The Art of Digital Communication: How to Speak to Your Audience
How many of you hide behind your online content? Does your digital marketing resemble a reception desk, all access blocked until the proper channels have been followed? Or is it a more open experience where your audience feels connected to you and your brand?
If you are looking to have more of the latter, you’ll need to spend time building a strategy for what you will share online, how you will share it, and what aspects of your personality lend themselves best for representing your business. You will also need to build some sort of channel for communicating directly with your audience. This could happen in a variety of ways including (but not limited to):
- Facebook Group
- Live Video
- Recorded Video
- Social Media “Stories”
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing (Newsletters)
The key ISN’T forcing yourself to pick the “right” channel or even the most popular one. It doesn’t hurt to pay attention to trends because you’ll get a natural boost if you participate in something that is popular. However, if you don’t enjoy the medium or the channel, then you aren’t going to be successful. I don’t care if everyone, and their uncle, decides that Facebook is the best thing since sliced bread, piggybacking on a trend that you don’t care to invest time in (and that you don’t enjoy) is a recipe for disappointment.
What’s Your Style?
Once you have your preferred channel established, spend some time examining your style and how to best present that persona to your audience. What’s your personal style? How does it relate to your work? This is where understanding your voice and tone is essential. Don’t try to be an everyman. It doesn’t work. If you desperately want to appeal to the widest audience possible, in fear that you’ll miss someone who might’ve said yes, what you really miss out on is the opportunity to truly connect with the right people. There’s so much noise, so much content, so many people trying to be seen and heard - and your audience has a limited attention span, limited time and is jaded by the overwhelming amount of stimulus being thrown at them every minute. The only true way to reach people is by being authentic and specific. Understanding how your style will connect you with your audience will keep them engaged and coming back.
Who’s Your Audience?
The first step is always, always, always… figuring out your own brand. However, once you have your branding nailed down, it’s time to sort out your target audience. Again, I’m going reiterate this for emphasis, you need to narrow down your options. Everyone cannot be your ideal clients. It’s too diluted. You can’t afford to be vanilla on this one. Standing out, and speaking the language of your people - the demographics that will resonate with you the most - is the only way you are going to be found online. The most effective way of doing this is by locating your followers while staying true to your messaging.
Are You Being True to You?
Have you ever connected - truly connected - with someone who wasn’t being their authentic self? When’s the last time a copycat inspired you in any way? Can you think of a time that you were drawn to insincerity, people wearing a mask when interacting with the world, or a sales associate trying to ‘fake it till they make it’?
Yeah, me neither.
The face you show the world, it needs to come from a place of truth. It should be your truth, connected to your purpose, and shared with genuine sincerity. If you struggle with your own WHY then it’s time to go back to the drawing board. There’s value in developing an elevator pitch so you are never caught off guard, as long as that pitch includes your why and comes from a place of authenticity.
Business owners need to stop checking all the boxes arbitrarily and start examining the value of their marketing approach. Build your brand, plot your strategy, and be invested in your marketing - physically, mentally and emotionally involved. Hire folks to help you do the things you’re no good at, or don’t have time for, but they are no substitute for YOU.
Stay involved. Build the roadmap. Connect with your audience.
Be the champion of your brand.