Most of us are marketers. Maybe not by education or title, but we all have to communicate, persuade and move people towards a goal at times.
I knew I was a marketer at age 15 when I convinced my parents to let me travel to America by myself. (I will share how I used these questions to get my trip with you at the end!)
Suppose you need to persuade a group of people to join your cause. You should ask four critical questions before creating any communication strategy, whether it be a Facebook ad, a landing page, a brochure, or even a complete marketing campaign.
Who is our target audience for this campaign?
Don't just guess or assume you know. Make sure you understand whom you are communicating with.
Start by creating a(n) audience profile(s) or avatar and try to understand as much about your audience as possible.
Who are they?
- i.e., gender, age, stage in life, challenges, aspirations, career
- What problems do they have you solving? Ask the right questions and do your research.
I write my best persuasive copy when I'm in tune with the person I am trying to reach. I put myself in their shoes and considered what they would want from me if I were them.
Note: Most likely, you will have more than one audience. For example, people who know and trust you vs. those you do not have a relationship with are very different audiences.
Create different messaging/communication for each audience, and target them specifically with those relevant messages (no "blanket" communication).
What specific problem are we solving?
The more specific you can be about what problem you are trying to solve, the more likely people will respond. Sometimes those specifics come from the geographic area you work in, what demographics you serve, what specific effort you're tackling, etc.
People often believe that being too specific will "leave people out" or reduce their potential reach. But the opposite is true. Speaking too broadly will leave everyone out.
What is our goal?
What are you going for? Purchases? Brand awareness? Donations? Growth? Different goals need different strategies to get them accomplished.
- If you need more people to discover your organization, focus on a lead generation strategy
- If you want people to buy or take action, create a sales/conversion funnel
- If you're going to change the perception of your organization, develop a branding/messaging campaign
- If you are starting something new and need credibility and awareness, utilize influencers
How clear and relevant is our offer?
If your offer or call to action is inappropriate for the relationship with/type of audience you are communicating with, you won't see results. Consider where your target audience is in terms of the three categories:
- Cold: People who have never heard of you or your brand
- Warm: People who know something about you but have never engaged, purchased, or experienced your product or services.
- Hot: People who know and trust your brand and who have engaged, bought, or donated before.
For example, you need to build trust with a cold audience before they are ready to engage on a deeper level with you. You would do this by simply adding value and asking for easy "yes" actions: download, share, like, email address in exchange for something of value (such as an ebook, guide, or tool).
Consider the level of commitment each audience is ready for.
So how did these questions help me convince my parents to let me travel?
- My target audience: overworked Brazilian parents.
- The problem I was solving: "You have told me that one day I can go to Disneyworld. I found a way!"
- My goal: The trip of my dreams.
- The offer: I found a tour company that would finance the trip. And by the way, I got my uncle to cosign as a guarantor, overcoming the objection that they would not qualify for financing.
Asking these four questions before creating your communication plan will help you immensely. It will also dictate what creative assets and copy you will need to succeed.
P.S. If your organization needs help with navigating a communication or marketing challenge or you need help understanding your audiences and how to engage them, we can help. Contact Us HERE