added new offers. And others have responded with a few extra bits of content, again – in terms of Covid. But that’s not enough to create an impact now and in the future.
After each major event, you still want to ask yourself – “Now what?”
Change is constant. So it's important to review changes your audience experience in relation to your brand, how you relay your message and market your business.
For your business to thrive and become future-proof, you need to connect with your audience in the way in which they have evolved according to whatever is happening in their environment – now and in the future.
Your audience doesn’t think the same way they did 2 years ago or even 6 months ago. Their values and needs have evolved, along with how they connect with their world. They are far more aware of what’s important to them in life and business, and what their priorities are in both areas. As a result, what your audience wants to hear about and how they hear about it has also changed. Going forward, it will continue to evolve.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE IN A CHANGING WORLD
Marketing that worked yesterday isn’t just old, it’s going backwards. For this reason (amongst many others) you want to create your own marketing strategy and not mimic others. If you can meet your audience where they are now, you'll be able to connect and have a higher conversion rate with your marketing.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a tech start-up or you’re writing a book – your audience are buying with an emotional need first, then justifying with logic. And those emotional needs can change with whatever is happening in their demographic or ecosystem – it doesn't have to be a worldwide event to affect them. If anything significant has changed in their environmental culture, this needs to be reflected in your marketing to keep your audience engaged.
If you’ve worked on your core messaging, you’ll understand what a difference it makes in converting your marketing activities into sales. However this is where most people stop. They do their messaging and spend the rest of their marketing resources on gaining visibility. Then culture shifts slightly, suddenly their marketing isn’t working the same, and there’s a scramble to figure out what to do. You want to avoid the scramble and be pro-active in your marketing.
Two keys to connect with your audience and keep them engaged is:
1. Keep watching your audience to make sure what you’re putting out there is connecting with them.
2. Monitor what’s happening in their world and how that may affect the way they respond to what you’re selling.
Research to understand your evolving audience and what they respond to should always be a part of your marketing strategy. Monitoring your analytics is one way of doing this, but let’s go deeper.
CONNECTING WITH YOUR AUDIENCE NOW AND IN THE FUTURE
Many businesses and entrepreneurs are still focussing solely on amplifying what they want to say, without also monitoring trends affecting their audience. There’s no use in trying to promote your webinar, if the actual content isn’t making an impact on your audience.
Another thing that’s overlooked in the rush to get more visibility; do more videos; tell more vulnerable stories and so on; is the amount of energy that goes into pushing forth what we want to say. Instead, we want to draw in people by being of service with what they need right now to find the best solution.
What's your audience concerned about?
What is your audience interested in and what do they need? You can bet their need is whatever is concerning them the most at this very moment, that's also going to impact their future.
We all have problems and issues we’d love to solve. But it’s that one thing that’s pressing right now that everything else hinges on which your audience is interested in. If you’ve got a solution for that one problem, and can voice it, you'll get their attention. With each new perspective, you want to re-evaluate and update your marketing, keeping you aligned with your audience in the way they need you to. This will give you a higher return on your investment than visibility alone.
That might sound like a big ask. But if you’re an entrepreneur, a startup or a smaller business, you have agility on your side. You can move a lot faster than a large business and adapt your marketing strategy. Start today – take a closer look at your audience and their ecosystem to see how you can update your marketing and get a higher return on your investment.
If you want to find out more about creating an audience that feels connected with you, you'll want to download my pdf which uncovers common marketing advice that keeps you stuck, and what to do instead, to translate your marketing into business.