Category Archives for Research

How to Ensure That Your Message Is Heard

How to Ensure That Your Message Is Heard

Communication involves the participation of at least two parties. Communication can be written, verbal, and even non-verbal. On a blog, you’re likely more concerned with written communication unless you create video blogs, in which case you’re using verbal communication that will include body language (non-verbal) and other cues to get your message across to the other person.

But the real key to ensuring your message gets across to the receiver is to understand that it’s your job as the message giver to deliver the message in a way that it’s understood by your audience. Here's how to make sure that your message is heard.

Understand and Like Your Audience

Even if you are part of your own target audience, it’s important to get out of your own way and conduct real audience research to ensure that you know who they are, outside of your subjective experiences. Find out what they want, what they know, who they like, why they like who they like, what they need and the whys behind their needs. The more you know, the better you will be at creating messages that are heard by your audience.

Let the Audience Know What You Want

One of the most important parts of your message is your call to action (CTA). If you don’t know what the point of your message is, your audience can’t be expected to know either. Be very specific about your CTA within your message so that there is no misunderstanding about your point.

Spell Out Definitions of Terms

In order to get your audience on the on the same page as you, and to help further your message, be sure to spell out ambiguous terms within your content. Don’t assume that everyone understands what you’re saying. Instead, always fill in the gaps to ensure that your audience knows what you mean when you say a particular word.

Repeat Important Points

Remember those high school essays that you wrote, and the speeches that you gave? You likely remember, if you give it some thought, your teacher lecturing about the idea of repetition. You’ve heard it said to “tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you just told them”. This works especially well with harder to understand concepts.

Listen to Your Audience

Conduct a poll; ask questions; go where they go such as social media, forums, mastermind groups and so forth so that you can really listen to the needs of your audience. If your content on your blog expresses a true understanding of your audience’s needs, they’re more likely to understand and hear your message.

Be Honest

In advertising there is a term called “puffery”; it means to exaggerate the effectiveness of a product or service to try to get across a particular message to the audience. While this practice is acceptable and legal in advertising, it’s better not to do this when it comes to blogging and monetizing your blog. Instead, practice complete, straightforward honesty.

Check Your Facts

Keep trust alive by double-checking any facts that you provide your audience. This is especially important if you hire a ghostwriter, or use PLR without knowing if you’re using a good source. It’s not that people purposely deliver the wrong information, but having a double check helps. This is simply good communication and a good journalistic practice that you should learn.

Write Like You Talk

Don’t try to put on airs when communicating with your audience on your blog. Write like you talk, and if you do a vlog, just be yourself. Whatever content you provide to your audience needs to represent who you are to the best of your ability.

You can be heard by being clear in your intentions and your words, while considering what the words mean to your audience as you deliver your message. Finally, it’s also important to ensure many eyes see your message by promoting your blog posts via ever possible channel.

How to Create Content for Easy Consumer Digestion

How to Create Content for Easy Consumer Digestion

Most marketing starts with content. It doesn’t matter what type of marketing you are doing; it all begins with content. Brochures, business cards, blog posts, articles, vlogs, eBooks, eReports, podcasts and so forth are all content. Content comes in so many forms ready for your audience to digest. But, creating content that is easy for your consumer to digest depends on many factors. Consider these questions:

  1. 1
    Who is your audience?
  2. 2
    What types of devices does your audience use?
  3. 3
    What social media do they use?

Types of Content

Knowing the answers to these questions can help you determine what type of content your audience wants to consume. You have many choices of types of content to choose from, such as:

  • EBooks
  • EReports
  • Blog posts
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • White papers
  • Long form blog posts
  • Infographics
  • Memes
  • Podcasts
  • Newsletters
  • Magazines
  • Presentations
  • Webinars
  • n-person events
  • Games and apps
  • Researched reports
  • Books

The truth is, you’re more than likely to offer content in more than one form, but the main form should consider the three questions. Some types of content, like blog posts, need to be frequent and regular; others can be less often such as games and apps. It depends on your niche a lot as to what you will be focusing on. But you can be sure that a lot of your content will be focused on blogs - at least to begin with.

Planning Your Content Creation

When you create any content, it’s important to ask the following questions:

  • Does this piece advance my goals?
  • Does my audience like to consume content in this manner?
  • How can I re-purpose this content to add to longevity?
  • Have I thought about my audience’s needs as I created this piece of content?
  • What keywords should I include in the description or within the context of this content?

Before sitting down to create content, do the following:

  • Poll your audience – Ask via a survey what forms of content they like consuming.
  • Research your Google analytics – It’s there for you to look at free, so use it to help you get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t work.
  • Study keywords — Aside from Google there are other keyword research tools that you can use to help you determine new keywords to use.
  • Look at the results of former content – No matter what type of content you’ve used in the past, such as webinars and so forth, study how the results compare. What got the best results? Was it format or substance that made the difference?
  • Talk to people outside of your bubble – You need a group of people whom you can trust to give you the truth, people outside of your audience and your immediate bubble. One problem is that sometimes people around you become “yes” people.

