Updated: May 27
In our previous piece, we gave an overview about what a multi-channel approach is and the benefits it can bring to you or your business. In the this piece we will show you how you can measure your success, review and optimise the process but now let's take a closer look at, arguably one of the most important points in content creation, knowing your audience.
With any content, of course, you want to know who you are writing for and some creators will even say they picture their ideal customer and write as though they are writing to that one specific person.
The Truth about a Multi-channel Strategy
The truth is that a multi-channel strategy adds an extra layer of complexity to that, as the whole point of this approach is to target as many relevant audiences as possible. So the first step in this approach has to be, getting an understanding of your own audience. This means not just who your current audience is but also who you want your audience and this can be a powerful process of reflection. It forces you to ask yourself questions about your intentions when creating content and what you seek to get in return.
You don’t want to spend a large amount of time tailoring content which may reach a large audience but if that audience isn’t the demographic that you’re seeking engagement with then. The complexity that a multichannel strategy adds is that platforms naturally attract slightly different audiences. The fact that many of these channels have slightly different a feel and feature set mean that the content placed on them is necessarily different and this is what makes them attract a different audiences. Those different platforms also affect user behaviour on platforms too.
Social media usage patterns also vary by platform, so your approach should also take this into account when planning your posts. For example, the worst day to post (for engagement) on Twitter is Saturday however on Instagram and Facebook, it's Sunday. Each of the platforms you decide to post on will have many of these small differences so understanding user behaviour there is key. One useful way to help understand your audiences better is by building a buyer persona.
Identify your buying personas on different channels
A buyer persona is an idealised representation of a section of your audience that you want to target and knowing which channels your audience spends their time on is a key part of that.
For a multichannel approach, you will have a number of different buyer personas so here is some steps you can take to build a more comprehensive idea of your audience. The first and most obvious step in understanding your audience is to talk to your existing customers.
Encourage feedback, allow comments and ask questions of your customers that view your content and from this you will gain valuable insights into your audience. If you encourage a dialog around your content and you will very quickly understand so much about your audience. The type of points and questions they ask will allow you to tailor your content to them create content that doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it allows your content to be responsive to feedback. As a bonus, comments, feedback and user engagement are great for SEO and the algorithms that drive social media platforms since they show that your content is driving interaction.
Engaging with your audience also answers what are your audience looking for in your content. Surface level analysis will tell you for example that Instagram is less formal and less well suited to long form content than Instagram. However, understanding your audience on those platforms may tell you that may not mean that those audiences don’t want access to the same information, perhaps they are just looking for it presented in a different way.
From talking to your customers, you will also understand what kind of content your current audience reacts to and what they find valuable. These insights help inform future content in many ways.
One type of content may be great at building value for customers over a long period of time (check out our piece on thought leadership to read more about that),while another type of content may give the audience the confidence to make a purchase on the spot. Each piece is valuable in different situations but it's important you have an idea about how the next piece of content you put out will be perceived.
Look into the demographics of the people who are engaging with your content. The benefits of understanding the demographics are fairly obvious and are some of the easiest points to come up with when creating a buyer persona. A person's age, gender and location certainly won’t tell you everything you need to know about your audience but they are often the easiest points to measure and identify.
Finally, assigning generic a name or face to these personas may help to personalise what may otherwise seem like a list of characteristics. It goes back to the point we mentioned earlier about imagining your audience and writing to that individual. A multi-platform may have many personas but by understanding them then you can fit your content to them.
Choose Your Content Marketing Channel
Now that you have a deep understanding of who your audience is, you should compare that to the demographics of the channel you're considering. It's no good having an understanding of your audience if you don’t understand the audience that exists on the platforms you're targeting.
Analyse some key points about each potential platform and see how they match with your desired demographic. Being present on every platform is can certainly be good for brand image and professionalism but if you feel like certain platforms are more effort than they are worth then you may take the decision to drop them. Not every platform is going to be for you and that’s okay, its better to pursue the motto of quality over quantity.
Another thing to consider is how are platforms changing over time and how does that match with how you hope that your demographics will change over time. Facebook has now perceived to have an older audience than it did a few years ago, perhaps that is more valuable to you, or perhaps it is not but wither way it is a point that you should be aware of when considering which platforms to invest in.
Finally it's time to combine all of this research that you’ve carried out into the platforms and your audience and come to a decision of the platforms that you’re going to prioritise. Regularly review your strategy and stay aware of new possible platforms that come along and how each platform is performing.
Building your buyer personas and understanding the platforms on which you're going to post on is one of the most important processes in content creation. To learn more about a multichannel approach, you can check out our other posts.
Thought leadership is one of the most powerful forms of content that you can aspire to create. The value created for customers and the respect for the creator in return make mean that in the best cases, everybody wins. If you haven’t already, check out our first post on thought leadership to learn more. At Kahana, we live and breathe content creation. We love learning new concepts, exploring emergent trends, and writing about topics that foster creativity and wellness.