Marketing Tips: Your Virtual Team and Your Target Audience
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One of the top virtual assistant skills: marketing. To dress a person, you need to know their measurements. To sell to your target market, you need to know your market. Here’s how.
In our most recent Tumblr post, we talked about marketing mistakes of new entrepreneurs. Many of them, especially startups, rely on virtual assistants skilled in marketing strategies.
Not surprising that one of those mistakes is lack of market research. Between all of us together in our individual freelance careers, we’ve accumulated so many cases of premature engagement. The client would interview us for certain tasks, knowing they have to do this or that, but not how or why. They just blindly grasp at what others are doing.
It’s like taking a gun and firing because everyone else is shooting toward the foliage. The clueless client shoots, too–without knowing what he’s shooting. He doesn’t hit anything.
Every door-to-door salesman who has ever knocked on our mothers’ and grandmothers’ doors sauntered up the walk and rapped on that wood ready with a pitch. A pitch that more often than not made its mark because these salesmen were systematically trained: they knew their audience.
They would inevitably open with a line that Mama or Nana could only answer with No or Yes, and which would only keep them hooked to the whole shebang until the salesman was done. Why else do you think people slam their doors? It’s out of self-defense! These salesmen were powerful! Give them a few minutes and you’ll soon be giving them your money as well.
Door-to-door is completely extinct, but the pitch is not. It has evolved into little bits of content and social media marketing on the screen or on the paper. One of the evolutions is the ease of getting on the screen. Sure, you’re there, but do your target market notice you or will their eyes completely slide past you?
Many entrepreneurs hire virtual assistants for social media campaigns. Before you do, have a plan. And after you’ve hired a SEO specialist and content writer, ask yourself:
Do you have your pitch? Will your pitch work? Will it work because you’ve studied how to make an impact to your market audience?
How do you do that? With the Quadruple S’s.
Good ol’ stalking
Let’s call it research! Doesn’t everyone? Market research and audience research is essential in social media marketing. Historically, there was an unspoken but much prevalent stalking that went on in people’s trash in previous decades, just so advertisers can get insight about them and their lives. Now, in this day and age, it’s easier (and more dignified and hygienic) to get clues on what would make your audience listen to you.
A virtual assistant skilled in research and data analysis can take a small number of your target audience and devote a day or a week studying them. For convenience, look for Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Facebook privacy offers little to no information, unless you’re already connected to them.
- What are their jobs, and consequently, their average incomes?
- What are the other pages or personalities they follow? What do those pages/personalities usually post?
- What are their goals?
- What do they usually share on their social media?
- What online communities/groups do they participate in?
- What topics get the most interaction from your target audience in those communities/groups?
- In your own pages and posts, what gets the most interaction? What triggers the following: Likes, Shares/RTs, insightful/vehement/amused comments/replies.
Good ol’ surveys
Ask and you shall receive. If you need to know something, try asking the question directly. At USource, we’ve found that asking questions is effective. For instance, in Seniors Discounts UK’s Facebook page, even a simple Yes or No question gets the members answering, and when asked “Do you agree?” or “Do you remember…?” They share stories!
Depending on what you’ve found out through ‘stalking,’ your team of virtual assistants can prep and lay out your survey and research question/s in a way that would appeal and ensure a response from your target audience. You could add it to your site pages, include it in newsletters, etc.
Good ol’ spying
If you’re in a competitive market, you’ll want to know what your competitors are doing, and whether their methods work or not. Either way, you learn. You can improve on, or completely overhaul, what the others are doing. You don’t have to copy them–and we recommend and practice NOT doing so.
Skilled virtual assistants use this ‘reverse engineering’ method in social media marketing. They look at your competitors’ website and social media platforms, study them, and make notes or a report of ideas. It’s a routine check, and yet often forgotten.
Good ol’ SEO
They say content is king, but that’s because content serves the emperor, His Imperial Grace, The Search Engine. Virtual assistants make sure to add SEO to their list of skills. Optimize your content for search, and you make sure your target audience can see you when they look for you.
Keyword research shows you high-traffic key phrases that would drive your target audience to you. Google Analytics shows you if you and your virtual team are using SEO effectively, or if you need to step up your gameplan.
Image: Disney Pixar