Many communicators and marketeers are now adept in harnessing the prowess of digital channels. From content production to measuring reach and engagements, we tend to be really excited and jump right into it. But what if your assumptions have not been as accurate as it could be? Why is it that some of your outreach efforts did not produce the results you have anticipated? By the time we figure it out, we would have wasted precious time and resources, and will most likely have to start from scratch.
The reason? A thorough mapping needs to be done before you embark on your journey. It may take some time in the beginning, but it will certainly save you a lot of time later on.
So what does mapping do?
First of all, let us establish what mapping is. Mapping needs to answer all your questions:
Who are we talking with (not to)?
What do we talk about?
What are the expectations of their part?
What are their demographics?
What are their online behaviour and how that influences the observations you can expect?
What are the concrete results or information you can expect to gain out of these engagements?
How will these in turn contribute to your ultimate aim, such as growth in sale, in reputation, in influence, in future opportunities?
You can of course add more questions to this list, if you find it useful.
Secondly, mapping helps you create your audience personae. When you have the answers to your questions, you will find that you can size up the majority of your audience into one, two or three groups. Each group is distinct due to their demographics, or professional, or common interests and belief systems etc.
Once you have the group(s) defined, you can create the personae and even name her/him, so as to create content based on the channel(s) where they are situated and of course, based on their expectations and online behaviour.
Content creation is of course quite specific for each case, and you can never assume a content type appeals immediately to another group.
One very important outcome in your mapping is to gain two insights which should form the basis of your strategy rollout:
Who are the main influencers for each target group?
What are the main hashtags/topic keywords used by the specific target group?
The first list will help you gain a head-start when the influencers start interacting with you.
The second list will definitely allow your content to be picked up by the maximum number of individuals in your target group.
How do you map out your target audience?
Mapping is the result of the digital revolution.
Previously, marketeers had to pay survey companies who conducted live interviews to gain the necessary insight. I think the exercise is still worth its while, but on a large scale and certainly to gain efficiency, online monitoring and social listening are the better method for mapping.
There are several tools you can use, either entreprise or free to try, to conduct your mapping. It really depends on your scope, channels, industry, and aim.
Should you need a personalised advice or mapping done for your organisation, feel free to drop me a note.
Eureka Moments are not so much moments of sudden realisation or enlightenment like Archimedes. They are moments while I am in my commute when I get to reflect on things that someone mentioned to me, things that I am confronted with, things that I or others have sought a solution for. They are more ‘oh I get it’ rather than ‘I have discovered it’.