When effective content marketing meets your customers, the magic happens. Before we dive into the secret sauce behind the magic, what comes first, content or the customer? That’s not a trick question. It’s a real test to see which direction your content marketing is headed. If you’re not sure about how this should play out for the benefit of your marketing and your customer…read on.
As a marketer and a consumer, I always think about the value content plays in a marketing strategy and campaigns. That’s important because the content is effectively reaching people in many different ways nowadays and is distributed on a plethora of media channels, platforms, and devices like; email, live chat, apps, servers, web, smartphones and social channels to name just a few. As good as the content is, it will rarely be very effective if it is not designed for a specific audience and purpose.
The modern buyer needs a modern marketer. Relevant content enables the modern marketer to engage the buyer the way the buyer wants to engage – through value. – Bernie Borges – CMO, Vengreso
Get to Know Your Audience
You want to understand your target audience and their character traits really well and then you can craft your content to meet their needs. Ultimately, you want to create a detailed, personal narrative describing your primary target audience — But there’s more. Let’s take this process one step further. Every piece of content should be designed to elicit a response from your audience. Think about whom these people are and clearly define their personal and professional attributes. Here’s how.
These below are designed to help you more clearly define your primary target audience so your content can become even more effective. (Age, gender, HHI, ethnicity, career type/role, favorite products, life Information that determines personal preferences, married, single, kids, no kids, list other brands they associate with).
Additional to the checklist is a series of questions that will be added to the above list to help round out your target audience narrative. Here are eight that are a great place to start.
- Describe their common problems and pain points
- What are their motivators for buying your product & service?
- Why would they not consider buying your product & service?
- What competing brands are they also considering? – Why?
- What methods are best to connect with your primary customers?
- What types of content do they engage with the most?
- What methods or channels do they use to share content?
- What are their expectations when they come in contact with your business? (Good or not good)
Create The Target Audience Narrative
Please note, I used the term target audience instead of persona in this blog. I did that only to create a simpler way for some audiences to become familiar with our content meets customer blog.
Finally, to make sure your primary target audience narrative is complete. Think about what the most common questions your customers are asking as they relate to your industry and your brand’s products or services. Hint; ask your sales team, they will know lots of these. By answering these questions with your content, you will more clearly define your target audience attributes, reveal some pain points as well as provide your marketing team with topics to create content you know resonate with your customer. Basically, you want to meet their needs by answering their questions with your content – this is very important.
Start with this; what are your customers’ most common questions they ask when referring to your industry and your business? List these questions and answer them in your content. Some marketing teams do not go this far to define their target audience and they fail to create content that clearly resonates with them – thus, content is just another annoying distraction and is not as effective in attracting and converting.
Once you answer the questions above and reveal your primary target audiences’ character traits, your marketing team will have a crystal clear picture to begin creating content that resonates with the customer, attracts them to your brand and also helps them to see your business is a trustworthy, credible and viable option for them.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. – ContentMarketingInstitute
Scott MacFarland is a career marketer with a passion for connecting business results with great marketing …especially digital. YourBrandExposed.com is a digital content marketing and strategy consultancy solving difficult challenges surrounding digital and content. Let us know how we can help you.
Scott MacFarland – Chief Content Marketer, Digital Strategist
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