There’s no question the social media landscape has changed to be nearly unrecognizable from what we once knew. With the recently rolled out GDPR in the EU, and the broad sweeping privacy controls under fire, it’s more important than ever before to know your audience.

Why It’s Important To Know Your Audience

An old saying says to know others you must first know yourself. Shortened, it is simply “Know Thyself.” If you’re not sure about what you’re selling or don’t care enough about what you’re doing, how can you expect to communicate clearly to or with your audience? How do you hope to lead without direction? You need a solid marketing plan in place, and people with the passion and drive to deliver on all your promises to make it in today’s world. It’s become more competitive than ever with people accessing sites more from mobile than any other access point. This has created a mad dash for businesses to become mobile friendly to capture the most business possible. If you don’t know the demographics of your prospective clientele or know what it is they want from you, you’re losing a ton of marketing potential.

What Most Of Us Do Wrong

Like any well-intentioned marketer, sometimes we can run afoul of bad ideas, or not following through on a plan, leaving others depending upon us to cool their heels while a job stagnates. Without a constant influx of new ideas, and creative brainstorming between all members of a business, it can become all too easy to let jobs fail and then not be motivated for the next one. Failure can be crippling and in the marketing world – being crippled will be the death of the company. Constant momentum forward needs to happen to alleviate anything stagnating – mostly because the marketing world and the consumer world moves at such a pace that things are constantly changing. To keep up – a person needs to do more than simply keep pace, they need to lead the race.

Some of us think that to win customers or get to know them, you have to do everything you can to get in their faces, using annoying ads and pop-ups, email grabs, and then once you have their email – sending them countless messages through every week that is nothing less than spam.

How To Get It Right

The Golden Rule is called golden with good cause. Treat others as you yourself wish to be treated. If you might find it annoying to have to play whack-a-mole with ads and have to give over your precious email address just to read an article, then so will your consumers. If you wouldn’t like being on the receiving end of what you’re doing, don’t do it to others because the only message you’re getting through to them, in that case, is that you don’t value them, or their time. At best, you’ll get your name out there, but as something to avoid. People don’t want to be annoyed anymore, there is no reason to these days – the companies which are winning aren’t using the old tactics anymore and have rushed to become GDPR compliant, with plans they have rolled out as ready to go when it hit, and then it became seamless to just integrate it.

Marketing takes a lot of work, the constant influx of creative ideas, and dedication to finishing every job started. Make yourself a marketing calendar with due dates for yourself even if nobody else is holding you to task for it. This will help you to meet deadlines and hold others accountable if some part of the job stagnates.

Building Relationships The Right Way (in 2018)

The hardest part of marketing in 2018 is how to nurture a relationship, especially in the face of public distrust where privacy is concerned. It’s harder than ever to get people to give up their email address or phone number to someone they don’t know, and that’s because it’s equally hard to gain their trust. To do this, you need to be prepared to offer people a ton of goodness for absolutely nothing, with nothing to gain at all but the knowledge that you’re helping people learn something new, or get something they need from you. If it means going on YouTube to offer tutorials for whatever it is you’re good at enough to sell, then do it! You need to be able to give people something to show them you’re worth buying from at any point in the future because one article with an email grab isn’t going to be enough.

You’ll need to understand your audience and what it is they’re going through in life to know how to market to them. People in their 50s have entirely different life experiences than people who are in their 20s, and what will work to get a 50-something to buy from you may likely fail with someone in their 20s. You’ll want to split-test marketing ideas among different groups of people using things like age, gender, and even culture.

GDPR – Watch Your Step

With the GDPR rolled out across the EU, you’ll have noticed that your email inbox is full of messages from anyone you’ve ever done business with talking about your privacy and asking you if you want to see what info they have on you. They’re all trying to make sure they are airtight for the GDPR so they don’t face hefty penalties for – what amounts to – disrespecting your privacy. People got overrun with bots, and spam, and ads, and pop-ups, people were weary of just getting on the internet at all because it became cumbersome just to get around, pages took forever to load, or people had to push through ads, and some pages just shut down entirely due to being unresponsive. It got to be far too much, and it finally became something that needed some gatekeeping because it was being abused.

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) ensures that people must give permission for their information to be shared and to store any of that information. They must also know when a site is gathering data on them, they can no longer be anonymously tracked. There is plenty more, read our article – it will help navigate these tougher marketing waters.

Tougher, Faster, Better & Stronger

This is not the end of marketing, though it’s a lot harder than it used to be. What it should be used as – is a catalyst for needed change. Instead of looking at all of the changes as being counter to what you need to profit, work with it. Become the pinnacle business that you should already be, with nothing to hide and no need for slippery tactics to get ahead. You should easily be able to compete with the newer rules, because it can actually help you to gain engagement from real people instead of bots, and you can – in a very real way – make and nurture relationships with your clients that will last a lifetime. This kind of trust is the kind that is hard to break, and the people who are happy with you will spread the word about you to others as well. By utilizing the GDPR’s tougher rules, and respecting your clientele, you’re far from sunk.

By keeping an eye on our social media pages, you’ll also be the first to know when something changes.