Online Marketing: How to Avoid Brands That Are Tone-Deaf

In his book, The Copy-Cat Effect, marketing strategist Joe Pulizzi points out that consumers have a variety of media choices at their fingertips, including radio, TV, magazines, and now the internet.

This variety is great for consumers, but it presents challenges for marketers. With so many touchpoints, it’s important to establish a brand voice that resonates across all platforms.

Here are some tips on how to avoid being irrelevant or offensive in your online marketing:

Know Your Audience

The first step to taking effective digital marketing is understanding your audience. You can do this by using tools like Google Analytics, which can tell you everything from how frequently people visit your site to what devices they’re using (e.g., desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone).

Knowing your audience allows you to craft content that they’ll value and benefit from. Consider the ‘curse’ of knowledge – the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. It’s easy to become so absorbed in data that you forget about what’s important to your consumers. Know what matters to them and don’t worry about ‘selling’ your product or service. Instead, you’re creating and sharing content to make them value your offering.

Collected Data Is Only As Reliable As The Person Analyzing It

Although we live in an age of big data, we still need intelligent analysis to make sense of it all. One of the reasons Google is so valuable as a research tool is because it provides multiple perspectives on the information it indexes. Think about how the ATS score is used to compile and rank search results. It’s a complex algorithm that factors in search volume, freshness of content, and domain authority. 

When someone searches for a business or brand, they’re usually looking for information on how to best interact with that brand. For example, if a consumer enters the letters ‘McDonald’s’ into a Google search bar, they’ll see the results, including articles, videos, and news stories about the fast food chain.

If a business or brand owns/operates multiple media houses (e.g., online publications, social media accounts), it’s important to analyze the data from all platforms to get a complete picture of their audience. The same is true for analyzing reviews across multiple platforms – if a business or brand owns a review site, they’ll see a positive or negative reflection of their brand depending on whether they choose to engage with the reviewer (e.g., respond to the review, remove the review, etc.).

Keeping up with the ever-changing digital marketing landscape can be hard, especially since there are always new algorithms, technologies, and methods being introduced.

The best policy is to follow the data that proves to be the most effective and reliable. If you have a clear picture of your audience (e.g., where they are, what interests them, and how you can reach them), it will make creating digital marketing strategies much easier. Ultimately, you want to develop content that will resonate with your target audience and engage them enough to encourage them to take action – whatever that may be.

Content Is King (or Queen)

While SEO and PPC are valuable tools in a digital marketer’s toolkit, content is what drives online marketing results. This content can be found anywhere from traditional websites to blogs to social media accounts.

Since people love to read (or listen to) content that is informative, educational, and entertaining, you have many options when it comes to creating content for your online marketing efforts. When considering what kind of content to create, it’s important to keep in mind its purpose and the target audience you’re aiming to reach. This will determine the format (e.g., blog post, infographics, etc.) and the medium (e.g., video, podcast, etc.) that you should use.

Once you have your content strategy in mind, it’s time to start creating. You can do this either manually or with the help of automated tools. Either way, take your time – it’s important to do this phase well so you don’t have to go back and rewrite parts of your content later on.

Branding Is Key

Let’s face it – no one wants to work with a brand they don’t know or like, right? Creating buyer personas and conducting interviews with existing customers can help you figure out what makes your brand special and what kind of promises you can make to attract potential customers. It is also essential to establish a brand voice and language that will consistently communicate your marketing messages across all platforms (e.g., website, social media, etc.).

Once you have a clear idea of your target audience’s needs and wants, it’s time to take your branding and marketing efforts to the next level. Start by creating brand awareness by conducting interviews with authoritative people in your niche (e.g., journalists, bloggers, celebrities, beauty icons, etc.).

Branding isn’t just about creating a unique identity for your business or product; it is also about forging connections with customers (e.g., through word of mouth, social media, etc.).