Content Marketing: Ten Tips to Attract Customers

1. Market Research: Just Do It

A content marketing strategy without market research is like trying to find your way around a strange city without consulting a map, GPS, or asking for directions. You might think you’re saving time by moving forward, but you’re not likely to reach your destination. So don’t start your content market program without assessing the market.

2. Tag Your Target

Tag your prospectWho is the content for? You could have one target market segment or several for your content marketing program. You might think you know who your content marketing target is, but do you really know them? Do you know their demographic profile—their age, gender, where they live, their job and the type of company they work for? Do you know their pain points, fears, hopes and dreams? If you can’t answer a strong “yes” to these questions, your snapshot of your target is blurry. Before you can develop your content marketing materials, you need a sharp image of your prospects and customers.

3. Discover Bait that Captivates

Now that you know who you’re fishing for you need to discover what information, or content, your prospects are seeking when they search for your product or service. This marketing content becomes your “bait.” But you also need to find out where they search for content so you can place your bait in all the right places.

4. Scope Out Your Competitors

Your company likely isn’t the only one marketing your product. You have competition. And when your prospects are looking for information to meet the need your product or service fulfills, they could be attracted by another company’s content. You need to assess the attractiveness of your competitors’ content. Because, of course, your marketing content needs to be more attractive, more prevalent, and more likely to be found where your prospect is searching.

Who are your top competitors? What is their content marketing strategy? And, what are the strengths and weaknesses of their content marketing program? Whether you want to beat your competitors at their own game or emulate their content marketing successes, it’s best to know what your business is up against.

5. Open Up

Before developing content marketing materials, conduct qualitative research. This means asking open-ended questions–unstructured questions in which possible answers are not suggested. You can do this most cost effectively through in-depth telephone interviews.

Qualitative research enables you to hear the language your customers and prospects use to express their needs, hopes and fears. It enables you to probe into areas as they develop in conversations, and often reveals the unexpected. Also, you cannot design a productive quantitative survey without completing a qualitative one first because you just don’t know what the potential answers might be.

6. Quantify It

Now it’s time to quantify your results. An efficient way to collect quantitative data is through online surveys. While some believe the data generated by online surveys is not as projectable as phone interviews designed with scientific sampling plans, they are fast and cost effective. And they naturally target the person your content marketing program is directed to: someone who is comfortable interacting online.

7. Personify It

If you structured your information gathering correctly, you now have what you need to create personas of your target customer for the content marketing program.  A ‘persona’ brings them to life by writing descriptions as if they were characters in a play or book. Give them names, ages, families, histories, jobs, homes and more. Find pictures that represent how they look and where they live. Describe how they would likely do research for your product or service. What marketing content or information do they want? How do they want to receive it? A content marketing strategy can’t be developed if you can’t answer these questions.

8. Strategize It

Now that you can visualize who you’re trying to attract, the information they are seeking and how they go about their search, it’s finally time to create your content marketing strategy. Keep the pictures and descriptions of your personas in front of you as you do this. This helps to keep your focus on your target and their needs.

9. Make it Happen

Your content marketing strategy is your road-map for content generation. So make it happen. Create marketing content that uses your prospects’ language and taps their emotions. Marketing content that informs, builds a relationship and helps them to make a wise decision.

10. Monitor and Tweak

Once your content marketing program is launched, it’s time to measure the content that’s working and the content that’s not working . Constantly solicit input from your clientele to determine why some marketing content works better than other marketing content. If some case studies aren’t working, find out why. If leads generated from a white paper are converting to profitable business, write more content like it.

You can learn a lot by asking questions when prospects call you, or by engaging with them on social media sites. The key is that market research is ongoing. If you keep your ears open to what your customers and prospects are saying, you stay ahead of your competition.

If you need help with content marketing, call Carolyn Frith Marketing now at 610-340-0622 for your free 30-minute, no-obligation consultation or email cfrith@carolynfrith.com.

 



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