Tag Archives: Target marketing

Nicola Peaty

The Dos and Don’ts when using LinkedIn as a marketing tool.

By Nicola Peaty

LinkedInNetoworlProfileSocial media platforms like Facebook and Twitter tend to market to consumers who are already familiar with the company and its products/services, and can potentially mix up the tone and content of their marketing messages. LinkedIn is a purely professional social network. LinkedIn concentrates on business networking by building useful contacts and leads which can influence their company and convert into paying customers.

Here are some ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ to get you to get your business started using LinkedIn:

Do: Create your company page in line with your brand. It should be an extension of your website in terms of how it looks and what you say.
Do: Ensure all employees have created their profile on LinkedIn. They should include details about their current role and how they help your company, complimentary references, job history and experience and a suitable photo. The summary part is very important and gives ‘outsiders’ an insight into the people behind the company, so ensure this is done with careful consideration.
Don’t: Blatant promotions will not go down well on LinkedIn. This is a professional platform which conforms better with exchanges of useful content and contacts.
Do: Use the search facility to your full advantage. This is the chance to find key individuals or companies who you wish to target. Even search by keywords relevant to your business to see who are connected or subjects being discussed.
Don’t: Marketing rules still apply, so don’t forget to follow the same etiquette when generating and nurturing leads. Think about how you wish to make contact and keep the messaging professional and relevant especially with the first email message. Think about the reasons for making the contact and include mutual benefits to encourage the connection.
Do: Invest time and effort updating your posts so that you are front of mind and staying part of topical issues and discussions.
Do: Plan who you wish to target. LinkedIn can open the doors to current and potential customers, stakeholders, industry bodies and associations. You can even target companies by type, size and market.
Don’t: Posting for the sake of posting is not the ideal plan. Quality content is what will help you stand out and position you as a voice of authority and with a good knowledge of your market.
Do: Make the most of the Groups either by following them or creating your own group. You can join groups of your target audience to follow their discussions and offer advice. You can join peer to peer groups to help each other and exchange opinions. Once you’ve been accepted as a member you can message other members which gives you the opportunity to connect with useful prospects and influencers. You can also invite these contacts to your own Group. By administering your own group, this is a great way of offering quality content, finding out thoughts on topics and targeting a key audience to its full potential.
Don’t: Don’t ignore what connections are saying about your company or market. Use LinkedIn to listen to what is being discussed on posts and group so that you are aware at all times. You can then join in and offer your view, acknowledge and challenge if necessary.
Do: Integrate LinkedIn as part of the overall marketing mix with other social media messaging. Be consistent with content across all platforms and monitor and measure response where applicable.
Don’t: Chances are that you can use LinkedIn to keep track on competitor activity. Don’t take your eye off what is being said or discussed about them so that you are aware of how they are being viewed and their influence within your market.

For specific details on LinkedIn services go to:
http://www.onlylinkedinmarketing.com/linkedin-services.aspx?gclid=CJKRl-OPi8ECFUjHtAodL2sARg

 

Nicola Peaty

Marketing Personas

By Nicola Peaty

You know your audience don’t you? Basic demographics are all covered, maybe even some useful segmentation. But of course with the need for more personalised targeting and marketing, there is a need to go deeper and really get to know your customers.

Marketing personas have become a great way to develop real identities for some of your key customers. By building a profile and even a name and face, gives a company the focus of a real person who they are talking to and how they need to communicate and interact with that specific type of customer.

Once created, really and truly the personas should then be at the core of the company’s strategy, whether it is product development, content delivery or account management, the personas should give the exact required insight.

So where to begin? Every company has some useful data which allows them to start building profiles. How many personas you create, is down to the intelligence you extract from this data. Basic demographics are a good start, but then add in previous purchasing behaviour, influences, motivations, lifestyles and attributes.

Surveys and interviews are great ways to ascertain a bit more depth. Online or email surveys are cheaper than face to face interviews, but make sure you get a true representation of your audience. You need to know details about your best advocates, but you can’t ignore customers who have had bad experiences. This is the opportunity to investigate where poor relations have developed for some customers with your brand and for you to understand and learn how to rectify particular issues. So make sure you include loyal customers, referrals, prospects and lapsed customers.

Recruitment of interviewees should be selected carefully, questions planned to fill any specific data gaps as well as build deeper customer knowledge and incentives in place to entice and convince participation. Research experts can help in designing questionnaires, but also in conducting the interviews. There is a skill in knowing how to ask the right questions in the right way in order to ascertain key findings, great quotations and uncover potential opportunities and/or issues.

Personas should ideally include the following:  persona
* Demographics
* Job profile
* Typical day
* Information sources
* Purchasing behaviour/preferences
* Challenges/issues
* Goals/motivations

Analysis of data is critical to discover particular patterns of behaviour, common threads within segments of your audience and similar attributes and motivators. Again, research experts can help investigate information collated and present overall findings.

When researching and investigating information to build your profiles, the key point to bear in mind is that you are trying to find out precious gems of insight into how you can get closer to your customer and ultimately deliver the solution they are looking for. If you can perfectly match their needs and make them feel as though you are talking to them personally, both through clever communications and product delivery, then you can beat your competitors every time!

See also our blog on: How to write content for your audience:  http://www.vgandassociates.com/how-to-write-content-for-your-audience/