Why You Should Be Where Your Audience Is Going
The wrong message at the wrong time can set you back. From confusingly irrelevant to offensively tone-deaf, your audience will know if you aren’t paying attention, and your platform will feel impersonal.
How can you stay personal with a growing audience through every season of life?
Relevance Is Moving Target
If you have younger kids or have any friends or family with younger kids, you’ve no doubt been witness to the phenomenon that is Disney’s “Frozen.” In it, a princess with the magical ability to create snow and ice accidentally unleashes a devastating eternal winter on her homeland—in the middle of summer. This is a problem on many levels, but one character, Christoph, finds himself in an unusual bind: he sells ice for a living. How do you sell ice in endless winter?
Obviously, you can’t. You have to pivot.
During the social distancing measures of 2020, many businesses and brands have found themselves in a similar situation. The world has changed quickly, and many of the standard practices we take for granted are no longer relevant. People in every industry are having to adapt.
This is true outside of a national emergency, as well. Every new season presents your audience with new interests, needs, and priorities. If you want to stay on top of the conversation with your audience, you have to meet them where they are going.
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The truth is, even if your message, product, or platform remains strong all year long, the lives of the people in your audience are constantly in motion. If you want to connect, you have to take the conversation to where the audience is. We call this Seasonal Personalization, and it’s the key to helping your platform weather shifts in the calendar and across society.
Here are three steps to use Seasonal Personalization and maintain better conversations with your audience:
- Join the current conversation. Communicate in a way that tells your audience you are aware of what’s happening in the world around them, empathetic to their concerns, and better positioned to serve them. And this applies to more than national emergencies. Current trends, popular memes, or major events like the Super Bowl all represent opportunities to create mutual interest with you and your audience.
- Plan according to your strengths. As you write your content, ask yourself: What will my audience be doing when they read this? Then leverage this self-awareness to enhance your strengths as a platform. If you coach people on how to take better photos with their iPhones, plan to message around major travel seasons like spring break or summer holidays. If gratitude journaling is part of your platform, make sure you have a promotional plan in place for Thanksgiving.
- Add seasonal value. Even if your platform doesn’t have a direct seasonal connection (like the gratitude journal example in point #2, seasonal milestones are powerful connection points as everyone experiences them. On Black Friday, people are looking for a bargain. At New Years, people are setting goals and making plans. Look at what’s coming on the calendar and allow yourself time to create seasonal offers and opportunities to connect.
Life is a moving target. We can never account for everything that will happen in the world, but that can be a strength. Seasonal Personalization helps you take the conversation to where your audience is going. When you do, you establish your platform as relevant and help stay top of mind through every season, both expected and unexpected.