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How do I choose my marketing channels?

This is a question that I often get asked, particularly when I do a marketing presentation or run a marketing workshop.

How do I know which channels to target my target audience on? How do I know which channels my customers are using? Et cetera, et cetera.

These are really good questions because there’s a lot of small business owners that want to know where they should invest their small business marketing funds.

We certainly don’t want to waste our money investing in marketing channels if our customers just aren’t there and aren’t seeing our messages.

 

Where do we find our customers?

Well, that wholeheartedly stems back to asking your customers what media they consume.

When we collect information about our target audience, and I advise all of my small business clients to do this, we can ask our existing customers about where they are from a media point of view.

What TV shows do they watch? Do they watch TV anymore? Or is it just all streaming?

What social media channels do they use the most? What print publications do they read? What radio stations do they listen to?

We can just ask them those questions.

It can even just be a one-off poll question to get some information.

When it comes to trying to find out where they hang out on social media, particularly with small budgets, because you don’t want to spread yourself too thin, dive a bit deeper there perhaps and ask which social media channel they use the most.

That way, you can get some indication as to where to spend your time and effort.

There’s plenty of business owners who will select a social media channel based on their own personal preference.

They might really enjoy hanging out on Instagram but neglect to actually clock whether their customers are using Instagram too.

 

I often use an example of a 45 year old male lawyer

If that’s your customer or your target audience, you’re actually quite unlikely to find them hanging out and engaging on Instagram.

I’m sure there’d be some 45 year old male lawyers hanging out on Instagram, but on the whole, I think if you did your research, you would find out that they generally don’t.

There’s no point, just because you love Instagram, showing up with your content there and expecting something to happen and to get a response from that target audience.

Work out from your customers by asking the question.

There are some inferences that we can make as well.

If we’re dealing with particular generations or age brackets, we can make some inferences.

For example, just from working in the space for so long, I know that women aged between say 30 and 50, even 55 are prolific on Facebook, they are super users of Facebook.

Again, in general, I’m sure there are some women who are aged between 30 and 55 that don’t use Facebook prolifically, but I see the insights. It’s definitely the majority of females in Australia that I see using the platform.

Then there’s the newer channels.

People are really distracted sometimes and I think it can be easy to be distracted by the shiny new thing.

It was Snapchat, which is not so shiny new anymore, but that was the latest one after Facebook and Instagram died out.

Now you’ve got TikTok, which has taken the teenager’s mobile phone usage by storm. It is a highly addictive platform that they all seem to be using in spades.

Again, if you’re targeting teenagers, it is totally relevant to turn up on TikTok. If you’re not targeting teenagers, perhaps rethink TikTok.

 

Think about where you want to focus

If your target audience is a 45 year old female, sure, there’s going to be some of those people on TikTok.

The majority of them though will be on Facebook.

So, if we’re looking for a focused spend, why wouldn’t you choose the channel where the majority of your target audience are going to be consuming content?

One of the biggest problems that small business owners have is working out where to focus their time and their resources, because we don’t have time and resources in small business.

We certainly don’t have it to waste.

So, ask your target audience where they are with media, make inferences based on their habits, where they live, how old they are, their lifestyle.

Where are they in terms of, are they parents, are they retired?

If they are retired, what would they be doing with their days? What outdoor billboards might they be driving past on a regular basis?

Are they the generation that is still watching a little bit of TV?

This information you can probably find out with a bit of Googling, but it is always best to ask your customers as well.

If you don’t have customers yet, or if you feel like you’re going out and getting new customers and you don’t have any existing customers that represent the new lot of customers you’re going for, then just go out and find people that do represent that new target audience.

This doesn’t have to be rocket science and it certainly doesn’t have to be a hugely expensive mammoth research project.

It’s just about being curious and going out and asking enough people for you to feel confident with the answer.

The biggest takeaway from this is to ask your customers or community where they are so that you can really streamline your spending and your resources in terms of not wasting effort trying to talk to someone that’s not there.


