Before you embark on a content marketing program, be sure you understand your target market. Don’t try to cast a wide net to bring in new customers. Take the time to define your market audience so you can create custom content that is both compelling and promotes online conversation.
Here are three steps to take before you launch your content marketing program.
Everyone is anxious to build their brand using content marketing. They want to build a following on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter to share their content and, with any luck, make it viral. But do you know your target audience? Do you have a clear idea of who is your customer or target market, where they hang out online, and what information they expect from you? Is your content attracting the right readers to promote your brand?
The more closely you can define your niche audience and their interests, the better your chances of online marketing success. For example, if you are selling recruiting services you want to attract hiring managers, not unemployed executives, so content about resume writing strategies won’t appeal to the right people. Similarly, if you operate a resume writing service writing about the worst paying careers won’t help you build your business either.
Before you launch a content marketing program take the time to develop a profile of your ideal customer, what information you can provide that they will find valuable, and where to reach them. Here are some basic steps to consider:
- First, remember that you are not the target customer. Although this may seem like an obvious assumption, many marketers let their biases and perceptions get in the way of appealing content. Don’t assume you know what your audience wants. Put aside your own interests and biases and project yourself into the mind of your customer. What issues are they facing? What points of pain can your service or product address? What information do they want from you that they won’t find anywhere else? If you can answer those questions then you will ready to craft content that will start a meaningful conversation with your target market.
- Don’t sell to everyone. The more you try to broaden the appeal of your content, the more likely you will miss your target altogether. Focus on specific issues that affect a narrow segment of your target audience. Pinpoint a problem you can adequately address in a blog or social media post that will resonate with a segment of your audience. The more closely you can target your content the greater the returns.
- Create a customer persona. This is a technique that has been successfully used by marketing agencies. Create a detailed profile of your perfect customer, including age, income, likes and dislikes, expectations, concerns, and what they would expect from your company or brand. Once you have a clear understanding of your perfect customer, you can use that personal as a litmus test for content; would Peter Persona find this information appealing?
The more you understand about what motivates your audience, the easier it will be to create content that they will find compelling. Consider your target customer’s needs, wants, concerns, and desires, and then provide insight that will promote a meaningful online conversation.
If you are using content to generate sale leads (and who isn’t?), then project yourself into our prospective customer’s journey through the buying process. What starts them on their path looking for your product or service? Where will they look for solutions? How will they reach a buying decision? Who else is involved in the buying process? Why should they choose you?
Addressing these questions will help guide your decisions about content creation, what to write and where to post it to attract the right kind of attention.
Using the right content you can engage with your audience and start building a meaningful online relationship. Offer information that addresses their interests and concerns. Talk about common industry issues. Offer examples and case studies to probe your point. Demonstrate your expertise. When your content strikes the right chord you will gain audience loyalty and followers eventually become customers. It’s all a matter of talking their language.