The art of snackable storytelling
There is no denying the importance of good content in almost all forms of marketing. As a marketer, you may be trying to keep up with producing enough content that can be distributed across both online and offline platforms.
While it is common to spend most of your time on the content creation front, you should also consider whether your customer is going to care about the content — especially when there is so much content vying for consumers’ attention.
A new content marketing survey by the Content Marketing Institute (B2B Content Marketing 2016) revealed that only 30 percent of respondents rated their content marketing efforts as effective. So while it seems like there is a lot more content being produced, producing more content doesn’t necessarily make it effective.
Let’s take a step back and ask yourself three important questions that will help you create a more focused content marketing campaign:
What’s in it for your audiences?
All effective content marketing campaigns start with the audience in mind. One key way to differentiate your content from the rest is to target a niche group or a highly-specialized segment of your total audience. Understanding the needs of this specific group means you should be able to answer the following questions:
- What motivates their buying behavior?
- What types of content do they prefer?
- How and where do they want to access content?
Speak to customers or prospects, or your sales team who interact closely with customers, to understand customers’ issues and motivations. Invest time to understand your audiences so that you can be confident about developing personalized content that really matters to them.
What is the purpose of your content?
Before you think about what type of content you want to create, define what you want to achieve with the campaign. At the end of the day, you need to have a reason for creating content in the first place.
With a better understanding of your audiences’ content needs and clear objectives, you will be able to decide on a suitable content mix. Not all content has to take on every shape and medium.
Content can be powerful in answering your customers’ common questions and problems. In this case, you could offer How-To or Top Tips type of content. Or if you offer a more niche product, in-depth and long-form content such as e-books, demos, and webinars may be more relevant to your audiences.
When it comes to industry-specific content, a successful approach we employ at Text100 across the brands with which we work is to involve customers in the content-creation process. Through short Q&As, interviews, or brainstorming sessions, we gain valuable knowledge from them to make the content we produce more credible.
Which channels will let you reach your audience?
Nothing drives this message stronger than the adage “Content is king, distribution is queen.” Now that you know your content mix and targeted audience, the challenge can be getting the content in front of your audience. So how do you plan the method of distributing your content, and across what type of channels?
First, consider your existing internal platforms: social media, email newsletters, and existing visitors. You can also look at your web analytics or social media properties to see which pages you’re customers are frequenting, and where they are coming from.
If you already have a list of customers’ emails, you can look into creating email newsletters – email marketing remains an inexpensive and effective way to reach out to consumers on mobile. It is also customizable and can be integrated into almost any marketing campaign.
Don’t lose focus!
As a marketer, there seems to be many tools and strategies for creating content. But content alone won’t be effective without focused content and a good content marketing plan.
A lack of focus could be the biggest issue you have to fix when you start rolling out your content marketing campaigns. When you have focused content, it’s easier to create more consistent content and link back to previous content – this is great for search engine optimization or introducing new readers to old content.
In summary, this should be your key take-away: Have a clearly defined target audience, content mix, and distribution plan in order to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Doing so will provide your audiences content that delivers a more satisfying experience.