The White House recently invited several TikTok influencers with a combined following of more than 67 million to Washington D.C. in an effort to encourage young voters to turn out to the polls ahead of the election on November 8th. While an influencer strategy to reach target audiences is not an entirely new tactic, the approach taken by the White House ahead of the midterm elections is one that companies, brands and organizations should be taking notes on – connecting with audiences where they are.
As public relations professionals, we understand the importance of connecting with a target audience. Whether you’re looking to build brand name recognition or amplify your message, knowing how and when to reach your target audiences is key. But what some may often forget is that it’s not always about maximizing the number of people you can share your message with, it’s about genuinely making an impact on the right people.
Get to Know Your Audience
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to connecting with your audience. Different campaigns have different objectives, so spending the time to define who your target audience is can help to best achieve those goals and develop your messaging to maximize engagement. Who are you trying to reach? Are they recent college graduates or first-time homebuyers? Or are they working parents or DIY enthusiasts? Defining your audience should always be one of the first steps when curating your business objectives and plan. Anything from lifestyle choices, interests, demographics and geographic locations can be major factors when defining who your target audience is.
More than 80% of U.S. adults say they often or sometimes get their news from a smartphone, computer or tablet, with 60% of those respondents saying they do so often. This is higher than those who say they receive their news from the television, radio or print. Targeting your outreach strategy by where your target audiences spend their time receiving news will help you connect with them more efficiently and successfully.
Show, Don’t Tell
No one likes to be told what to do. Instead, as a way to genuinely connect with your target audience, show them how your brand, company or organization is making a difference in ways that will matter to them. Show how your product might be of interest to them. Show how your company stands out from the crowd. Finding a way to relate to your target audience can boost overall engagement and – ultimately – drive behavioral change and increase brand recognition.
If we’ve learned anything over the past several years, it’s that the shift to digital-first outreach strategies is not just nice to have, it’s essential to ensure you don’t get lost in the crowd. According to Pew Research, 33% of U.S. adults ages 18-29 and 15% of adults ages 30-49 say they prefer to get their news from social media. And if you’re among the brands trying to connect with Millennials or Gen Z, you’d be remiss if your social media strategy isn’t in check.
Stay True to Who You Are
Last, but not least, don’t try to be something you’re not! Consumers actively seek brand authenticity and developing an authentic brand voice can be the make-or-break moment for your company. Get to know who your target audiences are and plan your strategy in alignment with your organization’s mission, vision and values. Your true audience will connect with you and appreciate you staying authentic to who you are. From the shifting media landscape and evolving digital tools, we have no choice but to embrace a learning mindset to stay on top of the latest trends and research. If you’re looking for a partner that can guide your organization through outreach strategies, connect with us!