While we have mentioned narrowcasting in passing before, we've haven't yet taken a close look at this content buzzword and what it means for your correct target personas. Let's change that now with a quick discussion on narrowcasting and reaching the right demographics.
At its heart, this tactic tailors content for a particular kind of customer. If you've read our discussion on niche content, this probably sounds familiar, because it has been around in some form or another for many years. Its specialty is finding and shoring up the weak points in content strategies by starting with the customer, then moving on to the content itself.
Creating the Customer Persona
The first step of successful narrowcasting is finding out your current target audience. Specifically, this method is designed to focus on the part of your target audience that you want to reach, but aren't getting enough leads from quite yet. This looks different for every business, which is why it's smart to start with a little research into your web traffic and leads. Is there a particular sort of customer that you should be selling to, but the numbers just aren't there? Define this market segment by creating a customer persona.
Customer personas are descriptions of an archetypical demographic and what appeals to them. At 21 Handshake, we typically work through different questions for the demographic to create the full persona. For example, say that you really want to start selling to more plumbing subcontractors. You would put together the persona by asking questions such as:
- What is the average age/other key demographics of plumbing subcontractors (specifically decision-makers in these businesses?
- What does an average workday look like for them?
- What stresses them out the most or causes them to lose the most money?
- Where do they go to find answers or look for new information?
- What kind of experience do plumbing subcontractors want from your goods/services?
- How do they prefer to make purchasing decisions and pay for transactions?
You see where these questions are going and how they are creating a complete profile of a particular kind of customer. Using this, it is possible to predict the actions of this unreached audience, and what will resonate with them. Remember, you don't have to pull personas out of a hat. Conducting a few surveys, visiting forums, and doing additional research can really help flesh out a weak persona.
Tailoring the Content
With the desired persona created, it's time to tailor content to this sort of customer. First, the content itself should be directed to their needs and interests, with valuable tips or news that they can personally use. Second, the content needs to be used in the right channels. Does your persona primarily use search engines to find new information, or are they more likely to respond to television commercials? Focus on the most-used channels. Oh, and while we're talking about content, it's also worth considering your price points: Do you need to offer new deals or adjust prices to appeal to this persona?
Narrowcasting vs. Broadcasting
One practical question businesses soon raise about this method is, "How often should we do it?" There's no hard answer to this. A certain amount of your content should always be broadcasting, or reaching a general audience. A certain amount can benefit from narrowcasting, too. We recommend focusing on customer personas first to find out what part of your audience that you are truly trying to target. Then create a campaign for a month or two where you concentrate on creating plenty of content for this persona. Afterwards, check your conversions, sales, and new customers: Did it appear to work? If so, then you can experiment with switching between a variety of options to target different personas as needed.