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Ping. An email just dropped into your inbox. Ugh, it’s from that one company that emails you all the time but never about anything important. You don’t need to open it; you just hit the trash can icon. Maybe you’ll eventually care enough to unsubscribe . . .
It’s something we’ve all felt. But imagine that reaction to an email you created for your own company! Ouch—that stings.
That’s the reality for too many companies. Their emails aren’t being opened. Their social posts aren’t getting any engagement. Their website doesn’t have many visitors.
Do you feel like no one cares about your marketing? Not even your target audience—the people you designed your product or service for?
If so, you’re probably wondering, How do I get them to?
Cull Your Contacts
The first step to getting people to care about your marketing is to make sure you’re talking to the right people.
We’re assuming that you know your audience, but actually knowing how to reach them with your marketing messages can still be a challenge. (Which is why comprehensive customer personas are a must-have.)
An organization that hasn’t taken the time or doesn’t see the need to properly target its marketing messages is taking a “spray and pray” approach. It sends out general messages to a broad swath of people in hopes that some will bite. We’ve also seen marketers take this approach despite knowing how to target their audience well. They have the mindset that expanding their reach will automatically result in growth.
We understand the instinct to spray and pray. The more people who see what you’re offering, the more people who will purchase it, right? But time and time again, that logic doesn’t hold true. Rather, mass marketing is at the very least inefficient and at most a big money waster and annoyance to people who don’t resonate with your offering.
So, cull your contacts (so to speak) and narrow down your target. You’ll be able to create more personalized messaging that drives more engagement, leads, and sales.
Don’t try to push your product in front of everyone and then convince them they need it. Do the work to find the people who need or want your product and then put it right in front of their noses.
Choose the Right Channels
When you’re not trying to appeal to a broad audience, you can focus on and cater to the specific needs and preferences of your target. For instance, you’re well-poised to choose targeted distribution channels.
Which owned, earned, and paid channels make the most sense? Your customer personas will help you figure it out. If your target persona is over the age of 50, TikTok probably doesn’t make much sense for you. If Gen Z is your target, direct mail likely isn’t your best bet.
Ultimately, testing will help you know which channels to focus on. Start with an informed idea and a plan, but then test things out. Don’t get sucked into believing that you have to use certain channels (e.g., social media) or do certain things on them (e.g., posting organically every day). Measure and analyze to determine what works for your specific offering and audience.
Create Killer Content
Now, if you know your audience and how to reach them but your marketing still isn’t moving the needle, you’ve got another problem: You’re sharing the wrong content.
With all of the marketing noise out there, you have to create messages that set your company apart and draw your customers in. This is inbound marketing. Inbound is all about providing value to customers, earning their attention with content that addresses their pain points and specific stage of the buyer’s journey. Conversely, outbound marketing involves pushing out a message through more “traditional” marketing tactics like email blasts, cold calling, direct mail, social advertising, etc.
HubSpot likens outbound marketing to hitting an audience over and over with a sledgehammer and inbound marketing to attracting them with a magnet.
Switching to a focus on inbound marketing could be a big change for your organization or marketing department, or it could simply mean an increased and more strategic focus on tactics you’re already using: Content marketing, search engine marketing, and social media.
Though outbound marketing typically has a lower ROI than inbound, that’s not to say it doesn’t have its place in marketing strategy at all (when used well). After all, you’ll still want to push out some of your content to a targeted audience. Devise a plan for balancing inbound and outbound and then test, measure, and adjust as needed.
You’ll Still Lose Some
You’ve got to have all of these pieces—solid contacts, the right channels, and killer content—to get people to care about your marketing.
If you’re sure your content is great, but it’s still not showing results, consider that your distribution channels may not be quite right. If you know you’re targeting the right people but they’re not biting, take a step back and rethink your content and distribution strategy. If you’re getting no traction at all, reconsider your targeting strategy.
And, understand that even when these three pieces are working together seamlessly, your messaging still won’t resonate with everyone.
People will still unsubscribe from your email list, unfollow your social accounts, ignore your advertisements. There will always be people who don’t care about your marketing, but don’t see them as a failure on your part. Once they’re out of the way, you’re that much closer to only talking to people who do care.