How to Target a Not-So-Target Audience
Let me be the one to break it to you: not every company has one target audience.
Okay, wait, put down the pitchfork and let me explain. What I mean is that most B2B companies can segment the people they want to attract and engage with into at least two or three groups. These groups can be represented by different buyer personas. Personas should vary enough that they can and should be treated as distinct audience members. If most early-stage companies are honest, they admit that they are still figuring out exactly which of those audiences is in fact their best customer.
Devising a content strategy with multiple personas in mind can be maddening. It is a problem I’ve faced on a daily basis as we seek to serve audiences interested in sales, marketing, research, product, and various other topics. That said, here are four ways I’ve learned to promote good content for a multifaceted audience.
3 Tips for Targeting Multiple Audiences on Social
1) Reposition your messaging to attract two birds with one post
For example, let’s say you’ve decided to produce a piece targeting hiring managers at growth-stage tech companies. But then you realize that candidates applying to particular positions at those companies may also be interested in the piece and are a worthwhile audience to target, as well.
How can you make things interesting for both parties? One way is to intentionally position the copywriting in your social sharing. Ex: An article titled “5 Red Flags to Watch Out For When Hiring Engineers” might be repositioned as “Engineers: 5 Things to Avoid When Applying for Your Next Job”.
The result: the same piece of content positioned two different ways, reaching two different audiences.
2) Think paintbrush, not exacto-knife
Just as you can create distinct messages that each appeal to a different audience, remember you can also craft unifying messages that appeal to a broad group of customers.
Think about the various types of people who come to you because you solve pain point X. Instead of causing divisions or focusing on how your audiences differ, try focusing instead on the drumbeats that the group marches to as a whole. If you’re not sure what these overarching topics are, your company’s mission statement is a great place to start.
Take a company who specializes in backing up user data. Their mission is to protect users from data loss. On a granular level, buyer persona “Terry” may be concerned with his vacation photographs, while “Jane” is concerned with protecting her company’s data. Their specific uses couldn’t be further apart, but their desires are aligned. Devote a segment of your content production and promotion to living in the intersection of user needs, not at their divergence.
3) It’s okay to talk to other guests at the dinner party
There are times when it’s absolutely appropriate to address one particular portion of your audience at the risk of neglecting the others. When that happens, don’t stress. Here’s why: a good host always makes the rounds. If social media is like a cocktail party, different guests require different conversation. A good host earns his or her stripes by seamlessly moving from one person to the next, personalizing the conversation to adapt to every new face. The same should apply to your social strategy.
With the huge volume of information that is thrown at us on a daily basis, we’ve trained our brains to sort very quickly between what’s relevant and what isn’t. If a member of your audience reads something you posted that doesn’t apply to or interest them they are going to ignore it. And that’s okay. As long as you make sure to stop by their table regularly chances are they won’t even realize you’ve also been off talking to someone else.
I’d love to hear how your company faces the challenges of writing content for a multifaceted audience. Share the goods!