You may have a great message, but is it reaching the right people? Creating a great message is important. Making sure it gets to the right people, in the right way, on the platform where their attention already is, is critical.
Demographics and personas.
The first thing you need to get a solid grasp on is your audience (not in any way that will get you in trouble with HR). You need to really know and understand who your audience is. Hopefully, you already do. Ideally, you will have a wealth of background information and statistics, used them to work out personas and backed up your findings with a lot of analytical data. Then again, you may be at the start of the process and need to do all those things.
Personas are important in the creative process of getting a clear idea of the message that you need to write to match your market. A persona is a representative of your market. If you are marketing a new chocolate bar, you might imagine that your persona is a male child aged 13, who is a big fan of Boruto and is easily distracted. It’s a way to put a face on a 10- to 15-year-old predominantly male demographic. It also doesn’t tell the whole story.
Products and services may have a demographic that is more important than others, but a single persona does not represent your market place. A chocolate bar may appeal to young boys, but it will also appeal to young girls. It will also appeal to older men and women. Everyone loves chocolate. Young boys may account for 60% of the market, but that doesn’t mean you want to ignore the other 40%.
That’s why it’s useful to think of multiple demographics, and work up multiple personas. Where a young boy might care about action and excitement, a young girl might care about sharing. The older consumers, who are probably going to be the people who pay for it anyway, will have another set of concerns. They may be worried about the amount of sugar and fat in the bar, or if the products used in its manufacture are ethically sourced.
Put those together and make an ad where a team of ninja robots decide to learn a lesson about sharing and the importance of ethically sourced cocoa and milk, and you’ll get a mess (or a message that’s interesting for the wrong reasons). It’s better to work out what the different focuses of your entire audience are, and then work out different ways to get a message to those key markets.
Split testing is your friend.
One of the benefits of getting your message out on social media is the ability to test and change your approach continually. When you have settled on a persona and a focus for your message, there can still be different ways to realize it. Let’s take our chocolate bar and imagine that we are creating copy to appeal to our young female audience with a focus on sharing. Here are a couple of ways it could go:
- Borrowed your sister’s favorite sweater without asking again? Say sorry by sharing your Hazleblast bar.
- Jenny thought she didn’t have any friends. All it took was Petra to share her Hazleblast bar and it made her day!
Both are legitimate approaches. The first takes a more humorous approach and the second plays on emotions. Both target the 10- to 15-year-old female demographic and show the benefits of sharing the product. Which one is best? In fact, either of them could be the most effective. The only real way to find out is to split test them.
Let’s take Facebook as an example. You can create two ads, which are exactly the same apart from the copy. You can set the split at 50/50 or whatever you like. Then you send your two ads out. Then you see which one has been the most successful. You can then test it against other copy if you have more ideas, or even change up the image, your call to action or even if you include emoji or not.
Through split testing, you can see your message evolve so it is the most effective at reaching your market. You are carrying out market research while you are growing brand awareness (or even selling your product).
Jumping from platform to platform.
Once you have defined the different areas of your audience, and split tested to find the best way to deliver that message to them – you still need to think about where you will reach them. You need to reach your audience where there attention already is, and on the device that captures that attention.
The younger audience is a good example here. Facebook doesn’t let people have their own accounts until the age of 13. So, while the split testing ad may have worked out well for the 13 to 15 year olds glued to social media, it still ignores a key part of that demographic. Although you would still want to advertise on Facebook, it might be worthwhile to extend out to websites or even in-app advertisements, because that’s where that particular audience’s attention actually is.
On a basic level – you need to think about how your message will appear on different devices. The copy on a desktop Facebook ad may take up more space than is available in an in-app ad. You always need to be aware of how your message will appear on a mobile phone, even if you’re creating the ad on a desktop computer. Whatever device your message is being read on, you need to make sure that it is clear to read, clear to understand and has a clear purpose.
The medium is the message.
There are a variety of ways you can deliver your message. It will always be accompanied by copy – but it could be a picture, a GIF, a slideshow, a video, a livestream, a 360 video, an interactive form… even through a game. When considering what medium to use to put out a message, you need to ask: (a) does it effectively represent my brand and (b) will it entertain my audience?
There may be evidence that people in the 12 to 15-year-old demographic may really respond and interact with live-streams, but unless there is a real way that a live stream can support your message and demonstrate the value of your product, then it’s better to choose a medium that works. A picture of two friends laughing a sharing a chocolate bar may be more effective than seeing how long it will take a Hazelblast bar to melt in the sun.
Once you’ve hit your target: retarget!
The last thing to think about in getting your message to the market is to consider what interaction they have had with your company before. People who have already interacted with your advertising, or visited the website don’t want to be given the same message over and over again. Not only can this lead to ad fatigue, it’s also easier to convert people who have already come part of the way along the sales journey.
Retargeting is a very powerful tool. Using things like the Facebook Pixel, you can automatically track the audience interaction. You can then set up a copy sequence, so that the audience can be retargeted with a message designed to push them along to the next level of your sales funnel. By honing your message to respond to their level of experience, you have a better chance of converting them.
Match your message to find your match.
People go on the Internet for two reasons: to have a problem solved or to be entertained. By matching your message to a persona, honing that message through split testing, placing that message on the right device and matching your message to their level of experience – you have a greater chance of them engaging with their message. They are more likely to be entertained as you are speaking directly to them, rather than to just anyone. Ultimately, you are more likely to solve their problem – whether it’s choosing a new chocolate bar or a new life insurance provider.