Have you ever wondered which part of your brand strategy is the most important? Is it the main font that is in your logo? Or is it how many colors you have in your color palette? Is it your overall website design? Today I’m sharing the key ingredient to your branding strategy and how you can dig into that a little bit more.
Some people would have some different answers for what they think that key ingredient is. Over the years, we’ve heard from so many people who say that they need a new logo or a new color palette, or maybe they want to change the fonts on their website. While each of those things is a very important component of your brand strategy and does need to be something that you consider, this is not the key ingredient to your brand strategy.
The Key Ingredient is Your Audience
The key ingredient to your brand strategy is your audience. I say this because if you do not know who you are speaking to, then it is really easy for you to be all over the place in the way that you communicate to your readers. If you do not know who your audience is, it’s going to be really hard to know what kind of content they’re needing from you and all of those things are a huge factor in pretty much everything that you will do with your blog. So, without knowing who your audience is, you are really lacking the foundation for your brand strategy.
Now to be honest, knowing who your audience is and understanding that, can look a lot of different ways for a lot of different brands. For example, you might find that you have multiple audiences across different platforms and across your blog. This is really common and this happens a lot with our clients. You might find that you have a certain demographic that you’re reaching over on Instagram, and a different demographic over on Facebook. Maybe you have a really wide range of people that are showing up in your demographics on Google Analytics and so you feel like your audience is a little bit all over the place. When I am talking about your audience, what I really mean is your ideal audience member, your ideal reader, who you are creating content for.
You might call this your ideal reader, or your avatar or your ICA. It really doesn’t matter what term you use for this person. But it’s that person who you are sitting down and writing to every time you sit down and write a blog post. In order to fully understand your audience, and to fully grasp that concept, you have to get deeper than just knowing demographic information about that person. I always like to say that it’s more helpful to know what the audience members lifestyle is like, or family makeup is like, rather than knowing their age and their gender. If you know that your ideal reader is a single mom with four kids who are gluten free, that is going to give you so much perspective on where your audience member is in life and what things they may be struggling with.
Discovering Your Audience
So how can you figure this out? How can you really discover who your audience is? You can start with demographic information if that is helpful for you. Maybe if you have absolutely no idea, you want to go ahead and look at Google Analytics and look at your audience information and start to put together the puzzle pieces of who this person is. Are they male or female? What age range do they fall in? What interests do they have or what occupation do they have? It’s going to start to put together the pieces and then we’re going to go a few layers deeper once we have a general visual of who this person is in terms of their lifestyle, hobbies and occupation.
If you have ever done anything like a reader survey, or polls on Instagram, I want you to find that data if you can, and just start to figure out how much of that information is going to be helpful in discovering your audience. Some of it may not be relevant, but it’s really helpful if you can find the information that is specific about your audience. So, if you’ve ever asked things like age ranges, or demographics, especially in a survey or a poll, you’re going to find that those are the people who are a little bit more engaged with your brand already, because they took the time to take a survey like that. On the other hand, Google Analytics is just going to be any person who’s ever come to your site, and you’ve been able to get data from.
We’re looking for those people who are engaged and who are caring about what you’re doing, so that you can craft content in order to serve that person. Now, if you do not feel like you really have a good grasp on who your audience is, the next part that we’re going to talk about is going to be really important for you and that is connecting with your audience.
Connecting with your Audience
So, if you have or have not done a reader survey in the past, it’s really helpful to do something like this in the future. At the end of the year, this is a really great time to do it as well, because you have probably gained some readers from the traffic spikes that you might have had over Thanksgiving or coming up over Christmas break. So, you might find that you have more people who are new to you and who you might want to get to know.
It’s a great time to ask your audience things like what their favorite content was that you shared this year, or what type of content they would like to see you sharing. But it’s also a really great time to ask some more open-ended questions and let your readers just share with you. You can ask questions like, “What are you struggling with the most when it comes to cooking? What do you find most challenging when it comes to cooking? What types of recipes do you find the most enjoyable to make?” Any type of question that you can ask that is around the idea of your content is going to be really helpful for people to just share what it is that they want to share. I encourage you to really look for the nuggets in what people are saying, because when you give people the floor and they feel like they can openly share with you how they’re feeling, you might find that you get a lot of information that is helpful for you to really dig into that personal side of your audience.
Now another way that you can connect with your audience is by asking questions on whatever platform that you are most active on. This works really well on Instagram, where you have a lot of features like questions and polls, and Q and A’s and all of those types of things that help to foster engagement with your readers. But this can be really effective on any platform that you are really active in. If it is something like Tik Tok or Pinterest where it’s not as much about engaging with people and asking questions, but it’s more about just consuming content, then you can dig into what people are enjoying on that platform and figure out what is appealing about that type of content to the people who follow you. But if you’re on Instagram or Facebook, you can easily share some questions and get some feedback from your loyal fans who are following along with you. It’s really just about asking the right questions.
I would really encourage you to get in the DMs with people and talk to them more about what they are struggling with. You will find so much helpful information when you just ask the right questions and let people have the floor. My favorite way to do this is to get on a quick phone call with your most loyal readers and just ask them what their biggest challenges are around your content. We tend to forget that people do not consume our content in the exact same way that we do. So, it’s really helpful to hear from your readers and to just hear what it is that they would like from you or what they’re struggling with, so that you can see if it’s something that you can support them in.
It’s really important to understand who they are and what they’re struggling with before you even start to think about things like fonts, colors, textures, logo, designs, website designs, any of those things. Because without that clarity of who these people are, you’re going to create something that might not resonate with them. This has been such a huge part of our brand strategy process when we work with our clients. We have multiple parts of our strategy process that dive into this idea of who your audience is, so that before our team ever creates anything for your brand, we really have clarity on who your audience is. Even if you’re not 100% certain on who that is, we’re able to discover it together.
If you don’t create something that will resonate with them, then you’re not going to be able to build that relationship with those readers, and to grow your audience of the ideal readers that you want to have in your circle. When you try to create a product or sell something in the future, other than just your content itself, you’re going to have a really hard time being able to do that without knowing who your audience is. It is really difficult to sell to somebody who you do not understand. You’re going to feel like you are throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping that something sticks if you don’t have clarity around who your audience is.
If you are feeling like you need a little bit more information around these topics, and a little bit more support in discovering who your audience is and connecting with them, go back to Episode 23, Episode 34, Episode 38, or Episode 62, which all talk about knowing your audience and discovering who that person is to some degree. If you feel like next year is the year to fully understand who your audience is, and to really begin to connect with them with a rebrand, we would love to chat with you and see if you are a good fit for either our Branding VIP Intensive package, or our Custom Website Design Package.
I hope that this episode was helpful for you, and I hope that it takes away some of the mystery of what is super important about your brand strategy. I hope that you will go out and get to know your audience a little bit better so that you can have this key ingredient of your brand strategy more figured out.