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Podcast Transcript:

Jane Hillsdon:

How do I choose my marketing channels? This is a question that I often get asked, particularly when I do a marketing presentation or run a marketing workshop. You know, how do I know which channels to target my, my target audience on, you know, how do I know which channels my customers are using, et cetera, et cetera, which is a really, really good question because there’s a lot of small business owners want to know where they should invest their small business marketing funds. We certainly don’t want to waste our money and invest in marketing channels where our customers just aren’t there and are not seeing messages. So where do we find our customers? Well, that whole heartedly stems back to asking your customers what media they consume. So when we collect information about our target audience, and I advise all of my small business clients to do this we can, you know, if we’ve got an established business and we can ask our existing customers about where they are from, from a media point of view, you know, what TV shows do they watch?

Do they watch TV anymore? Or is it just all streaming? What social media channels do they use the most? What print publications do they read? What rock, radio stations do they listen to? We can just ask them those questions that can even just be like a one-off poll question to get some information about that. When it comes to trying to find out where they hang out on social media, you know, particularly with small budgets, cause you don’t want to spread yourself too thin, you know, dive a bit deeper there perhaps and ask, you know, which social media channel do you use the most so that you can kind of get some indication as to where to spend your time and your effort. But you know, there’s plenty of business owners who will select a social media channel based on their preference.

So they might really enjoy hanging out on Instagram. But neglect to actually, I guess, clock whether their customers are actually using Instagram. You know, I use an example often of, you know, a 45 year old male lawyer. If that’s kind of your customer or your target audience, you’re actually quite unlikely to find them hanging out and engaging on Instagram. I’m sure there’s plenty. There’s some, there’s not plenty. There’d be some 45 year old male lawyers hanging out on Instagram. But as on the whole, I think if you did your research, you would find out that, that they generally don’t. So there’s no point just because you love Instagram showing up with your content there and expecting something to happen, to get a response from that target audience. So, you know, work out from, from your customers, buy it by asking the question, there are some inferences that we can make as well.

You know, if, if we’re dealing with particular generations or age brackets, we can make some inferences, like for example, you know, just by working in the space for so long, I know that women aged between say 30 and 50, even 55 prolific on Facebook, they are super users of Facebook. And again, in general, I’m sure there are some women who are aged between 30 and 55, there would be the odd two or three that don’t use Facebook prolifically, but as a general rule, I see the insights. That’s definitely the majority of females in Australia that I see using the platform you know, then there’s the newer channels. Again, you know, people are really distracted sometimes I think it can be easy to be distracted by the shiny new thing, you know, Snapchat. It was Snapchat which is not so shiny new anymore, but that was kind of the latest one after, after Facebook and Instagram died out.

And now you’ve got TikTok, which has taken the teenagers average mobile phone usage by storm, a highly addictive platform that they all seem to be using in spades. So again, if you’re targeting teenagers totally relevant to turn up on TikTok, if you’re not targeting teenagers, perhaps rethink TikTok again, you know, think about where you want to focus. If you’re, if your target audience is a 45 year old female, sure. There’s going to be some of those people on TikTok. The majority of them though will be on Facebook. So if we’re looking for a focused spend, why wouldn’t you choose the channel where the majority of your target audience are going to be consuming content? This is, you know, one of the biggest problems that small business owners have is working out where to kind of focus their time and their resources, because we don’t have a lot of time and resources in small business.

We certainly don’t have it to waste. So ask your target audience where they are with media, make inferences based on their habits, where they live, how old they are, their lifestyle you know, where are they in terms of, you know, are they parents, are they retired? You know, so, and if they are retired, what would they be doing with their days? You know, what outdoor billboards might they be driving past on a regular basis? Are they the generation that is still watching a little bit of TV? You know, this information you can probably find out with a bit of Googling but always best to kind of ask your customers as well. And if you don’t have customers yet, or if you feel like you don’t, if you’re going out and getting new customers and you don’t have your existing customers that represent the new lot of customers you’re going for then just go out and find people that do represent that new target audience.

This doesn’t have to be rocket science. And it certainly doesn’t have to be, you know, a hugely expensive mammoth research project. It’s just being curious and going out and asking enough people so that you feel confident with the answer. But I mean, I guess the biggest takeaway really for this is a ask your customers where they are or ask your community where they are so that you can really stream line your spending. But B, so you can streamline your resources in terms of not wasting effort, trying to talk to someone that’s not there.

 

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