How Content Marketing Can Add Value To Your Audience's Lives
The most important question you should ask yourself as a content marketer is, “How can I add value to my audience’s life?” Let’s face it; our audiences are constantly berated with content both online and offline. How can we cut through the noise and become a valuable source of information? The trick is to stop thinking like a marketer – but only after you’ve set yourself up for success.
That’s where the discovery phase comes into play. This is the most crucial step to take before implementing or planning any content strategies. In this phase, the following questions should always be your focus:
1. Who is your audience?
2. What is your brand’s story?
3. What does your audience want?
One strategy to identify your target audience is an onsite survey that asks visitors to your website who they are demographically. This is a great initial tool for any brand because the results you see may be completely different than you expected. Another strategy is to create audience personas. By coming up with as many specific types of people you believe encompass your brand’s target audience, or who you want your audience to be, you can begin a more focused brainstorm of content strategizing.
Above anything else, your audience wants to know who you are and why you are important to them. So do just that: Tell your brand’s story in a compelling way, using targeted keywords words that will make your target stop and say, “Hey, I can really relate to these people.” The best way to position yourself is to think differently. Remember when we took off our marketer hat above? Become your audience and write just as they would; become a part of the crowd, or one of their friends.
Your audience also wants to be acknowledged. Writing content that is just as important to them as content coming from their friends comes two-fold: You must reciprocate. This doesn’t mean invading their personal social space but making the move to re-tweet them when they reach out to you or give new followers and subscribers a shout out. Marketers are always encouraged to reach out to their audience and ask them to share – but do you follow through and engage back?
One last phrase that should be written in bold Sharpie on your most blinding, brightly colored Post-It note is, “Always On”. TapInfluence discussed this idea in their Tap Into the Social Content Stream Workshop this year. The idea is to plan daily content that has nothing to do with your product or brand, but everything to do with your target audience’s lifestyle and interests. The big campaigns are planned on top of this content. This way, your audience is constantly being exposed to content that has value to them, and not just the big messages that run for a week or two at a time that push your brand. The goal is that by the time they are exposed to your larger campaigns, they will be more receptive and engaged because they see you as a source of value to their lives.
Now that your marketer hat is placed firmly back on your head, share with us – what are your challenges when strategizing valuable content for your audience and what do you find works best for you?