Written by Sophie Bassil • Published 09th December 2015
Top pr tips for engaging a new audience with your brand
Engaging a core audience effectively is one of the biggest challenges faced by successful brands. Whilst many brands manage to engage their customer base, the difficulty faced by the majority is that brand loyalty is lower than ever before.
Alongside this ongoing challenge of keeping the core audience engaged, there is the ever present opportunity to attract new audiences, generate greater brand awareness and, in turn, loyalty and sales.
Whether you are an established brand or a smaller start up, the following consumer PR tips and advice provide an overview of how you can communicate to new audiences, whilst ensuring you don’t alienate your existing customer base.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Defining your target audience: Creating a core customer profile is invaluable in order to establish what grabs your audience’s attention. It is important to fully understand your target demographic so the more detailed this profile the better. Try to identify age, sex, habits, hobbies, influencers and motivations.
Market Research: the next step is to look into the consumer habits of your target audience by asking a few key questions:
- Where do they shop?
- What do they look for in their chosen brands?
- What influences their decision to buy?
- What celebrities or trends do they follow?
An effective way of gaining this invaluable market research is through focus groups. Not only can you garner insight into your chosen audience but you can also gain advice and feedback on your brand.
Once you have collated this research, make sure to keep this as your bible and refer to it throughout the branding, marketing and communication of your product.
Effective Research in action: HELLO! Fashion Monthly magazine launch
HELLO! Magazine group launched HELLO! Fashion Monthly in September 2014. They set their sights on targeting a wider market by offering a sleek and concise fashion and beauty title to be distributed monthly.
Having undertaken market research, the HELLO! Team discovered that there was a significant group of women, in their 20’s and 30’s, looking for an accessible fashion and beauty edit with expert advice. These women were too time poor to read through the larger monthly magazines.
HELLO!’s research also found that this group had a disposable income that allowed them to afford a mix of high street fashion and designer must-have pieces. Using this information HELLO! Fashion Monthly created a 116 page magazine providing a mix of high street and designer fashion, priced at just £1, which has been well received by their target market.
INTERACT WITH THE INFLUENCERS
Identify your influencers: Journalists and bloggers are hugely influential in the consumer market and placing your product or service on their pages or sites can be a great way of targeting a new audience. Research the relevant publications and sites that your target audience interact with to identify who you should be communicating with.
Get some face time: it is important you target the main influencers of your audience and there is no better way to do that than through hosting face-to-face activities such as:
- Press days
- Deskside appointments
Activities of this kind will allow you to communicate your brand message succinctly, whilst helping you to build a valuable relationship.
Interacting with Influencers in action: Kaleidoscope Autumn/Winter 15 press day
When launching their AW15 collection, fashion e-tailer and home shopping catalogue Kaleidoscope wanted to raise awareness of the new season collection, created by a new designer. The collection had been put together with their core customer in mind, but with the addition of several key pieces designed to appeal to a new younger audience.
PHA organised and hosted a press day in which we invited key Kaleidoscope press who regularly feature the brand, plus a targeted selection of publications with a younger readership. The event was attended by over 30 stylists and journalists and also 7 bloggers who interact with a younger audience. This activity lead to coverage in a range of titles with differing core readerships such as Mail Online, SoFeminine, Dreaming Of Chanel, EAT.WEAR.TRAVEL and The Huffington Post as well as the more traditional audience of Good Housekeeping and Woman & Home. In turn this widespread coverage resulted in a high number of sales for Kaleidoscope as well as a newly-engaged younger audience.
APPOINT A CELEBRITY AMBASSADOR
Where to start: carefully research which celebrities influence your target demographic the most. When it works, having a celebrity photographed with one of your products or services can be the best form of exposure and in many cases can be much more cost effective than an expensive advertising campaign.
Choosing an ambassador: Social Media is a powerful tool to identify the most influential celebrities for your audience. These are a few key things to take into account:
- The size of their social following
- Interaction on their feed
- The demographic of those who are commenting on their posts
For more information and advice on celebrity endorsement take a look at our insight here.
