Written by Camilla Shuckburgh

Using social insight to develop stronger campaigns

In today’s age of the always-on consumer, brands now have to consider how they can effectively reach this new breed of audience.

Listening to what your audience have to say online is powerful, and produces real-time, strong insight which can help shape existing and future campaigns tactically.

In essence, social is a real-time unprompted focus group, offering real insight into your customer’s opinions. However, more often than not, marketers struggle to use this data and act upon these insights. This information can inform every aspect of your brand’s value proposition, from advertising to recruitment, customer service to POS activity.

Some questions you should ask yourself….

  • What do your audience really want to see from you? What are they ‘shouting out’ for? Don’t just make presumptions.
  • What are they talking about when they mention your brand or your campaign topic? Do they have any preferences or complaints?
  • Is there negative sentiment around your brand or products? How can you address this?
  • What types of content really resonate with them? Do they want to read case-studies or watch case study videos for quick information consumption?

Let’s delve into how you can start to leverage the power of social…

Understanding your audience

The first step is to truly understand your audience and what makes them ‘tick’. From their age and gender to where they are located, demographic data can help you to target the correct people in your marketing campaign. And it’s not just your current audience, but audience prospects and those that influence them. Identifying and engaging with top social influencers is one of the quickest ways to get your message out in front of the people you want to listen.

Almost all public posts can help you to build a rich understanding that you couldn’t gather elsewhere and when we explore these with an open mind, there is almost certainly something of value that can help us understand our customers further. For example, from the mundane, ‘here’s a picture of my lunch’ posts, we can gather an understanding of which restaurants they like to visit, how health conscious they are, and so on.

It’s also important not to only listen to what people are saying about your brand, but also the keywords they might associate with your product or service. For example, for an audience that are interested in having great skin, instead of searching for Clarins, Clinique, Nivea, expand this to include keywords in their conversations like skincare, ‘bad skin day’ etc. This will result in a far deeper understanding of your potential customers’ needs.

It’s also worth having a sneaky look at what your competitors are publishing and what content is gaining the most engagement.

Content is King

Once you have a clear picture of your audience, focus on creating relevant content to attract and retain them. This is content marketing. Simply put, content marketing is: “…the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”

Ask yourself if your audience prefer listening to your messages through video or reading blogs? Podcasts or Infographics? The trick to good content marketing is having the previous research and understanding in place so that when you deliver, your audience actually want to read or watch it.

There are many types of content marketing out there, it’s all about finding the rights ones for your audience and the message you’re putting across to them. Include strong calls to action, whether they be to visit a campaign micro-site, download a white paper, or read a blog. The biggest secret to content marketing is to add value.

Measure, measure, measure

Of course, social never stops moving. Regular checkups on your social and web analytics to determine if your plan is serving your business goals is essential. From click throughs to data capture, not only does this help you to predict current and future demands for your brand’s offering, but it makes it possible to make the most of your marketing and advertising spend.

Twitter is well ahead of the game in terms of targeted ad offering, allowing you to really pin-point and push your content to the correct audience. Although social advertising is a moveable-feast and needs a lot more attention than simply setting up an ad to run for two weeks and letting it go. Throughout the ad duration, keep on delving in and measure how successful each element of your targeting actually is, and change things if they’re not working. If your ad isn’t having much traction with Blackberry device users for example, remove this particular device from the targeting criteria – focus more on the elements that do work.

Conclusion

For those that haven’t fully embraced the power of social media, it’s never too late. Learning how to fully utilise this essential tool can help you shape your campaigns and provide high-quality content to ensure you push your brand’s marketing to the next level.