Most digital marketing advice starts by saying, “distinguish yourself from the competition.”
But what if you’re a nonprofit or consultant working in social justice that sees everyone in your industry as working together toward a common goal? What if you just want to make it easier for prospective clients to find you, learn from you, and grow with you?
You’re not alone.
And that’s not how we recommend doing marketing around here.
Because basing your marketing efforts on what others in your space are doing often leads to an inauthentic brand, messaging that doesn’t resonate, and difficulty in finding an audience with shared beliefs.
So, how do you position yourself using your own unique voice? How can you stand out to serve your dream clients?
Let’s get into it.
How to Build an Audience for Your Business
Define Your Core Values
The first step in reaching people with shared beliefs is to define your own. Your core values are important because they show your audience what you care about.
Here’s some questions to ask yourself:
- What inspired you to start your business?
- What drives you to get up every morning?
- What do you believe in?
- Who do you want to serve?
- What do you love about your work?
Once you’ve got these answers, take a look to see if there are any common threads that stand out. These will become your core values.
Keep these values in mind as we move on to the next section: understanding your ideal clients.
Understand Your Audience
Understanding your audience is about more than just knowing who they are—it’s figuring out what keeps them up at night.
The understanding that you build during this stage makes it easier for you to create content and messaging that makes your target audience feel understood.
There are a few different ways to determine your target audience:
Explore Demographics & Psychographics
Demographics give us a surface-level look at the details of a target audience, from age and location to income level. Knowing your audience’s demographics is helpful because it gives you the ability to segment your audience on ads on Google or your Facebook page.
For example, demographics can tell you that your audience is composed of women in their mid-thirties that manage small teams and make an average of $65,000 a year.
While demographics are useful as a starting point for developing your messaging, they don’t tell you how your audience actually feels.
Psychographics focuses on the psychology of audience behavior; Not what they would buy, but why they buy it. Psychographics takes a look at factors like attitudes, principles and beliefs, and preferences.
A psychographic approach to the above example may tell you that your audience struggles with negotiating salary, has a heavy workload, and likes podcasts.
As you can see, psychographics gives you context on what your audience likes, their struggles, and even possible marketing strategies.
Read Your Analytics
Already have an idea of who your organization serves and you know your core values are authentic? Then analytics can show you where you have opportunities to reach people.
Social media platforms, your website, and even email marketing platforms are a great place to start looking at analytics.
This data can show you:
- How your audience engages with your website, landing pages, social media, and email newsletters
- What people do on your website
- Which pages led them to fill out a form or contact you
By comparing data from platforms and website pages, you can determine whether your audience prefers Instagram or Twitter, and if they react better to longer or shorter emails, or maybe even emails on one particular topic.
When using a tool like Google Analytics, which is free to set up on your website, you can also get a big picture view of how your audience moves through your website. This data can then be used to infer which kinds of content and messaging your audience wants to hear from you.
Listen to Your Audience
When determining how to reach your target audience, there’s no better solution than to listen to those in your existing audience who already align with that definition.
Of course, demographics are great for larger companies and organizations but for many brands that are solving complex issues in the areas of racial justice, climate action, gender equity, and other social justice work, this work often directly interacts with your audience.
What we mean is, you’re not just posting and logging off, or passing the Instagram log-in to a colleague—you’re directly invested in making a difference.
Because of this, you know that the best way to truly understand your clients’ needs and wants is to listen.
There’s no comparing numbers or reading between the lines if you’re hearing directly from your target audience.
And the best way to start the conversation is to just ask.
Try asking close clients what they think about your website or social media, reading the comments on your posts, or even just hopping on Instagram Live and asking them.
Live Your Core Values
Now that you’ve taken the time to map out your values and your audience has shown you theirs, we can focus on tying these values into your business.
One place to start is with your services: do they solve your clients’ needs? Is there something your audience asked for, like an online course, that can be incorporated into your service offerings?
If you’re a consulting firm that values community and inclusivity, you must do the work to back it up. Don’t just post a tweet—continually align your messaging to address these topics. Create webinars on how communities can be inclusive of people from different backgrounds and cultures.
To keep your messaging aligned with your values, here are a few different ways you can hold yourself and your team accountable:
- Reinforce your values in both internal and external meetings
- Hire people that share the same values
- Check in regularly with your team and clients
- Keep your internal and external messaging aligned
- Pay attention to internal and external feedback
Do the Work. Live the Work.
Setting core values shows your audience who you are, reminds your team of your vision, and attracts like-minded people to you.
This collective passion and inspiration have a positive impact on your employees and current and prospective clients.
It’s time to do the work and put these core values into action. Let’s embrace them.
Need another eye on your core values, want a like-minded partner to segment out your audience, or maybe you need support in creating great content that resonates?
Wayward Kind is a digital marketing agency devoted to low ego, high impact liberation. We work with challenger brands that solve complex issues. Let’s rework your messaging.
We can help you master your digital marketing strategy with CRO tips. Our team of strategists are experts at understanding you and your audience. Whether it’s setting up Google Analytics, or creating great landing pages, Wayward Kind is all about action. Ready to convert to a mindful marketing strategy? Contact us today!