Celebrity Brand Ambassadors in action: Lydia Bright for Nicky Clarke desi-RED
Nicky Clarke planned to launch their new desi-RED collection into UK retailer Argos, and asked PHA to run a campaign to target the new and existing Argos consumer. Lydia Bright, from ‘The Only Way is Essex’, was identified as both a great fit for the Argos customer and the Nicky Clarke Electricals brand. We organised a photoshoot with Lydia where she posed with each product within the collection and then issued the images to relevant press alongside information about the collaboration. From this, we have secured strong interview articles for Lydia regarding the collaboration in publications such as OK.co.uk and Reveal.
Asking the right question: Surveys and statistics are a great way of generating widespread coverage and brand awareness in different segments of the media. Not only can you tap into a wider audience but you can also present yourself as a credible thought-leader.
Creating your survey: Think about the topics your desired audience would be interested in and appoint a reputable survey company to target your new demographic. To make headlines with a survey story take a look our top tips here.
Survey Stories in action: Purplebricks survey story
Purplebricks, the Hybrid estate agent, were looking to raise awareness of their new London Lettings service. The brand wanted to attract a younger London-based consumer looking to rent as their ideal demographic for this service.
We created a ‘Top Celebrity Housemate’ survey where we asked men and women between the ages of 20-35 which celebrities would be their ideal housemates. This survey gained Purplebricks coverage in sections of newspapers that they were not accustomed to gaining coverage in. They were also featured on celebrity sites like Reveal.co.uk that had the young demographic they were looking to target which then created conversation amongst that audience about Purplebricks.
UTILISE THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Identify your platform: with so many different social media platforms it is important to identify which your target audience are using regularly. If your chosen demographic is over 40, Facebook is the place to be making an impression. If your sector is bridal or homeware, Pinterest users will be engaged with your offering. And finally, Instagram and Snapchat are great for brands targeting a younger consumer.
Create engaging content: the aim of your content is to encourage your target consumers to like, share, retweet, re-pin, register and download content on your brand. Engaging content can be in the form of:
- interesting statuses,
- eye-catching imagery
- humorous tweets and much more
For more information on creating engaging content take a look at our insight on getting cut through on social media here.
Be on the ball: Remaining aware and knowledgeable of emerging social apps is key when utilising social media. In particular, when you are targeting a younger demographic it is important position your brand as current and engaged with social trends.
Social Media in action: Cauli-Rice social media launch
An example of a campaign where The PHA Group engaged a new audience successfully was for Cauli-Rice. We were asked to target a diabetic audience and those who follow low-carbohydrate diets to showcase the health benefits of eating cauliflower rice instead of rice. We advised, created and managed a paid-for strategy for the campaign across Facebook in which we produced engaging content which was of specific interest to diabetics and low-carb dieters. Using paid-for content tools meant we were able to ensure our targeted posts were seen by the ideal audience and in turn helped grow the Cauli-Rice Facebook fans by 8,293.
AND FINALLY…DON’T ISOLATE YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMER BASE
Keep your customers: engaging a new audience is important, however it is equally important not to alienate your existing base. Many brands successfully manage this through keeping a clear vision of who their customer is and ensuring that the activity for one customer group does not alienate another.
Customer Retention in action: Coca-Cola
This is a great example of a brand who has kept existing customers loyal but also engaged with new audiences is Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola launched ‘Diet Coke’ as a low-calorie female friendly alternative to the original Coke. Then came ‘Coke Zero’, a similar product to ‘Diet Coke’ but targeted specifically at men who wanted an alternative low-calorie option to ‘Diet Coke’. Most recently, Coca-Cola launched ‘Coke Life’, a low-calorie version of Coke sweetened with natural sources for the health conscious market. The variety of Coca-Cola’s products, each with their own brand identity and communication strategy, allows each product to engage with new and existing audiences effectively, ensuring that the Coca-Cola group remain the market leader in carbonated soft drinks.
The tips and advice given above provides an outline of the key elements a successful PR strategy will incorporate to engage a new audience but if you would like to speak to experts regarding a campaign you are looking to launch or ways in which you can engage with a new audience, please get in touch with our Consumer PR team.