Establishing a foothold in the market place is far from straightforward. It is natural for marketplaces to sprawl and evolve, welcoming visitors from different demographic backgrounds as more products and campaigns become available. Ecommerce companies need to do plenty of background research on the existing landscape in order to define their brand communication strategy for their target audience.
More often than not, you will need to cater your communications for several personas.
Finding your place in the marketplace relies on the ability of your marketing team to properly analyze and leverage the insights on your industry, competitors, products and audiences. At the heart of this is finding the right tone of voice – one which embodies the brand and their values.
The right voice will set your company apart from the competition.
5 Steps to Finding Your Voice in the Market Place
Forging a strong connection with your target audience is essential to growing a brand.
Without it, you’ll struggle to build a loyal following for your content and find it even more difficult to convince people to buy your products. When deciding upon brand communications, ecommerce companies must look to define a strong brand voice that resonates with the people they want to reach.
There are five big steps to getting there:
Set a Dynamic Company Persona
Before considering your audience, you need to decide what type of company you are going to be in terms of your marketing and brand image.
This can be a little difficult at first, but by sketching a rough outline of the public image and brand communications style you wish to create, your company will have something to work towards.
Describe your brand voice in three words.
Will you be strait-laced and professional? Do you want to have a quirky, fun side? Is sarcasm and satire suitable for your company? Everything from the company logo and slogan, to the social media blurb and the About Page or your homepage needs to encapsulate the brand voice of your company. This can be flexible, and will take a little time to grow into the shape you desire, but with an outline of the company persona and language you want to use – it is a good starting point for defining your brand voice.
Assess Current Customers and Followers
If you already have customers, consider who they are. What do they want? What are their pain points and passions? How does your company address these issues? If you haven’t got customers yet, look at social media followers, email subscribers and people who comment on your company blog. Analyze their interactions and messages and put together a picture of who they are. If these are the people you hope to attract, try to figure out what it will take to get more of them to visit your site.
Evaluate the Competition – Then Go the Other Way
In ecommerce, many businesses make the mistake of emulating their competitors and trying to chase the same people.
An alternate marketing strategy is to evaluate your competitors, and then go the opposite direction by seeking out customers that your competition isn’t already targeting. This gives your company an opportunity to form a monopoly with these customers that your rivals have overlooked, enabling you to take a foothold in part of the market place that is bereft of competition.
Define Your True Audience Well
When marketers are working on their tone of voice and brand communications, they must be certain of who they are talking to.
Focus on truly getting to know your audience, considering both demographics and psychographics, including:
- Personal values
- Ideologies regarding purchasing
These factors, and many others, are integral considerations in forming great audience personas.
Knowing your audience will let you understand how they make buying decisions, making it easier to anticipate their behaviors and cater to them.
Analyze Metrics to Segment your Audience
The rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning makes it easier for ecommerce companies to get to know their customers today. Once you do that, you are much closer to understanding what it takes to bring more customers to your online store.
Conducting surveys to get customer feedback on your products and services is a good way of defining your brand communications for future marketing. With the data insights and analysis offered by machine learning, you can see who your customers are, how they are coming to your site, and which of your products they are interested in.
Once you get a grip of the potential buyers of different product categories, you can divide your audience into micro-segments.
From there, you can implement your brand voice to connect with these segments, using clever product descriptions on each one of your product pages.
Evaluating Your Company’s Decision-Making Process
When you have defined your audience, it’s important to assess just how you made those conclusions. This will require a thorough understanding of your ideal customers and target audience, as well as truly understanding your company ethos.
How do you make decisions? What do you base them on?
Is it possible for you to gather more data and drill down further, segmenting your audience until you have very specialized groups? This may make it easier to create several lines of brand communications, each with a varied tone of voice that speaks directly to each subject. This can deliver a higher ROI, opposed to trying to pitch all your products and services to everyone in the larger audience.
Crafting the perfect brand voice in ecommerce takes time, and even when you have it nailed, there should always be room for change. While it is important to be consistent with your brand messaging throughout all channels, the market place will continue to grow and evolve.
Successful companies must learn to adapt to changes and consider these changes and how to address them in their very unique tone of voice. Thinking of your brand as a person and asking how they would react to various developments in your industry can help keep your brand voice fresh and relevant.
With consistency and integrity, your company can position itself in the market place for the long-term, targeting a specific audience who are loyal to your brand and its values.