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Stop Hoping – Start Targeting

Written by Paul Coombes on .
Targeting An Online Audience

We are really fortunate to have an expanding portfolio of clients. Our customers vary in size, from pre-launch start-ups to multi-million-pound turnover clients with offices across the globe. Over the years, this has broadened our experience of designing and implementing highly-targeted marketing campaigns. Most companies want to grow in some way, shape or form. Whether this is to ensure the mortgage and bills are covered or to expand a business into a global enterprise. There are some fundamental parts of any digital marketing strategy that need to be applied, regardless of your size or industry sector. One of these is “Who do you want to target?”

As a keen angler, I have learnt a thing or two about targeting particular species of fish. The same principle of attracting the right fish can be applied to marketing. I have met so many people over the years who might call me boring for enjoying fishing. Many of them have said, “I have been fishing once before, I hated it, I didn’t catch anything”. Don’t get me wrong, I have had a few depressing days like that, but on the whole, I am a successful fisherman because I would always arrive at the bank with a strategy!

If I turned up with a rod, line and a single hook bait and caught anything, it would be down to sheer luck. All too often, particularly with social media, I have heard clients say, “I tried social media and it didn’t do anything for me”. When looking into things further, it often turns out to be a case of the client running some boosted posts or general ads without a clear strategy. The results were always going to be predictably depressing. In the fishing world, we call it ‘blanking’. It is bad enough if this only happens once, but if it happens several times, it will make you want to pack up your things and never go back out.

paul fishing2

My favourite type of fishing is carp fishing. I am happy spending a few days waiting for that monster carp! This definitely involves having a good strategy. In marketing, it is imperative to define your customers (target species). Most businesses have multiple target clients. Some that may be interested in certain products or services, and others less so. At Beyond Your Brand, our 100 Club is very attractive to start-ups and small businesses with modest marketing budgets; some of our social media packages are more attractive to B2C over B2B clients and, in general, our SEO packages are more attractive to clients looking for long-term sustainable growth. Once you have defined your target clients, then, and only then, should you define your strategies for attracting them.

So, once you have decided on your target ‘species’, it is time to start thinking about strategy. Where do your target fish like to feed? What are they attracted to? How can you bring them into your swim and keep them feeding? Do they like to feed as a group or do they prefer to dine on their own? In digital marketing terms are you looking at attracting lots and lots of clients or some very specific types of clients? Look at defining their goals and their values. This will help you select your ‘bait’. Your content and visuals must appeal to their goals, align to their values and be marketed in channels where your target clients are likely to see it.

Putting out a single ad and hoping it converts is like fishing with just a rod and line without any tactics or ground bait to attract the fish. You may, if you are lucky, convert them to a client, but in all likelihood, you are going to ‘blank’. So, a good question to ask when devising a strategy is “what next?”. If a user visits my site, what do I want them to do next? If they leave my site without converting to a lead or a customer, what do I want them to do next? If they see my ad on Facebook, what do I want them to do next? By adopting this approach, you will start to build a strategy that will positively impact your conversion rates from unknown prospects to leads, and leads to customers and even customers to brand ambassadors.

Often, marketing is not so much rocket science, but common sense. Of course, there are some amazing tools out there to help you with your exposure to wider audiences and there are some equally amazing tools to monitor the effectiveness of your campaigns. However, don’t lose sight of some basic principles: -

  • What do your target clients look like?
  • What are their goals and values?
  • Where can you promote your brand, products or services in front of them?
  • What do you want them to do when they see you?
  • How do you attract them back if they start to swim away?

Stop Hoping – Start Hunting!

If you are thinking about your digital marketing journey, we would love to have a chat. We are here to advise and assist with all of your digital marketing requirements and are always very happy to share our ideas. Why not get in touch?

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