Targeting your audience with business SMS

Targeting your audience with business SMS

Human attention has become a scarce commodity in the digital age, with an abundance of information available online that is accessible in an instant. As attention shifts from TV to mobile phone screens, businesses must adapt and understand where their customers' focus will be.

In today's attention economy, engaging your target audiences is crucial, especially in a competitive online landscape. Mobile marketing allows businesses to reach stakeholders through engaging interactions directly on their handset. Build connections by utilizing SMS for business, OTT messaging, social media marketing, PPC, and more in your campaigns.

Are you paying attention?

Knowing what your audience wants to hear is something that many companies fail to consider. What might successfully capture the target audience's attention may not retain and convert that attention into sales. Providing the perfect amount of information at the right time in the right place is a sure way to be front-of-mind. While potential customers may not purchase right away, they will know who to go to for a particular solution.

Before implementing any targeted marketing strategy, you must understand what a target audience is. And why discerning yours is crucial. Identifying, evaluating, and understanding your audience is vital to developing a successful campaign and providing personalized communication.

Related: Understanding the world of bulk SMS

What is a target audience, and why is it so important?

Let's begin with the basics. A target audience is a group of people at which a product or service is aimed toward.

For example, a business exists to provide a solution to a problem. However, not every person may need the solution that this business offers. So, instead of trying to sell the solution to everyone, they hone their efforts. Targeting people who need this solution and are willing to pay for it is very important to generate business.

Targeting a specific market dramatically increases brand awareness, lead generation, and customer engagement. But, it does not mean that other people are excluded if they do not fit the criteria. Instead, targeted marketing allows brands to streamline their message to a distinct market that is more likely to purchase than other markets.

Targeting your audience with business SMS

Large scale advertising and broadcasting are some of the most conventional marketing avenues. But they can be expensive and hard to track. While it may get plenty of eyes on a particular label or brand, it may not be as effective as direct and targeted communication.

Digital marketing and online communications are not only cost-effective but also efficient, seamless, and automated. Easily tracked through straightforward and sophisticated systems, businesses can analyze and evaluate the success of a campaign in real-time.

Enterprise SMS is particularly useful for business communications due to the personal nature of mobile messaging. On average, smartphone users check their phones every ten minutes, and 82% of smartphone users in the US open every text message they receive. So, it's no surprise that SMS is the perfect solution for targeted communications.

What does your target audience want to hear?

Most of the time, customers want more than just a sales pitch from a company. Providing content that is relevant and actionable can speak volumes, whether it's a product launch or a video tutorial. It shows the customer that your business prioritizes them as a person, rather than only their wallet. This is vital to retaining customers and building long-term business relationships.

Bulk text messaging allows businesses to send branded messages directly to their recipients. Due to the immediate and concise messaging format, SMS is a preferred method of communicating for businesses and customers alike. Plus, it's a user-friendly and convenient form of communication that is familiar to many.

Related: How SMS can supercharge lead generation and lead nurturing

How often should you communicate?

Depending on your business, this can vary. Most people do not appreciate being bothered continuously with alerts. However, for instant updates and notifications, business SMS excels above other channels. 70% of consumers believe that SMS is an excellent way for businesses to capture their attention, with 64% thinking that companies should be using SMS-based engagement more often.

Text messaging is essential for notifications that are specific to the recipient, such as appointment reminders, order status updates, and staff rosters. For promotional content, the short length of an SMS gets to the point quickly, whether for an upcoming sale, new product, or exclusive deal.

Obviously, getting an SMS during regular business hours is normal, but imagine getting a marketing text at 4am. You'd think it was a bit unprofessional—even if you were awake. With automated workflows and SMS scheduling, ensuring your messages go out at the right time is easy.

With a robust SMS gateway, you can play with the timing and style of SMS campaigns. Utilize reporting functions to track message delivery and the success of your campaigns. Take advantage of the results and insights to adjust and perfect your communication strategy.

SMS gateway features that enhance mobile messaging campaigns:

  • Scheduled SMS
  • Staggered campaign messages
  • Text triggers and keyword responses
  • Workflow automation
  • Merge Send for personalized bulk messaging
  • Restricted timeframes
  • Activity history and reporting

Targeting your audience with business SMS

Segmenting leads, prospects, and existing customers can provide a more personalized experience. While SMS software is robust enough to track and report individual interactions and bulk campaigns within the system. Integrated into a CRM, SMS communication can be recorded in detail alongside all other contact interactions throughout the customer journey.

