What’s the plan?
Four steps to success:
Have a workshop
A workshop with key stakeholders in your business is the best place to start when it comes to identifying your key audience groups.
Structure this around a questionnaire to make sure all the key questions are answered. You’ll start to notice patterns and links between your answers. Focus on these, link them together and you’ll have your audience groups. We usually end up with 4-6.
Create persona cards
It’s difficult to plan and create really relevant content when you’re trying to keep in mind a whole group – so make it personal. Create a ‘persona’ for each one of your audience groups, by that we mean a representative personality and give them as much detail as you can. How old are they? What jobs do they do? What media do they consume?
If you’re struggling, look at these cards we created for Geneco as a guide.
Test and learn
If you’ve got to this point you’ve made a great start, but up to now our information is based on educated guesses not real experience. To prevent any false assumptions moving forward and skewing our best laid plans we need to test our assumptions. For this, you’ll need some real customers who fit the persona identities you’ve created as closely as possible.
Make any changes to your persona cards based on what you’ve learned from your real customers.
Understanding exactly who your audience are, where they hang out online, and what their concerns are will help you identify which channels you need to be using, and how, in your planning phase.
Interview them about the ways they connect with your business via all your touchpoints. Collect their feedback – what do they like, and what could be improved?
2. A journey of self discovery
This isn’t an invitation for some hard core naval gazing! Instead, consider what you’ve learned about your audience, and take an ‘outside in’ approach to reflect on your business and products.
The objective is to arrive at a robust value proposition on which you can pin your overarching brand messages. The key is to identify the unique features of your business, and then articulate how they make a benefit for your customer.
Feature: The baby food we make is the only one on the market which uses only organic products.
Benefit: With no nasty chemicals you can be confident you know exactly what your baby is eating – and they’ll grow up happy and healthy.
You’ll use your value proposition in the implementation phase to check each piece of messaging ties back to your core proposition, even when tailored to a specific audience group.
3. Get organised
You’ve got all this juicy detail – now it’s time to decide what to do with it. Based on your audience’s needs, decide which touch points you are going to pursue, and how you want to use them. Follow these simple steps to create a plan of action.
Where – Decide what changes are needed for your website, set up your social media channels, choose your email broadcast system. Whatever you’re doing, get the systems in place first.
What – Once you know the channels you’re using, get the team together and gather ideas for content and collateral. Make the most of the meeting with this great guide from our friends at Valuable Content.
When – You’ll have a huge list of great content ideas, a team raring to go and all your channels set up. To get the best impact (and to make life easier for you and your team) create a comprehensive plan which records:
- Each item to be produced
- Where it will be broadcast
- When it will be broadcast
- Connection with other pieces of collateral
- Who is responsible for delivery
- Target audience group(s)
- Key brand messages it communicates
- Call to action
- Performance metrics
- Results (make sure to include these, so you’ll know what works and what doesn’t)
- Spending time getting a plan sorted now means you and your team know exactly what needs doing, and when, so you can plan your time much more effectively.
4. The fun part!
Finally it’s time to get those creative juices flowing and make some marketing collateral.
Whatever you do, be it revamping your website, embarking on your first foray into Instagram, or starting an email newsletter – keep your audience front of mind. This is when your persona cards come into their own – every decision you make, every piece of content, think back about which audience areas this will appeal to and refine, refine, refine until it’s perfect for them.
Help is at hand
We understand that this process is easier said than done, so if you need support we’re here to help – give us a shout on firstname.lastname@example.org