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Jun 11 2019, by Sarah

Don’t leave out your target audience! The pitfalls of sharing improperly targeted content.

June Blog Post
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Are things are starting to feel a little bit ‘off’ when you read your website copy? Look at your printed collateral and glance at your logo – are you 100% certain everything is speaking clearly to your target audience? Perhaps there are some inconsistencies in the messaging you’re presenting to the world, or maybe everything just isn’t working together the way you envision it should. These problems and pitfalls may seem minor enough to sweep under the rug, but don’t fool yourself – leaving your target audience out can cause a ripple effect of problems for your business as it grows and evolves.

Contrary to what you may be thinking, recognizing these pitfalls in your business should be welcomed experience. They provide your business with amazing opportunities to mindfully pivot and adjust your messaging as you maintain your momentum. Based on our experiences as small business owners, we know it’s critical to identify opportunities to clearly speak to your target audience and respond accordingly by tweaking our messaging, polishing copy and improving content.

Your current branding (logo, styling, collateral etc.) may appear to be modern, approachable and perfectly suited to your industry and audience. But what about all of your content? We consider content to be any written or visual materials your potential clients and customers absorb in order to make their decision before they bounce over to check out your competitor. Is it possible that your messaging is falling flat because it’s not communicating effectively with your audience? Failing to embrace your brands authentic tone and address your audiences’ wants and needs in a genuine way can create a less than pleasurable experience for potential customers interacting with your brand.

We understand the power of being asked thoughtful questions that force you to look at your business through a different lens. So, in an effort to help you determine if you’re feeling some “growing pains” when it comes to your messaging we’ve put together a list of helpful questions and tips for you to explore. Make note of your responses and reflect on them when you have a free moment!

Your brand guidelines are outdated (or non-existent!)

Most large corporations (and some small to midsize businesses, too) create brand style and usage guidelines to ensure all messaging and brand asset-use is on point and consistent. These guides not only help the marketing department, but they also serve as guides to other employees and departments. We highly recommend updating (or developing) a brand guideline document to help keep your brand and messaging on track.

Take a look at these examples to get a feel for how in-depth a brand style guide can be:

  • Walmart Corporate Brand Guidelines. Walmart has covered every conceivable way to use its corporate brand. This comprehensive guide includes direction on the brand’s editorial voice and how to use their logo in print, online, on promotional merchandise and more. They even cover appropriate fonts and how to use logos, icons and taglines correctly.
  • Mozilla Style Guide. Mozilla has an online style guide to help its open source community understand how to use its logos and trademarks for Mozilla, the Firefox browser and their other products. These guidelines help everyone who works with Mozilla protect Mozilla’s brands.

Are you keeping your brand’s tone and personality consistent across all your channels?

When communicating as the brand offline or via your website, social media profiles, or other online channels, it’s important to keep a consistent tone and personality. If your brand is fun and friendly on Twitter, it should have a similar flavor on Facebook and LinkedIn. Your messaging on LinkedIn may be less casual or more professional, but it shouldn’t sound like it’s coming from a different brand altogether. Think about it this way: There is the “at work” you and the “at home or with friends” you. Your personality is the same, but your mannerisms adjust to the context. The same goes for your brand personality and selected communication channels.

How sincere do you think you’re being?

While it might be true that your service helps “X” number of people or your product allows faster productivity, if you’re using phrases like “the best,” or “the hardest working,” or the “premiere” service or product, your messaging is bound to fall flat. Unless you’ve connected those lofty claims with cold-hard numbers, your message comes off as tinny and tired. Is your brand communicating with your target audience in a sincere way? Back-up any lofty claims with social proof and quantifiable facts that convince your audience you are the best choice on the market!

Are you aligning your messaging with the correct social media channels?

Your audience probably has a clue what you’re up to if you’re marketing on a social channel. However, if you’re doing it just to have a presence without any real substance, they can see through your efforts – whether you want to admit it or not! The way you transmit your message shows your dedication to the sincerity of your brand. It also calls out your level of trustworthiness.

While consumers have room for the evolving nature of social media marketing, you still need to ensure your message matches the medium. Spend time developing your message and ensure that it fits each social channel. What platforms best allow your business to authentically share its message? Make sure to always align your messaging with the right social channels!

Still not sure you’re speaking clearly to your target audience?

That’s okay! Even if you feel your target audience is broad (or maybe it’s undefined, in that case we suggest you take a quick read through our blog post on figuring out what a target audience is), there’s still plenty of ways to ensure your content is engaging and captivating by determining the primary pain points and solutions your audience is seeking. We highly suggest you take a moment and read through your website copy, take a look at the images and graphics and ask yourself, “What would my ideal customer/client be thinking as they browse my website?”. If you aren’t excited by your very own content, how is your audience going to feel about you? Remember, well-targeted content is still king!

Start reaching for your top game today!

Your brand and messaging should work as hard as you do, no questions asked. If you’re ready to ramp things up and make a great impression, we recommend arming yourself with insight. Strongly consider working on a creative strategy that brings real results to your business – you can start off on the right foot by filling out our thoughtful intake form right here.

Looking for more knowledge?

We’ve got something good coming your way. Check out our handy e-guide covering 6 secrets to landing your best clients through your website. It’s full of helpful examples to help you take the first step in finding your strength, download your copy here today!

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