Research and Define Your Audience
Year on year site traffic growth is 7.8% higher for content marketing leaders. Aberdeen
In order to deliver engaging and entertaining content that is relevant to your customer, you must first have a solid understanding of the audience you are targeting. By profiling these customers you will be able to create targeted and relevant content that will actually speak to them.
Depending on your industry and your business, you may have multiple different ‘customers’, each of which will have a different profile, meaning you will need to create content that specifically speaks to them, rather than being too general. A great way to think about these different customers is to ask yourself some questions about your customers and write down a profile or persona for each of them that describes their lives and the way they act.
For example, customer one may be a 40-year-old mother, with two children. She works full-time, and is very busy and time poor. Therefore, the means in which you communicate to her would revolve around making her life easier. Below are some questions you can ask yourself to begin defining these persona’s. Download our Competitor research and marketing analysis template here to assist with this process.
- Who are our current ‘customers’?
- Age, sex, marital status, kids?
- Where do they live?
- What does their day-to-day life look like?
- Where do they work?
- What industry are they in?
- What is their income level?
- What is their education level?
- What are their pain points in life?
- What problem does your product solve for them?
- What do they aspire to?
- Where do they do their research for a new purchase? Friends and family? Online?
- How and where do they consume content? Social media, print, online blogs, forums?
- What format best suits? Video? Imagery? Blog articles?
- What is their buying decision behaviour?
- Do they take longer to convert, or are they quick to make a decision?
- What is their perception of your product/service?
Another way that you can begin to get accurate insights into your customer and target market is to look into your Google Analytics, if you have it connected to your site. From here you can understand information, such as, are they male or female, their age and location. You can also draw out data around whether they’re using mobile, laptop or tablet, and their time spent on site, as well as days and times that your site generally gets the most traffic. This will help you to determine how to deliver your content as behaviour differs across devices. Those on mobile may prefer shorter and sharper content, as mobile is often used on the go. Whilst desktop may prefer more in-depth content, as they have more time to digest it.
Furthermore, check out our detailed guide on How to Perform Competitor and Market Research here.
How to Entertain & Engage Through Content
The technique of content marketing is to distribute relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly understood target audience, with the objective of driving profitable customer actions. Content relies on three main elements; format, topic and tone.
The format of your content can be anything from blogging, to photos, videos, online quizzes and much more. It is something users can share across their social media platforms to engage with their target audience.
When choosing a topic for your target audience it can include three different types. Before you pick a topic you must examine your marketing place; marketing position, product offering and perception; basically you need to make a story through your brand. You need to know your audience’s interests in order to be proactive of the content opportunities you can use when creating your strategy. This can be through three different content types.
Hygiene – This content is the same as ‘evergreen’, it literally can stand the test of time and will always be aligned with your products and messaging. E.g. If you owned Toyota and wrote content on ‘The Best Way To Wash Your Car.
Hub Topical – This content is in real time and is entertaining. This means you need to be aware of your target audience, do the marketing research to see what is trending and make sure your target audience can relate to it. This content is more likely shared across loyal user platforms and in the best-case scenario, go viral.
Hero – Digital marketing should always be aligned with other marketing campaigns. This content topic works best when the client uses campaign alignment to create hero content around an event (this element usually needs a bigger budget to deliver).
Don’t be boring!
I highly highly recommend mixing up your content with infographics, videos, downloadable templates, memes and quirky aspects that make you stand out from the crowd. Infographics are a really effective way to communicate a huge amount of content in one image.
Driving Profitable Customer Actions
Content marketing works primarily across owned and earned media. All digital marketing companies serve paid media such as: search engine marketing, Facebook Advertising, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. However, creating and amplifying your own content can be used to create deeper relationships with customers. Consumers prefer to know the brand on a personal level before converting (the consumer buying process). With engaging content directed to the right target market you are able tell an engaging story through your brand.
Having a friend or stranger deliver a brand message online through social media is 1.5 to 2 times more likely to influence behaviour than delivering the same message in a TV ad (Nielsen, 2016).
Marketers who prioritise blogging are 13 times more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts (HubSpot, 2016).
The most important objective that you need to remember is what are you trying to achieve through your content marketing campaign? It is important to analyse your audience through research tools such as Google analytics, to observe path to purchase of your content marketing strategy.