Starting a business or organization that has a core set of ethical, social, or environmental principles can be a rewarding prospect. Aside from the potential to create an emotionally and financially successful career, it also means that you have the opportunity to connect with people who align with your mission and you can genuinely have a positive impact on the world around you. However, part of your challenge is to make sure your message reaches the right people.
One of the reasons this can be so tricky is that our digital landscape has served to make the world more open to all of us. Organizations and businesses have access to larger audiences than ever before, and starting a viable company is easier. While this is positive, it also means that your company and, more importantly, your message will be vying for attention amidst a lot of noise in the online environment.
So, what can you do to overcome this communications challenge and reach the people who need to receive your message?
Understand Your Audience
The message that your organization or business wants to communicate to consumers is a core aspect of your operations. However, one of the mistakes that many companies in any industry make is trying to shout that message without understanding who is receiving it. For your idea to resonate, you have to both find your audience and use information about them to help them connect to it. As such, your first port of call is learning some more about who you’re trying to reach.
Undertake some research about your demographic. Even if your company doesn’t specifically sell items or services, it’s a good idea to create buyer personas about your intended audience. These are profiles that you build using insights about your demographic’s preferences — their online browsing behavior, the types of media they like to consume, how they interact with businesses or organizations, what devices they use to connect to the internet. This helps you identify the locations and methods to transmit your message that are most likely to resonate with your audience. It’s also notable that studies show that recipients are more likely to engage with you when your messaging and marketing strategy uses buyer personas.
Part of understanding your audience and how best to reach them is recognizing that they may have challenges in processing your message too. A lot of businesses overlook language accessibility. If you use too much jargon in your marketing materials or fail to present your information in a logical order, this may confuse your readers. Aim for clarity in your message and use vocabulary that will be familiar to your audience. Using plain language not only prevents you from excluding a percentage of your demographic, it also helps your audience connect to the meaning of your message.
Engage in Collaborations
It’s probably the case that you feel you have a unique perspective in your area of expertise. However, it is important to recognize that other organizations share your goals and have similar missions. This means that you don’t always have to approach the burden of getting your message out alone. By engaging in collaborations — in content, on social media, for events — there are opportunities to mutually benefit from one another’s resources and audience reach.
Your first step is to do some research to identify who the most suitable and effective collaborators will be. You certainly don’t want them to be your direct competition (if you have any), as this rather negates the point of banding together. Rather, look for companies with similar social interests and goals in adjacent industries. If you’re a non-profit app development company, for instance, partner with the types of businesses that use your apps. Influencers can be a useful collaboration resource here too.
However, in both cases you need to do a deep dive into your potential partners — not just into their marketing reach, either. You need to make certain that they have an authentic connection to the message you need to send. If their behavior is contrary to the values you purport to share, this can be damaging to your reputation and the credibility of the message.
Content marketing has become one of the most valuable ways in which companies and organizations can deliver their message to consumers. This involves producing marketing materials that don’t simply seek to advertise to the audience but provide value to them and encourage their engagement. This could be through entertaining videos, content that is educational in some way, or providing deep insights into interesting subjects. However, as different audiences have varied preferences for content, you can make a better impact by going multimedia.
This could include:
Making a podcast for your organization can be a great way to delve further into your message and the topics that surround it. They’re also an increasingly popular media across all generations of consumers. It doesn’t need to be an expensive endeavor; you can create a show with a computer, a microphone and pop filter, and audio editing software. However, you do need to take care in planning your podcast. Be clear about what format you want it to take — interviews with industry figures, narrative storytelling — and prepare scripts to keep your podcast clear and structured.
- Blog Posts
There is often a misconception that blog posts aren’t as relevant as they once were. They are still a relevant and effective tool in your marketing strategy. They allow you to explore your message in-depth with your audience, and when combined with well-researched keywords they can help your search engine ranking. However, the key is always quality, relevance, and consistency. Make sure that the content of your blog is accurate and well-written to keep your visitors engaged. Make sure that there is a regular schedule for your posts, and make sure your audience knows when they can expect a new one.
The message that underpins your organization must be received and understood to make an impact. As such, you must place time and focus on gaining a deeper understanding of how your audience prefers to be communicated with and why. Occasionally partnering with other organizations can expand your reach, and creating multimedia content can ensure that your message is not just received, but engaging.