Reaching your target audience can be a challenging task at the best of times and becomes even more difficult when your target audience is considered traditionally ‘hard-to-reach‘.
Hard-to-reach audiences refers to a group of individuals who are difficult to engage through traditional marketing or outreach efforts. This varies but could be individuals who have limited access to technology, speak a different language than the majority of the population, live in remote areas or potentially individuals with a disability that makes it difficult for them to interact with certain types of content.
To communicate effectively, it’s important to build a deeper understanding of your target audience. Your strategy may require a unique approach, one that mirrors their needs and desires will help maximise engagement.
1.Unearthing audience insights
Understand who they are, what they value, and how they engage with digital channels. Be sure to take onboard their side of the story.
Gaining intel on your audience can be achieved in a number of ways. This could be through conducting surveys, or through third-party results such as census data and attitude reports.
Using social media and website analytics can provide a wealth of data to understand your audience’s interests, behaviours and preferences. For some projects it may be worth conducting focus groups to gather qualitative data. Are you unsure if you’re effectively reaching your audience? Using digital analytics to identify gaps in your data can show areas where you are not effectively reaching your target audience, using this information can help to inform a need for an alternative method, such as face-to-face events.
Remember that finding audience insights for hard-to-reach audiences requires patience, creativity, and persistence. By utilising a variety of tools and approaches, you can gain a better understanding of your target audience and create more effective marketing strategies.
2. Tailor your messaging
Use the information you have about your audience to tailor your messaging. Centre your campaign around a compelling message that resonates with them. Speak their language, address their pain points, and offer solutions or ways to add value specifically designed for them.
With projects where another language may be spoken, it’s important you consider this in your communications. For example, we work with a number of projects that operate in Wales and therefore ensure materials are available billingually.
As we also mentioned the importance of accessibility, when creating materials, it’s important that factors are considered such as:
- Utilising camel case in hashtags on social media.
- Adding captions or subtitles to video content.
- Provide alt. Text with images to allow accessibility programmes to acces the intel.
- Use a clear font and avoid underlining, italics and upper case as much as possible.
- Consider the colours used in graphics. Contrasting colours are typically more accessible.
3. Utilise the power of social media
Social media platforms provide a gateway to a vast array of audiences, making them invaluable for reaching hard-to-reach groups. However, ensuring that you select relevant platforms is a fundamental step in successfully reaching your target audience. Remember, social media should be a two-way communication, not a brand monologue. Fundamentally, social media is socialising in the digital world and interactions are key to building relationships virtually.
However, in the instance that your audience is not on social media, whether that’s due to demographics or whether they have access to technology, then it’s vital to find the right channels to communicate with them such as more traditional forms of marketing including elements such as in person events and print materials.
4. Take a holistic approach to all digital communications
When using multiple platforms to engage and facilitate dialogue with community members and stakeholders, remember that some individuals will see all communications and others just one. Each method of communication needs to stand alone, but also work alongside other communications. Your audience does not want to receive the same content in four different formats.
5. Leverage influencers to gain advocates
Collaborating with influential figures in your industry or community can help bridge the gap between your brand and hard-to-reach audiences. Influencers can command the attention and trust of the very audience you’re targeting. Choose influencers who align with your brand values and have a demonstrable impact on your intended audience. When thinking of our projects, examples of influencers could be local businesses, MPs, community or religious groups, schools, etc.
If you try to please everyone, you will please no one.
Tackling hard-to-reach audiences can be a daunting task, but if you invest time in generating audience insight, and building a careful execution plan, you can reach those hard-to-reach audience groups and hopefully gain some advocates for your campaign.
If you’d like to find out more about how Copper can help with your communications strategy get in touch today.
Feel free to reach out to Hannah Jarrett, our Digital and Social Media Manager to discuss improving your digital communications approach.