Companies often live or die based on their reputations or public perception. But this is only half the story – knowing your right audience is critical to your brand’s success.
In truth, organizations rarely need to convince the entire public of their worth or trustworthiness. Instead, brands usually only need to identify their target audience and focus on communicating to them above all else.
If an organization has the loyalty of its core audience, even major communications or PR crises may matter less or be less harmful in the long run.
Why is it Important to Find Your Target Audience?
A target audience is important for brands to identify for a few key reasons:
• You can tailor marketing more effectively
• It helps you sell their products or services more directly
• You will weather PR or public communications crises
The last point is especially important. In many ways, a brand’s core audience is the only audience that truly matters in terms of reputation or public perception.
Consider the example of a news station that primarily appeals to one-half of a country’s populace. In this case, it doesn’t matter if the other half of the media attacks the news station – the station’s loyal followers will ignore the PR attacks and remain tuned into the news station’s broadcasts.
Similarly, if a company’s investors continue to fund the brand’s actions, public perception matters much less than it would otherwise.
Do Crises Really Matter if Your Target Audience Doesn’t Care?
A crisis can still matter even if your brand’s target audience cares less than the general public (or people not in your target audience). However, it matters much less and will have much less of a negative impact overall.
The primary danger of a crisis lies in its potential to turn your target audience or loyal customers away from your brand. If your loyal customers don’t listen to a communications crisis or PR attack, then you don’t typically need to do anything different, as your primary consumers aren’t fleeing for a competitor.
In some cases, ignoring a “crisis” or PR attack against you by your opponents can be effective, as it implies that you are secure enough in your decisions to stay the course. Investors can interpret this as confidence, and the public can interpret this as correctness.
How to Define Your Target Audience on Social Media, the Web, and More
Of course, you need to define your target audience using social media and other channels before you can rely on them to carry you through any potential PR event. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can find your target audience, including:
• Running frequent surveys with your customers or clients
• Using social media and web tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Ads Manager
• Monitoring social media and website traffic
• Creating buyer personas
• Keeping an eye on competitors’ activities
• Monitor feedback, comments, and especially complaints
Any brand looking to maximize its profitability and expand its target audience will already be doing this. Once you identify your target audience, you can tailor your actions to appeal to them and insulate yourself against future crises to a great extent.
Plan for Future Issues Management Needs
Lastly, the key to managing your organization’s issues in the public is to have a plan in place and trained leaders ready to speak to the media. Good communications lead to a better outcome all around.
If you need help with your organization’s communication, hiring our knowledgeable experts may be exactly what you need … Contact Murnahan Public Relations today for more information.