Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know how marketing and advertising have changed in the past few years.
It wasn’t that long a way from investing serious cash into TV, radio, and magazine branding to hyper-targeting we’re witnessing now. These days, it’s all about brand personalization through online ads, web stories, SEO, social platforms, email marketing, etc. that target customers based on their search queries, general interests, and common likes.
Social media platforms’ algorithms are getting more intelligent day by day, reading into people’s habits, needs, and wants.
The general idea behind algorithm rapid advancement is to help brands find their target audience and offer them what they are after quicker than they can say Jack Robinson! Are they successful? Pretty much, yes. Although it is super creepy to have a suggestion pop up in your face a few seconds after you’d mentioned it out loud, it’s useful, too. After all, you’ve got your cake right in front you, and you can eat it, too! As a result, it’s pretty much bye-bye! wide net targeting, welcome focused, narrowed targeting!
Do Small Businesses Even Have a Chance Against Bigger Brands?
Absolutely, and all owing to the modern-day way of product/service marketing.
Unlike a few decades ago, big brands no longer hold as great of a value as they used to. Sure, brand loyalty is still a thing but, with such a diverse offer on our hands, customers are no strangers to shopping at the competitors and liking it, too. When it comes to wooing customers and retaining them, it’s all about keeping them happy at all costs, whatever that meant for them. And, you don’t have to be a big brand to keep the customers coming back, do you?
Easier said than done, though.
Since the majority of small businesses (yours included, possibly) operate on a limited budget and just a few people doing everything from business development to social media management, it’s super hard to go against deep-pocketed moguls in the same industry. But, you already knew that. The right question is – how do you fight it?
Although budget does play a significant role, the level of your quality doesn’t have to measure in how much you spend but rather in how well you present yourself to the market and the way you engage with your target audience. A well-thought-out campaign focused on personalization and hyper-targeting may take you a long way, bringing your remarkable success at a fraction of a cost. If you are wondering what’s the best way to brand longevity and excellent turnover, the answer is simple: targeting locally, and using social media to do it.
What Do Social Networks Have to Do With Customer Targeting?
A better question would be – what social networks don’t have to do with customer targeting.
With billions of people around the globe using social media, there’s hardly any information (wanted or unwanted) that can escape them. In this day and age, using social platforms to spread the word about your brand could be the best way to reach the clientele that fits into your brand idea. And, not only that – social media is currently the most mainstream way to boost brand visibility, grow customer engagement and increase your brand’s reach. So, you won’t only score but also be one with the trends, too!
Does Investing in Social Marketing Pay Off?
As social networks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon (or, potentially, ever), do not doubt that investing in social marketing pays off by large. What is more, we can expect the current form of social sharing to upgrade and extend to the point of offering incredible marketing channels that will help brands boost their visibility and, ultimately, their sales.
At this time, the most effective ways to get your brand out there is through UGC (user-generated content) and influencer marketing. As the times are changing, customers are turning their heads from celebrity endorsements, forced commercials, and unbelievable content hoping to get something they can relate to. That’s why branding through user confessions via web stories and Instagram/stories, YouTube channels, and other tappable visual content seems to be the best way to go. By the way, if you are looking for a company to help you with branding via web stories, check out storifyme. They’ve got some pretty good stuff.
In terms of how to reach your target local audience via social media, do know that data is your best friend.
Playing a guessing game with who your target audience are could have been fun in high school, but these days you should want your information quick and accurate. On that note, use your social media analytics along with your website to determine your local target audience. What data shows is your audience’s likes and dislikes, their age, demographics, the type of content they enjoy, and ultimately suggest the best ways to approach them.
Also, invest in social media ads and pay attention to metrics like reach, engagement, organic vs. paid likes, hashtag engagement, personalized and industry hashtag usage, and click-throughs. These should give you a clear idea of where to go next.
Anyway, back to brand promotion -
Provided you already know who your target audience is but you want to find a way to attract it locally, here is where to start from:
- Know who you are targeting
- Give your brand a believable story
- Develop your brand’s assets
- Keep an eye out for the competition
- Make use of social media
- Build a tribe
- Make every employee a brand ambassador
- Collaborate with influencers
If these points resonate positively with what you’re envisioning a brand development and customer targeting should look like, check out a more extensive overview of each segment separately in our next article 8 Effective Ways to Promote Your Brand to Local Customers to get a more tangible idea of what your next steps can/should be.
Say It Like It Is
Building a brand is no joke, and you want to make sure every step you take is well-thought-out, especially because you are a small brand going against the sea of competitors. Even the slightest marketing mistake can cost you a fortune, which is why tapping into local customers first may be the smartest business thing you can do. There’ll be plenty of time for expansion, but let’s first focus on your backyard, shall we? Good.