Customer Relationship Managers provide efficient workflow automation. CRMs are built to manage, document, and enhance overall interactions with customers in a seamless progression. By integrating an SMS plugin to an existing CRM, you can effectively manage interactions and generate customer insights to facilitate relevant and personalized communication.

Sharing relevant content aligned with your brand's message can be the deciding factor for some leads. Demonstrating a personalized connection to customers beyond the point of sale. It shows that your business is invested in each customer, no matter where they are in the customer journey.

When segmenting contacts and personalizing communication, consider the following:

  • Where contacts are in the customer journey
  • Online behavior, including registered interest, downloaded assets, feedback, spending, etc.
  • Pain points and areas of concern that can be remedied by your product or information resources
  • Demographics, including age, gender, region, education, and industry
  • Communication touchpoints, including social media, blogs, forums, webinars, and online networking

Related: The importance of personalizing SMS messages

Targeting your audience with business SMS

How does your target audience want to communicate? Do they want an intensive personal experience over the phone? Or, would they prefer a seamless digital experience that subtly guides them along the customer journey?

Providing customized communication to your audience can be as simple as checking a box. Sometimes brands ask new contacts about how they would like to receive communication, whether by SMS, phone call, email, etc. Customers can opt to receive specific communications personalized to their online history, like marketing content or sales promotions. Even subscribing to a newsletter for business updates can provide highly targeted content, including:

  • Welcome greeting
  • Relevant promotions and deals
  • New product launch
  • Upcoming events
  • Loyalty program updates and exclusives
  • Marketing messages
  • SMS reminders and alerts
  • Feedback and survey options
  • Customer service and support channels

Related: Communicating during times of crisis

Targeting your audience with business SMS

Two main factors to consider when identifying your target markets include:

  1. Who has a need for your product or service?
  2. Who is most likely to buy it?

What else do you need to consider when defining your target audience?

According to Get2Growth, the 'Five A's Target Audience Model' outlines key aspects that must be considered when identifying your business' optimum target audience. When evaluating potential markets, scoring each group on these five aspects can help determine which audience aligns most with your business.

  1. Amount
    1. How large is the market size (individuals, groups, organizations, etc.)?
    2. Is the scope of this market sustainable over time?
    3. Is the market growing, and at what rate?
  2. Affluence
    1. How much does this market have available to spend?
    2. How much are they willing to spend with your business?
  3. Advantages
    1. What advantage does your business pose to this market?
    2. How saturated is the market, and why would this audience choose you over other competitors?
    3. How much loyalty does this market currently demonstrate?
  4. Accessibility
    1. How accessible is your business to the target audience?
    2. How does your company provide a secure, convenient, and seamless experience for the audience?
  5. Affinity
    1. How does your product fulfill the needs of this audience?
    2. How aligned is your offering to the market's needs?
    3. How big is the problem/pain point that you're solving for this market, and what is their determination to solve it?
    4. Is your solution a good fit for this problem/pain point, and will it satisfy all requirements and desires?

How To: Align your strategy to target specific markets

  1. Look at your existing customer base, leads, and prospects
    1. Segment leads and contacts according to the customer journey, industry, spending, demographics, etc.
  2. Evaluate your competitors and what they have to offer
  3. Compare and analyze your product offerings
  4. Identify specific markets that would be interested in your products and could be potential customers
  5. Research how to target these markets through relevant channels.
    1. This might include content marketing, social media marketing, PPC, and organic traffic through backlinks and forums.
  6. Allocate appropriate communication channels, automate workflows, and diversify interactions along the customer journey
  7. Refine your message and build a connection through relatable content and storytelling
  8. Ask for feedback on what your target audience wants and expects
  9. Build a target persona and audience profile based on the preceding analysis
  10. Regularly reassess the above to ensure it aligns with ongoing business goals

Targeting your audience with business SMS

User behavior changes rapidly, especially in the digital era. An abundance of content conveniently accessible round the clock means audiences tend to shift focus as quickly as the information becomes available. And so, brands are always competing for the attention of their target markets.

Accordingly, target audience analysis should be a dynamic process and ever-evolving to match up with these shifts. Regular checks and assessments can determine whether campaigns will continue to be successful or if they need to pivot and be redirected.

Related: Why Customer Experience (CX) is Vital to your Marketing Strategy in 2020