Your customers don’t care about you, your products, or your services. They care about themselves.
The internet, search engines, and social media give online users an infinite choice:
- They can do as much research about products and services as they want.
- They can ignore, skip, and block ads at the click of a button.
- As buyers, they have the option to look at online reviews before making a purchase decision.
It turns out that businesses have very little chance to stand out and get ahead with internet marketing. May sound like the hundred percent truth, or is it?
Thankfully, content marketing gives businesses the opportunity to build a relationship with potential and existing customers.
Brands like RedBull, Sephora, HubSpot, and Grammarly have made good use of branded content to earn a long-term asset for their business – a loyal fanbase that chooses to follow, engage with and share their content online.
The results are obvious: a great brand reputation and more sales for these businesses.
But how to do content marketing that attracts the relevant audience? Here
are some proven techniques:
Focus on Your Target Audience
The first step to building a relationship with potential customers is to know them. Marketers can create an audience persona by defining the following:
Demographics such as age, sex, location, income, education, profession,
- Psychographics such as likes, hobbies, challenges, goals, behavior, and preferences.
An interesting way to dig out these details is to have discussions with sales teams and learn from their experience. An audience persona gives an idea about the content that would resonate with ideal customers.
A good thumb rule is to create content that educates and entertains a targeted audience. Marketers can do a quick keyword-research to understand common pain points and create content that helps provide the best answers.
Content intelligence helps marketers to dive deeper into the audience likes and dislikes, and publish pieces that are more personalized in nature.
Think Like a Media Company
There is a certain sense of attachment people have towards their favorite magazines, TV shows, music or movies. Audiences feel an emotional connection with the content they love. Content marketing success depends on the amount of attention and followers it can fetch – not direct sales.
The goal of a media company is to engage the audience and have them enjoy the content they are producing. Behaving like a media house helps content marketers to empathize with the content needs of the audience – a process that helps fulfill the brand objective of earning appreciation from potential customers.
Stick to One Content Type
In an omnichannel world with multiple content formats, it’s easier to confuse the audience before even getting their attention. While it’s fine to experiment with different types of content, choosing to focus on one, can create magic: blog posts, videos, podcasts or images.
Marketoonist created a community of marketers by publishing marketing cartoons, for instance. Laying emphasis on one content type is effective because the audience for each type is different – those who prefer blog posts always look forward to reading them and so on.
Define A Content Marketing Voice
There is no dearth of content on the internet – every business is doing content marketing. A smart user can identify a piece of authentic content from a one that’s a poor copy of another one floating elsewhere.
It’s vital to create honest content – it’s the elixir for an attention-starved marketer. It’s essential to create content like it’s representing a brand and its core values. One brand may have a funny and creative tone, for instance, while another one may take a more authoritative and formal stance.
A good beginning point is to create a word cloud that represents a brand’s emotional values and then narrow it down to just two-three words. A distinct voice helps branded content to break through the crowd and find quick acknowledgment.
Content Marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.
~ Jon Buscall
It’s not realistic to expect results from content marketing in a day or a week or a month. Building an audience is a slow, long-drawn process. The intent behind content marketing is to create a remarkable body of work that pulls the right people. Besides that, fans and followers stay with businesses who produce content regularly.
It’s vital to have a content calendar and an ongoing publishing and promotional schedule. Marketers should not make the mistake of over-analyzing their efforts. If they see growth in the audience (number of fans, blog readers, video viewers, etc.) every month or quarter, they’re on the right track.
Stay in Touch with the Audience
Nurturing the audience is as vital as having them onboard. It’s necessary to have prospects subscribe to an e-newsletter, for instance. Mailers help marketers to share useful content with existing subscribers. Promoting each new piece on the brand’s social media pages is another way to create content awareness and engagement.
Over to You
Content marketing is a belief system that allows businesses to help their audience. It’s more of a mindset than a strategy. Branded content enables businesses to become customer-centric and grow in the process. This understanding is enough to help businesses build a tribe of their own without worrying about direct outcomes.