The top two challenges most content marketers face in executing a content strategy are creating enough content and creating content that engages the right target audience. It doesn’t matter how good your content marketing strategy is or how much content you’re producing. If you’re not attracting the right audience, keeping them engaged, and impacting their decisions; your content marketing program is not going to deliver results.
Buyers Want Insight
In the Content2Conversion event earlier this month, Ardath Albee pointed out: “Buyers want relevance, value, new ideas, expertise, and insight to solving problems.” They want to be educated, and they want help reaching their goals. Here are 4 steps you can take to guarantee that your content will be relevant, useful, and valuable to your target audience — all of which are necessary to create content that engages.
Step 1: Develop Complete Buyer Personas
Developing buyer personas is the first step in ensuring that your content is useful to the right audience. Research the personas’ situation, objectives, orientation and obstacles. What are they having trouble achieving? Why? What are the root causes for these problems? It’s critical not to rely just on internal resources to figure these things out. Interview several representatives of each persona to create a composite for use in your buyer personas. Here’s a buyer persona template to help you get started.
Step 2: Find out What Your Personas Want
These interviews should give you a sense of the issues, what they’d like to learn, and where they seek information. If you’re interviewing current customers, ask them what kind of information they looked for when making the decision to select your product.
Step 3: Early Input Ensures Relevance
Once you get started creating content, keep your customers involved in the process. The more you engage them to make sure the content is what they need and relevant to their objectives, the more likely you’ll be to attract exactly the right audience.
Recently, we completed a research study focused on wealth management in the US and Canada. Before we started the survey, we interviewed several investment advisors and other members of our target audience to find out what they’d like to learn about their colleagues. These interviews helped us ensure that we were asking the right questions. Then, when the survey was done, we shared the key findings with the same group before we completed the report.
Step 4: Let Personas Shape Your Content
These advisors helped shape our thinking around benchmarks, identified the most important aspects of our findings, and helped us understand the reasons behind some results that surprised us. They also pointed out relationships between responses that we would not have noticed without the benefit of their experience.
In Summary: Engage Early, Engage Often
By seeking input in the early stage of the research, we were able to ensure that the survey asked questions that were relevant to our audience, and that other researchers are not asking. Our research took a different point of view from other material on the subject, which made the results more valuable to the audience.
The earlier you engage members of your target audience in the content creation process, the more likely you will be to create content that is important and valuable to the people you’re trying to attract and engage.