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Some of the dimensions you will be looking for are the attitudes and behaviors of people within a community.
Attitudes and behaviors change, but only when there’s an intrinsic motivation to change them.
Different cultures have different definitions of what needs, wants, and goals are. It’s important to understand the needs, wants, and goals of a particular culture in order to help you determine your messaging for that audience. If you can appeal to a need, want, or goal, you will capture the attention of that potential customer.
A popular theory of needs is by Abraham Maslow. It’s known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This theory demonstrates that certain needs are more fundamental than others and once those needs have been taken care of, people will work their way up the pyramid. So if you’re hungry, for instance, self-actualization is far beyond your immediate goals.
In different cultures, there are different needs that are defined. Understanding that these needs are relative to a specific audience will help you frame your proposition when approaching them.
Apart from understanding that different communities have different needs, you should also be on the lookout for the goals and the wants related to your brand. This does not mean that you’re scanning for opportunities to jump in and pitch your product to someone though. What it does mean is that you’re learning how to create content and messaging in a language that speaks to those wants and goals.
Understanding where your audience lies in the spectrum of knowledge about your product offering or brand is extremely important. If they are experts in the area, you’ll lose them with 101 messages. If they’re beginners, you don’t want to go over their heads. So when it comes to knowledge in the area of your industry, consider the four levels of understanding:
Another dimension to note is brand affinity. This is not limited to your industry. Looking across all of the brand affinities that your audience has, will help you get a better understanding of the whole person.
Knowing what other brands your audience is interested in can give you all sorts of ideas on how to reach them, bond with them, and build trust with them.
You need to understand the broader interests of your audience too. For example, where they find affinities in categories such as popular culture, sports, and hobbies. Once you understand their broader interests, you can create more relevant content for them.
You can get interests from tools such as Twitter Analytics, Affinio, and social listening. In the example (see slide ‘General interests’), you can see that the audience is interested in technology and entrepreneurship. So you know what kind of content is going to appeal to them. It also helps you understand how to speak to them in order to build relationships.
What motivates an audience and stirs them to share content? Different audiences respond to different types of content. Jonah Berger in his book Contagious, Why Things Catch On provides a classification of shareable content:
Are there any patterns that you can find in the content that people are sharing that follow this classification? By recognizing people’s motivations for sharing, you not only discover their interests, but you can tap into them when creating your own content and personalizing tour social media messaging.Back to Top
Tara Hunt is an executive-level digital marketing professional with over 20 years of experience. She is the founder of Truly Inc., the author of one of the first books on how the social web is changing business, and a professional public speaker. Tara has created and executed proven digital and social strategies across multiple industries. She specializes in relationship and inbound marketing, with a passion for data-driven strategy.
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ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE
The Social Research module introduces key social media concepts, including the Digital Marketing Institute’s 3i Principles for successful digital marketing, and the role and responsibilities of the social media marketer. It then dives into the topic of social research and explains its importance to digital marketers. It equips marketers with the research tools and techniques needed to engage in effective audience research, competitive and industry research, and cultural research. It also explains how marketers can gain valuable insights from their research data.
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