Why your marketing might not be working and how to get clarity by answering these 2 questions

Let's say you create content consistently in your business, but no one is interacting with your content or offer, your followers/subscribers are barely increasing and no sales are coming in.

Then, you should start asking yourself the following 2 questions.

1. How aware are the people in my target audience of their problem and my type of product? Is my content relevant to them in the stage that they're in right now?

Understanding how aware your target audience is of their challenges and their need for your solution is crucial in determining how you communicate with them.

It also helps figuring out what type of content you need to produce to engage them and move them through the funnel.

Let’s say you’re a dietitian and you’re offering nutrition and diet services.

The people in your audience will be at different awareness levels in the awareness pyramid:

  • Completely unaware stage - people that don't have any specific dietary or nutritional problems or needs, and they're not actively looking for something related to improving their diet and eating habits, yet.
  • Problem aware - people that are not happy with their overall health, energy level or weight but they don't know yet what the different solutions out there are.
  • Solution aware - people that are aware of their problems and the available solutions out there. For them, the solutions could be: hire a dietitian, pay more attention to what they eat, reading on their own about healthy dieting, go to the gym once a week.
  • Product aware - people who decide that they'll hire a dietitian, they just need to find the best one in their area.
  • Most aware -  people that already know, like and trust you and they're just expecting to see an offer from you.

The higher up the pyramid you’ll go, the easier it will be to convert those visitors/prospects into customers.

Conversely, at the low end of the awareness spectrum, you’ve got to do a lot of work to educate your prospects about their problems and needs, convince them of why they should care, get to know you and what you can do to improve their lives.

At the low awareness stages, you need to offer them a healthy amount of explanation, information, storytelling, longer articles, videos, tutorials, and more proof of why you’re better than the competition.

Based on the dietitian example, for those in the problem aware stage content like "The 5 effective ways to lose belly fat", "You can increase your overall daily energy with these 3 tips" would be helpful.

Those in the solution aware stage could react positively to comparisons like “The difference between going to a dietitian and figuring out your diet yourself”.

It's important to know which segment your target audience is in, as this will determine your marketing messaging, what content you produce and how you interact with them in the long run.

Moving on to the second question.

2. Am I where my prospects are?

Too many people are eager to rush to the new platform without taking into consideration whether it would be a good fit for their business or not.

The first thing you need to do is think about who your audience is.

  • What age are they?
  • How and where do they spend their time?
  • What do they read? Are there any influential people in your niche that they follow?
  • What keeps them up at night?
  • What are their pains and challenges?

Even if you personally like Instagram, if your audience doesn’t spend any time there, your efforts are in vain.

Besides the classic Facebook and Instagram, I suggest you find groups in your niche that already have built-in communities and that can get you in front of your target audience.

Figure out the places online where your target audience hangs out, so you can share your content with them and drive traffic back to your website.

These could be Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, Reddit, industry specific forums, Quora, etc.

The biggest value of promoting your content through communities is that they've already done the hardest work for you - they've built an audience of people within your market.

How do you find these communities?

  • Start with a Google search to see if there are any communities around your topic. Just go to Google and type in your industry related keyword, e.g. "dieting  communities". 
  • Go to quora.com and type in your keyword in the search box. If you don't find anything related to your industry, post a question and ask people to suggest some relevant communities in your niche.
  • Another option is to search on Reddit using your keyword. You can also use SnoopSnoo to search for subreddits related to your industry.
  • If Reddit wasn't successful, you can then go on Facebook or LinkedIn and search there for relevant groups.
  • If you're having trouble finding communities on your own, you can ask your customers where they hang out and find out directly from the source.

What you need to do once you find these communities

Simply put, the strategy about engagement, no matter the channel and industry, is to be human and relate to people and their problems. To try and help as much as you can.

Start engaging with the community, build relationships and provide value.

When joining a new community you shouldn't start sharing links to your site as the first thing you do.

Those people don't know who you are yet, and so it would seem too sales-y to bombard everybody trying to promote yourself.

Read the community's guidelines. Every community has a set of rules of what is and isn't acceptable. Here's an example of Reddit's guidelines.

Make sure you read them, and then study and observe the way people are interacting with each other in your community. 

Only then you should start engaging in conversations by providing comments with your expertise, share your ideas so that it adds value to the conversation, and help others with answers that they might not know.

After you understand the dynamic of each group, you can start to sprinkle in your links as well, but do it in a way that is part of a story.

The way you can do that is by relating to your target audience's pains and challenges.

Don't just say - "Hey, I wrote this, go on my website and check it out".

Instead you could say something like "I know how hard it is to.... and I've been there, but I found some ways to... and I would like to share them with you, so that it helps you too".

Communicate your message in a way that comes from who you are, your background and your uniqueness, as you're different from anybody else: where you're from, your experiences, your cultural differences, all this makes you interesting and unique.

You'll have a more powerful connection with people when you show them different sides of yourself - that you're human, you live the same kind of life, you're not necessarily special in any way.

Allow yourself to be vulnerable in front of others.

Start commenting as much as you can on other people's threads and make yourself noticeable.

The more you comment and post, the more people will see you, click on your links and engage with your posts.

Add this to your calendar. You need to do this daily, weekly, as often as you can, but don't spread yourself too thin, as it will slow you down.

Choose 1-2 communities max. and one owned platform of your choice, where you will blog, do podcasts, videos, etc.

Once you choose your platform, start creating content consistently, on a weekly basis.

This will strengthen the relationship you have with your subscribers and will also help you get new ones.

We've covered a lot in this blog post!

Don't forget to analyze your marketing campaigns based on these 2 questions:

1. How aware are the people in my target audience of their problem and my type of product?

2. Am I where my prospects are?

The answers to these questions will help you approach marketing strategically and get your solution in front of your target audience in a meaningful way.

Feel free to add your comments and questions below!

 

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