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Three Big Reasons You Aren't Connecting With Your Brand's Audience

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You keep trying to connect to your target audience, but nothing you do seems to be working. Sometimes, the problem may be with your presentation. Other times, there may be problems with your strategy.

Here are some common issues that brands experience when trying to connect with their target audience.

1. Emotions Evoked By Your Brand

There are a number of aspects associated with branding a product, but the most important reduce to emotions that your brand evokes. Whatever emotions your brand evokes will be transferred to other aspects of your company. Similarly, if your brand's spokesperson evokes certain emotions, those will be transferred to your brand.

One of the worst problems for any brand is not provoking any emotions. Those brands may get customers that are actively repelled by other brands, but those customers won't be loyal to it.

To establish brand loyalty, you need to establish a loyal customer base. You do this through emotional appeal.

People are more likely to make choices based on emotion than on logic. Emotional appeal can also be logical, but you need to make certain that your brand connects to the user's emotions. A part of this is defining your brand both in terms of what it stands for and what it opposes.

People will choose brands that support concepts, identities, or values that they do. Whether choosing a sports team, a cause, or a group they belong to, customers value their brands supporting at least some of the same things they do.

If you have a brand spokesperson, make certain to choose carefully. The spokeperson's actions and beliefs will be attached to your brand, whether you intend them to be. Choose everything related to your brand with care, because it will send a message.

Your brand should send a consistent message. People dislike inconsistency because it makes them uncomfortable. If people are uncomfortable, they won't buy your brand.

Keep your messages consistent across different media and product lines. Although your customers from one product line may not interact with your other lines, in this world of mass media and Websites, they will see your association. If they don't like what one product stands for, that dislike will transfer itself to your other products.

A part of maintaining a consistent message can be limiting the number of sites you use. Though you may not reach as broad an audience, you can ensure that your messages are consistent across sites. Choose to spread the word on sites frequented by your target audience and ignore the rest.

2. Emotions Evoked by Your Choices

When you make a decision, it can hurt your brand. The performance of a brand can be influenced by the preferences and beliefs of its spokesperson. As a company owner or executive, you are one of the most important spokespeople your brand has.

Take care that your decisions do not reflect badly on your brand. That includes taking into account what your private decisions and communications may say about your brand. Just as a spokesperson's actions can influence the perception of a brand, so can the actions of the company's top executives. For spokespeople directly associated with a company for their livelihood, their actions can impact their brand even more strongly.

Try not to appear standoffish or arrogant. People connect to brands whose spokespeople value what they do. No one likes people who appear disconnected or only interested in themselves. Make certain you project a personal image that compliments your brand's, and be responsive to your customers requests'.

Perhaps the most important form of communication you can have is listening to your customers.

People like interaction, and not providing it to them makes you appear rude and uncaring. Even if you can't respond directly to every request, let your customers know that you've seen it. Have answers for frequently asked questions or complaints readily available.

Your responsiveness can be very beneficial to your company. This is particularly true with complaints. Most people who dislike a brand will just go somewhere else. Someone who complains has an emotional investment in your brand that should be answered. Give complaints attention and response. Otherwise, you may alienate someone looking for a reason to stay.

You may also not be interacting with the appropriate frequency. Communicating too frequently with your customers can make you look arrogant. This is particularly true when you post on social media and the news section of your webpage seemingly insignificant unsolicited information. Keep the communication limited to regular posts, requested communications, and urgent updates.

Communicating too infrequently can make you appear diffident. It can make you appear arrogant in a different way than communicating too frequently.

If you don't respond to customer requests, you can send the message that you are too important to deal with these matters. Infrequent communication can also make your brand seem irrelevant. People may assume that the reason your company isn't posting is that nothing is happening.

The best solution for problems with communication frequency is to always post at a regular time. Your frequency could be daily, weekly, monthly, or any variation in between. With a regular posting time, you can give your customers a schedule for interaction and make certain that you don't over- or under-communicate. Having a regular schedule also helps your customer know when to expect communication, which can reduce their stress.

3. Not Reaching Your Target Audience

Sometimes, people aren't interacting with your brand because they don't know about it. If you are spending the time to tailor your content to the audience, you need to take equal care discovering where to find your audience. When you evaluate your target audience, you should take the time to know where they spend their time, what sites they use, and what content they read.

One of the most important digital marketing tools has become social media. However, not all sites appeal to the same audiences. When you decide on an audience, you need to determine how prevalent social media use is for them, what sites they use, and what they use these sites for. This knowledge can make all the difference when it comes to getting people interacting with your brand.

Match your content to both your social media sites and your audience. If your audience doesn't usually read certain types of media, then using that medium to market your brand is useless. Other times, your audience's preferred content may not suit a particular social media site or format. Consider the practical implications before posting online because content needs to be of consistent quality.

