It is important for brands to identify their ‘tribes’ early on. These are the people who clamor for your offering and can even be turned into a loyal group of brand ambassadors, assuming you play your marketing cards right! And finding them is the work of netnography – also known as audience segmenting. Every brand should be using it to engage and convert their tribes. Here’s how!
Look Below the Surface
To truly engage consumers today, you need to connect to them personally – and also, authentically. It can’t feel like it’s forced or fake to win a sale. Getting this messaging right will draw them in, foster sales and slowly build loyalty. And this is where netnography comes in.
Netnography in 2022 offers more than a buyer persona based on demographics and assumptions. It combines social listening, sentiment analysis and audience segmentation to create and discover online cultures you can engage with:
- Discover – use social listening to identify topics your audience cares deeply about, with specific understanding fueled by sentiment analysis.
- Strategize – segment audiences to create a unique fandom around your brand, with a culture all its own; think any reality show and the tweets they generate during showtime.
- Create messaging that meets them where they are – both emotionally and virtually (meaning, which platforms they’re participating on)
Consumers will tell you what they’re most passionate about, after all. And social listening reveals these emotions, as well as what you can do with them to grow brand love.
Find Your Pack Leaders
Every kingdom has a King – or Queen – and that’s what influencers are in relation to audience segments.
Some segments may be “ruled” by less prominent subjects – or by many people together sharing the same brand love. In less metaphorical terms, we’re talking about macro and micro influencers. Both have value and both can help you connect meaningfully with various segments.
Consider the way Budweiser’s Clydesdales resonate with the “nostalgic sports fans” segment – people who eagerly anticipate their appearance at every Super Bowl. Though there are other ways to reach that audience year-round, the Clydesdales are certainly influencers – if unconventional ones. Consumers here can’t wait to have an opportunity to meet these beauties in person:
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And influencers aren’t just for beer, food, or fashion. Agencies like Stratint use netnography to locate influencers and key opinion leaders in the pharmaceutical space.
For example, when COVID-19 hit, the pharmaceuticals industry felt the impact. While other industries were disrupted, Pharma exploded in terms of information: Clinical trial results, treatments, supply chains, efficacy of vaccines, drug pricing, patent issues, etc.
With the influencer landscape changing drastically, decisions had to be made quickly. They had to determine very quickly who mattered and why; and when should the clients be notified if the influencers truly mattered. Understanding the landscape was critical because information could blow up overnight depending on who was pushing the content.
Kodagolian found that it was hard to conduct influencer analysis using many of the tools on the market as scores didn’t really provide meaning to her. Their goal was to organize and format the data in a way that would allow them to derive and communicate insights simply and clearly. Having already been collaborating with NetBase Quid on a different account, they requested more raw data.
Stratint Research used NetBase Quid to fine-tune their influencer analysis process and find out who in their influencer pool was suited to specific goals. With this information, they could provide their clients with truly important insights that could impact their business.
Create a Personalized Experience
A critical element of today’s netnography is the design and implementation of personalized consumer experiences. And how this should look can vary by segment – and by generations within a segment.
PMG began studying different generations of consumers. And what they found was that nostalgia played a big role in Millennials’ lives, and that this influence was being felt across other generations. From popular music of the 90’s to fashion and even food, today’s peace and happiness was being found in past experiences.
This led PMG to research nostalgia further. They found that there were over 13 million mentions of nostalgia online in one month. And that resulted in 2.2 trillion impressions for brands who are engaging in the nostalgia conversation.
By using netnography as its foundation and creating custom audiences in NetBase Quid, PMG created a more tailored experience for different age groups based on what they individually cared about using this trend.
And it’s a trend that others have noticed as well:
5 reasons to watch Twenty Five Twenty One:
1. Simping over Nam Joo-Hyuk & Kim Tae-ri
2. Their friend group is so wholesome
3. Major 90s nostalgia
4. Comfort k-drama vibes
5. BTS’s Jungkook & Gong Yoo are watching it! pic.twitter.com/W7yMhtuYKJ
— Netflix (@netflix) March 23, 2022
Find Your Tribe – Multi-Segment Marketing
Audience segments can be created from just about any common interests or attributes that matter to your brand. Demographic information may be part of segmenting – but additional insights should narrow the focus to enhance that personal connection.
A great example of this is illustrated by Ayzenberg Group as they examined the luxury vehicles market. They knew their audience consistently primarily of males, aged 65+, divorced/remarried, and living in London. They loved cars, wine, dogs and travel. Based on that intel however, you could be showing the same ads to both Ozzy Osbourne and Prince Charles, as all of these criteria applied to both men. Ayzenberg Group knew there had to be a better way to segment the conversation further.
By using NetBase Quid’s premade filters to explore consumer conversation surrounding luxury vehicles, they were able to slice and dice the intel. What they discovered was Ozzy’s audience may love Ferrari’s and Porches. His purchase driver is a great sound system and the most sought-after key feature is tinted windows. Whereas the Prince Charles segment may want a Rolls Royce or Bentley with very different purchase drivers and key features – safety being one of them.
At the end of the day, your whole audience matters of course. But it’s not smart – nor effective – to speak to them as one broad group. Just like when you “watch the pennies the dollars take care of themselves,” when you focus on each tribe as an individualized unit, your audience overall will be taken care of – and the conversions will happen.
Are your netnography tools up to par? Reach out to learn how AI-boosted Analytics can level up your efforts!