As we approach 2021, content marketers have an unprecedented array of mediums available at their hands. From podcasts to blogs, white papers, streaming services, mobile apps, videos, social media, the list is endless. With so many mediums available, getting your message across has never been easier. And yet, paradoxically, choosing the right medium has never been more challenging.
If you are a marketer and find yourself perplexed as to which medium you should go for, or if you simply want to give your strategy a new approach, or perhaps you feel that another medium would best serve your brand, this blog post is exactly what you need.
Why Is The Medium So Important?
The message makes or breaks your brand, but the medium makes or breaks the message. You might have the most innovative and riveting ideas to push your product in the market, but the ideas will get lost if the wrong medium delivers the message to the wrong people. For instance, you would not expect newspaper ads to be the best medium to promote the new video game console; I can hardly imagine any teenage gamer skimming over newspapers while eating breakfast.
It is, therefore, imperative that you choose the right medium for your targeted audience. There is no point in creating excellent content if your message never reaches its destination. In fact, choosing the medium that is just right is so critical that numerous advertising agencies dedicate entire departments to this task. So, how do they do it?
Choosing the right medium is usually a combination of these three factors: Audience, Budget, Message. A thorough analysis of each element will help you determine the best medium for your brand.
The first question that you should ask yourself when choosing the right medium is ‘Who am I trying to reach?’ and ‘Who is my targeted audience?’. Your audience is the most crucial factor in determining your medium; you should, therefore, spend significant time and energy in researching your audience. It is not enough to select a particular population as your targeted audience. You need to create accurate buyer personas and analyze them deeply.
You should know your buyers inside out. A mere demographic reference is not enough. It does not help to know that John is 38 years old, a father of two, and works as a chef in a restaurant. Instead, try to find out who John is rather than what he is. What are his worries, his anxieties? How has his life been affected by this global pandemic? What does he need, and what problems does he have? How will your brand help him solve these problems? Your team should try to understand John and the likes of John. If John is your audience, you need to know everything about him. From the social sites he visits, the posts he shares, and the hashtags he uses, every detail matters.
Buyer personas are the most critical element in determining your marketing strategy and the medium you will use. As humans’ lives are not static, and their circumstances continuously change and their data altered, you need to revisit, re-evaluate, and re-adjust these personas to reflect reality. In light of recent COVID events and the unprecedented aftermath of this pandemic, reviewing your personas is now more imperative than ever.
It seems evident that your budget is one factor that determines your marketing strategy and your medium. However, marketers often mistake a limited budget with limited marketing. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can choose to spend all your budget on a single TV spot and limit your placements to just that. Alternatively, you could choose wisely and aim for continuous placements in the niche-specific blog posts, websites, or print publications your audience frequently visits.
Remember this: your budget is essential, but it does not have to determine what you do. You can find creative ways to work around it. Do not aim low; instead, aim high within reach. You can ratio your budget to different mediums to achieve maximum exposure instead of just one single medium. Truth be told, placing continuously paid Facebook ads might work wonders in the long term as opposed to one single commercial exposure during prime TV time. And, it might turn out to be cheaper as well.
By default, your message will impact your medium choice. What do you want your audience to know? What message do you want to get across? Do you want your audience to sign up for weekly newsletters? Do you want to inform them about your newest product? Do you want to promote your 1+1 offers? Or do you want them to know that your brand is the best solution to their problem?
You must clearly define what the purpose of your message is and how it serves your brand. Then you can decide how this message will reach your audience. Try to create a mission and identify your goals and the steps you will take towards that goal. A clearly defined purpose will lead to structured steps and smaller goals you need to achieve along the way. This will give you a vision of your message and will better help you strategically choose the right medium.
For instance, if you want your audience to get to know your product, you might choose short snackable content in the form of vine videos. If your audience is already aware of your brand, you might want to entice them with a loyalty scheme or some 1+1 offers with social media posts. Alternatively, if your message aims to promote brand loyalty- by showing that you empathize with your audience and understand the difficult times they are going through now in light of the recent pandemic – then a blog post might be ideal for showing them that you care and that we are all in this together.
What It All Boils Down To
We are surrounded by thousands of communication channels and are continuously bombarded by a vast amount of information. An increase in technology has opened up Pandora’s box for marketers. With so many mediums available, getting your message across has never been easier. Yet, it has never been riskier either. Your brilliant marketing strategy will make it or break it depending on your choice of medium. Choose the wrong medium, and you can witness the slow and painful death of all your marketing efforts.
However, ask yourself the right questions and let the answers guide you towards a wise medium choice. Who is my audience? What is my budget, and how can I make the best use of it? What is my message? In the end, you are not really making a choice. Your audience, your budget, and your message will make a choice for you.