Sometimes, you aren't reaching your target audience because you haven't given your strategy enough time. Even with the speed the Internet offers, it still takes time for your message to reach enough of your target audience to have an effect. Allow your brand and your audience time to interact appropriately.

* * *

In every case, you need to test your marketing strategy before making it live. Though you cannot find all the problems in testing, you can at least fix the worst flaws and know where the potential weak spots in the campaign are.

Testing your strategy can provide ideas for your next campaign before the current one has even made it to evaluation. If the same problems or high points were indicated in both the testing and actual campaign, you have found the next thing to work on.

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Stephen Moyers is an online marketer, designer, and avid tech-savvy blogger. He is associated with SPINX Digital Agency, a state-of-the-art creative digital marketing agency based in Los Angeles.

LinkedIn: Stephen Moyers

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  • by Arthur Strout (Arth) Mon Jan 18, 2016 via web

    Good Day to You Mr. Moyers,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful advice.

    “Emotions Evoked By Your Brand”:

    Whenever I make a comment on a post, on social media, writing my own article, or answering a question on Quora, I try to always start with the above opening line.

    You will notice the last word is capitalized, even though it is not “grammatically correct”.

    It is important that the first message relayed is that YOU are important, and the reason this effort to communicate is happening.

    YOU have my attention, not the other way around, because my intentions are to “Help”.

    Now, I have not only made that “clear”, but am bound to follow through.

    “Emotions Evoked by Your Choices”:

    “Respect works both ways”

    An old saying, but one that stands the test of time.

    For every topic I may be an “expert” in, the person asking that “stupid” question probably can take me to school and teach me a “thing or two”.

    “The only stupid question is the one not asked.”

    This is the attitude that kept me in good standing for 20+ years as a customer servicer reprehensive in state government.

    It wasn’t that I could answer any question, or do anything better in my office. Mutual respect and consideration was and still is key. In both our personal and business relationships.

    Being Transparent and Encouraging:

    Often, times, I need to take a break from my computer. It may be for family reasons, due to illness, but most often it is because of my Glaucoma, and the need to give my eyes a break.

    Being transparent about this, not only helps my contacts understand why my response may sometimes be slower, but also allows me to help others to empower themselves, because even though my responses may at times be slow, the job gets done, even if I do it at the “speed of my eyes”.

    I always encourage others to embrace their limitations, accept them, and learn how to best function with or around them.

    Providing Quality:

    It is just as important to make sure the wait is worth it.

    Delivering quality answers to questions, or supplying a product or service all get the same best possible service I can deliver.

    Trying to remember to ask, “Did this help?” or reaffirming the original commitment to quality service, targeted to the individual’s needs is also very important. This is one of the ways being a customer service representative was a positive working experience.

    Without reaching out for that confirmation of a “job well done” and that the “need(s) have been addressed”, our job just isn’t finished.

    “Not Reaching Your Target Audience”:

    One of my reasons for trying Haaartland (beta) is to find connections in my niche.

    “Professional Licensing Helper”, my business name, refers to my desire to create and share an online tool. The tool is a “work in progress” and will take considerable time to complete. The “tool” consist of a series of alphabetically arranged link pages to the dedicated resource pages of government professional licensing administrative agencies.

    The “Helper” part of the “static” link pages are intended to provide a way of avoiding the often redundant and continuous need to follow links from webpage to webpage. The links are “descriptive” and go directly to the resource, avoiding the constant “click through”. These “static” pages are what make up the “tool”.

    Very “low tech”, to be sure, but something that my experience has taught me is very much needed.

    The blog is intended for current events, updates when a new part of the tool is published, or whatever seems relevant and helpful.

    Please note that sharing this information about my project is only intended to help you understand a bit more about myself and what motivates me.

    Haaartland is already providing Benefits:

    Until recently, the only other websites found within my niche were either government sites (the vast majority), or lawyers.

    A new contact on Twitter (thanks to following a public niche on Haaartland), told me about “licensing” questions being asked on Quora, after visiting my project.

    In a little over a month, through applying myself to providing resource links, in the process of answering questions, (even though most are for driver licenses), my answers have been viewed over one thousand (1,000) times. My status has grown to be one of the “most viewed” participants, answering questions related to “licenses”.

    I am also able to post the answers to Twitter and Facebook when submitting them. This is one of the few times I use automatic social media submission, other than sharing another’s blog post or message.

    All this positive motion, though not directly contributing to page views, or new visitors to my site, is helping my brand reputation.

    Even better, I’ve started a Quora blog, given it the same name that my project has, and can use it to help contribute in other ways to the Quora community.

    “Testing your strategy”:

    I am admittedly ill equipped when it comes to “testing”.

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