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Feb 01, 2024

Broader Is Not Better: 3 Ways to Narrow Your Subscriber Focus

Pop quiz: Who is your ideal subscriber?

A: Someone who lives in my community

B: Someone who needs fast connectivity

C: Someone who is concerned about privacy

D: The dad of a newly minted middle-schooler seeking a full-featured parental control service

Answer: None of the options is wrong. But Option D is the most correct.

Let’s look at why... and what our marketing can learn from it.

Option D wins because it is...

 

1. Emphatically Specific

Most marketing in the broadband space suffers from being too... well, broad.

The more specific we can make our messaging, the more our subscriber community will begin to see themselves reflected in our products and services. In marketing, targeting “everyone” equals targeting no one in particular. Broader is not better.

The more specific your marketing messaging, the more it will resonate—because your ideal subscriber begins to view you as the ideal solution to their specific challenges.

The best marketing isn’t about your products and services; instead, the best marketing frames your solutions as the salvation your subscriber desperately needs.

 

2. Inherently Personal

But what about the non-parents in our community? Doesn’t this messaging leave them out?” you ask.

Fair question.

Which is why you need to understand the challenges of specific segments within your community—and tailor messaging for each around their shared characteristics. 

In marketing-speak, this is known as “persona-based” marketing, which seeks to serve audiences based on things like location, needs, profile, and life stages (among other things). 

We marketers need to understand what subscribers really need, what we might offer to meet those needs, and how to craft a message in an honestly empathetic way that resonates deeply.

Your data is your friend here. Your data can help you craft content specific to each segment—with the ultimate goal of upping conversions, sales, loyalty, referrals, and brand engagement.

A word of caution: Sometimes marketers over-rely on “personas” and “segmentation.” The result is that their marketing and messaging can seem bloodless and impersonal, devoid of life. 

Rural providers like you have a key competitive advantage. You know actual people in your community. You understand inherently the actual problems you solve for them. 

So yes... segment your subscribable audience to appeal to different personas. But when you sit at your desk to craft any messaging, don’t think “persona.”

Instead, think about the hopes and fears of one specific person in your community. How are you a salve for them? How can you help a very certain someone?

No great marketing ever starts with, “Dear Segment.” It starts with, “Hi, Dave.”

 

3. Empathetically Helpful

We understand that a robust menu of managed services is the solution for that dad worried about keeping his “extremely online” son safe. But our challenge as marketers is to frame our services and capabilities in a helpful context for (in this case) worried parents.

The best way to increase conversions, sales, and brand engagement is to help, not sell.

For example: Let all our content help parents navigate how to effectively set up controls across devices and apps.

Brainstorm questions that keep your subscribers up at night. And then answer them. (Side note: Generative AI tools can be great for research here!) 

Armed with your quiver of questions, answer them in your content. Those questions might be, for example: 

  • What are parental controls anyway?

  • How do I set them up across various devices and on various platforms?

  • Do they really work...?

  • Can I block specific content on specific apps like TikTok and Snapchat and BeReal?

  • How easily can kids disable the controls?

  • What are the conversations I need to have with my child around safety?
     

Even consider word choice.

Instead of this / Say this:

  • Parental controls > Filtering out unwanted websites

  • Blocking inappropriate content > Keeping your family safe

  • Device monitoring > Visibility into your child’s activity
     

Be a resource to your audience. Think empathetically about each persona you speak to. How can we help?

Broader is not better.

 

Content marketing and messaging created with specificity and empathy will carry important signals to your subscribable audience: signals that inspire the kind of action that triggers conversation, conversion, sales, loyalty, referrals, and ultimately something even more valuable to the lifetime value of a subscriber: trust.

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