By working through your content creation in this manner, you’ll be more likely to create content that speaks to your audience in the manner they want to be spoken to, in the format they most enjoy.

Customer Profiling

What is Customer Profiling?

Creating customer profiles is something all serious business owners do before they develop their marketing plans. It involves studying their target audience in such a way that they can create audience personas to direct their marketing. A persona is a picture of a particular audience of one, a typical person who might be in your target audience as described and defined down to their sex, income status, education, and more.

Customer profiling is an important way that you can improve your marketing so that it is more effective in capturing precisely the right person who is ready, willing, and able to purchase what you're offering. Without customer profiling, you're just guessing at what marketing efforts will work. This guessing can cause you to waste a lot of time, money, and effort, which is unacceptable these days.

You have many tools at the ready to help you study your target audience. Try these important steps to help you with your customer profiling efforts.

Determine Who You Want Your Customer to Be

If you don't have a product yet, it's easier to choose your audience, figure out what they need, and then provide solutions to them. But, if you already have a product or service, it's important to figure out who you want to use those products and services, and hopefully, they also need them.

Segment Your Customers into Sub-Groups - Try to Create at Least Three to Five

Every product has many subsets of users, and you need to figure out who yours are. That way, you can design different campaigns for each subgroup. You will want, for your first marketing campaign, to choose the largest and most likely buyers from your segments that you choose during your customer profiling exercise.

Create a Questionnaire for Each Subgroup

If you could ask them anything, what would you ask? Of course, ask the normal demographic questions but add in specifics to the questionnaire. Keep it short (about 4 to 8 questions) so that they don't get tired or bored. And be specific about your questions so that the group can be specific about their answers.

Get the Questions to Each Group through Social Media

Once you create your survey using either Google Docs or something like SurveyMonkey, send them to your audience via social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and so forth. Ask people you know to share your survey with specific people.

Get the Questions to Each Group through Whatever Means Necessary

If your audience often shops at your local mall, you can stand there and get them to answer your survey. For instance, if your audience is women between the ages of 22 and 30 who have kids, approach women who look as if they fit that group. Even if you want to reach these women online, getting answers from them in person will help you with your online marketing efforts.

Determine the Top Two Most Important Subgroups

Once you get some answers, determine which subgroup you'd most like to have as your clients or customers and start creating marketing plans that match their answers, needs, and concerns. You don't necessarily want to choose the largest of the subgroups but use an educated way to determine which are more likely to buy. A small group who will buy is much better than a larger group who won't buy.

Create Marketing Plans Based on Those Two Subgroups

Start working on your marketing plans. You should know how to reach them, what their problems are, and how you can solve them. By providing solutions in your marketing program, mixing up the marketing channels you use to reach this audience, and by being aware of who your audience is, you'll succeed.

Knowing the most likely people to buy from you is part of customer profiling. Through your study, you should be able to create now simple customer personas that you will now use to craft all your marketing programs - be they copywriting, videos, social media marketing, print ads, or others. They will all start with what you know about your customer, and who you want your customer to be.

Customer Profiling Tools to Streamline Your Process

Customer Profiling Tools to Streamline Your Process

Profiling your customers is an essential method of gathering information to help you better serve them. You'll not only be able to create more targeted marketing materials, but you will also be able to develop better products and services as well as improve the offerings you currently have.

Nothing can improve sales more than enhancing your current customers' experiences with your company. If you practice customer profiling correctly, they will think you are reading their mind, but they will not feel exploited since you will keep all their information only for your purposes.

The things you need to know about your customer are:

  • Family situation
  • Gender
  • Income level
  • Education
  • Occupation
  • Cultural background
  • Purchasing habits
  • Shopping behavior

Getting this information is important and will help you serve your clients better. Fortunately, today, there are many tools you can use to help you get to know your customers better.

Geared toward small businesses that want to know their clients and customers more, Batchbook helps keep all the information organized so that you don't have to rely on memory. Since it's cloud-based, your team can work with Batchbook from any location with multiple devices with just an internet connection.

This is also a customer relationship management (CRM) cloud-based software that offers a lot of information and helps with building relationships. Insightly focuses on building relationships so that you can better profile your current customers, as well as gather information that will help you market to potential customers.

Gain a complete depiction of customers, measure, compare, and study a large amount of data, including consumer preferences, demographics, behavior, and more with Turn. As you gain valuable insights into your customers, you'll be able to retain more, thus saving on marketing dollars.

An easy to use and cloud-based customer support software that helps you get better insights into your customers' behavior. Help Scout helps you collaborate, build relationships, and form opinions about your customers.

Using survey software will be very useful to let you collect material from your current customers that will help you in identifying a lot of valuable information, so that you can provide good solutions to your clients and create better marketing material for prospects.

Since a current customer is worth, according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, up to ten times as much as their first purchase, it will benefit you to collect as much information as you can about your customers. The collection and analyzing this information is imperative.

By getting to know your customers better through customer profiling, you will also be able to serve current customers at a higher level, as well as target new customers in a better way. Customer profiling provides a competitive advantage that cannot be gained in any other way.