Need to refresh your memory on the RACE framework? Read the first two blogs here, then come back to this week's in-depth guide on Reach.
Step 1: Reach your audience
The first stage of your strategy aims to build brand awareness (or product, service, offer awareness). For consumers, this is the information gathering phase at the top of the buyer funnel. At least 85% of people begin their buying journey by researching online, although searches often involve multiple devices and websites.
- 54% of shoppers visit multiple websites when researching
- 69% of shoppers are undecided about which brand to choose, even when they know the category
- 76% of shoppers enjoy making unexpected discoveries when browsing
Your audience is casting the net wide to see what comes back. Prospective buyers have a fuzzy idea of what they are looking for and are exploring all avenues that might lead to a solution.
In a practical sense, that means your top-of-funnel (ToFu) tactics need to target multiple audience segments, across multiple platforms, without forgetting about offline to online conversions.
What success looks like in this stage
If you've set your KPIs and objectives properly, success will look like building brand awareness in a step towards achieving those KPIs. For example, if you set a sales target then you want lots of interested eyes from your target demographic to see the offer, advertisement, or related content.
How to Reach your audience effectively (without wasting budget)
Mix up your touchpoints
87% of people use more than 1 device when going online While you want to avoid spreading your budget too thin across underperforming channels, it's important to remember search behaviour boundaries are blurry. My suggestion is to focus on a few high-performing channels and mix in 1-2 experimental/emerging avenues if budget permits.
Create good content
Nearly 2/3 shoppers use online video for inspiration Video - and especially social media video - is a powerful marketing tool. But it's also a bigger investment than a blog, social media post or infographic. Create content strategically based on the purpose it serves, so your audience can find it fast.
Map out the customer journey
- 75% of shoppers use Google products (Search, Maps, YouTube) to aid their decision
- 65% of 25-49-year-olds speak to their voice assistant at least once a day
What do you know about your customer's behaviour at the top of the funnel? For example, are they searching late at night when their brain has switched off, or are you offering a professional service that should be easy to find during work hours? This is why we create customer avatars, to avoid the wild goose chase.
Which digital marketing tactics work best in the Reach stage?
There is no hard-and-fast rule, as what works best for one brand or audience segment may not apply to another. Deciding on your marketing mix will depend on, among other things:
- Channels available (e.g. existing social media channels, paid media budget etc.)
- Where your audience is searching
- Purchase journey (do you need to give a lot of information on a landing page, or is a shoppable link enough?)
But tried-and-true tactics like SEO, content marketing, social media marketing and paid search advertising continue to be favoured by marketers. The final mix changes on a campaign-by-campaign basis, however these common inbound marketing tactics almost always generate interest and raise brand awareness in line with strategic goals.
Once your audience is aware of your brand, it's time to Act. In the next post, we'll go into the second phase of RACE, Act, in more detail. In the meantime, don't hesitate to reach out with any questions about your brand's digital marketing campaigns. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get started on raising your brand profile.