image credit Oh Dier
I admit it. When I first thought of marketing my brand five years ago, I imagined phony phrases, fast ads, and shouts about awesomeness. Flashbacks of my short- lived career as a telemarketer paying my way through college came to mind. But I learned effective marketing is not about gimmicks or even advertisements; it’s about crafting a story and connecting with your audience. Which in some ways is a bit more daunting than just the prospect of buying a bit of ad space or posting products on Twitter.
So just how do we go about doing this? How do we find our voice to communicate with customers? It’s pretty simple: we just have to let go of our previous notions about marketing, ignore what other folks are doing, and focus on the heart of our brand. What we’re all about. And then, share it.
More specifically, establish your niche – the core group of customers who find value in what you do. Next, identify the core concepts that are important to them. Then, take these concepts and focus them down to a few words. You might think of this as ‘speaking the language’ of your target customer. From there, you can use these words in your conversations, facebook posts, tweets, blog articles, and of course throughout your site.
To me, this makes marketing feel natural and sincere. I’m speaking to people who want to hear about what I’ve got going on and I’m telling them things they’re interested in. No more tweets trying to appeal to the masses or bland product descriptions.
Let me use my own brand as an example. I create handbags and have narrowed down my niche in the last year to focus on weddings and special order clutches. My customer base adores custom options, personalized touches, and colorful textiles. So when I talk about my brand I communicate these concepts clearly: custom + personalized + design. It feels less like a flashy advertisement and more like a conversation, which is exactly what effective marketing should feel like!
Throughout my creative business journey I’ve been inspired by a lot of brands who are able to communicate their marketing voice so clearly and effectively. Here are a few who’ve nailed it and what they say are a few of their target words.
Jillian from Jillian Rene Decor: Color – Design – Quality “I keep a close eye on what’s trending outside of home decor and I’m not afraid of trying a color combination that’s unexpected. It gives me an edge on the home furnishing’s market and keeps me ahead of the curve. People want different!”
Danielle from Merriweather Council: Colorful, Modern and Custom
Isa from Noisette Academy, a business strategist who focuses on Success Your Way: Strategy, Action, Success
I’d love to hear how others have learned to speak the language of their target audience. Which words would you identify as core concepts to communicate? It can really get you thinking!