The public arena is filled with information available to marketers to enrich their social media campaigns. Information is collected by many public and private organizations and is not considered confidential; therefore it is publicly available information.
Information in general is incredibly useful to digital marketers, and quite often public records are cost-efficient resources to gain access to. This public information is a gold mine for digital marketing purposes as long as a business knows how to effectively use it.
The Growing Role of Digital Marketing
When most businesses think of digital marketing, they primarily focus on the promotional nature of marketing; using social media or their website to promote their brand.
A strong digital marketer will close that communication loop, using public records to gain insight into their customers, as well as track how effectively they are managing to connect with them.
Modern digital marketers continually research who is buying and using the brand. Understanding the segment most attracted to their product means the ability to target more customers and increase the brand’s voice.
Using digital marketing and publicly available information to its full potential means limiting spending on promotional activity, in turn increasing return on investment.
Public records are also useful in gaining information on companies that you are considering collaborating with. In this day and age, it is crucial that companies protect themselves against dubious corporate partnerships and dealings. Your research may bring to light information that will save you from making bad business deals.
Public Record and Digital Marketing
Let’s look at three ways that public records can make your campaigns thrive:
- Find publicly available contact details for use in marketing campaigns.
Example: A list of email addresses.
- Access records from online databases that allow a more targeted approach with various metrics available.
Example: Getting data from a digital telephone directory.
- Research via businesses that market to the public: this allows a better understanding of competitive pricing and the best market for your business.
Example: Understanding the markets that other high and low-cost brands perform in.
This information can gain understanding in:
- The average wage for the potential market.
- Credit scores in the market.
- The potential customer spending habits.
- The rate of home ownership in a demographic.
- Where your customers live.
- Participants in types of employment.
- The level of education within your target market.
- What other products your target audience uses.
How Your Marketing Campaigns Will Thrive
Once the information has been collected about your target customer and what they do, it becomes time to apply the insights to increase brand recognition. You can do so in the following ways (this list is not exhaustive).
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most popular modern marketing tools available. SEO allows the use of keywords used in website copy to target specific customers.
Using keywords and phrases that resonate with your market will promote your brand much better when your customer searches for it. Greater traffic to your website means greater brand recognition and more customers.
The use of video, photos, blogs, articles, and many more methods of communication are being used more by marketers to connect with their audience. This comes back to not simply trying to sell a product or service, but establishing a relationship with the market.
This also means creating content that is not necessarily directly related to the service. Many businesses use a combination of entertainment and education (“edutainment”) to interact with their market, becoming a source of truth and information. Some brands connect with their audience through humor. Insights from publicly available information can aid in understanding what your market wants most from their creative content.
Marketing on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn has become a dominant place for promotional activity as well as gaining market insights. Promoting an engaging post through social media can have an incredible effect if promoted strategically through the right platform.
Posting regularly and using creative content suitable for the market creates engagement with the audience. By monitoring what is said to your brand, this will allow a better understanding of the wants of the customer, which in turn allows better content.
This cycle of action and reaction can constantly improve your message quality and accuracy; creating a strong bond with your customer.
Where to Find Public Information
Depending on the budget, there are many sources for publicly available information.
There are companies that specialize in sourcing information. Many specialists operate in this field who can compile lists of people based on age, education, spending habits, and income brackets, just to name a few. Hiring these companies can gain access to information for both direct marketing, and social media.
Every city and town has access to records and there is also a wealth of government census data available. Depending on the source, in many cases, this information may be confidential and may only be able to offer demographic data to better understand where to market your brand instead of individuals.
There are often online resources where you can access information. This could be as simple and broad as gaining data from a telephone directory, or as specific as membership lists for organizations.
You really should incorporate more information about your customer with your next digital marketing campaign. The effective use of publicly available information will help you work smarter and increase the return on investment for marketing operations.
Guest article by Ben Hartwig
Ben is a Web Operations Executive at InfoTracer who takes a wide view from the whole system. He authors guides on entire security posture, both physical and cyber.