With the proliferation of the Internet and all of the media associated with it, businesses of every industry are now expected to be online publishers that host engaging websites and social media accounts that simultaneously promote their products and services while connecting with their target audience. It’s a tall order. And with the overload of information on the web, the pressure to find and engage your “A” clients and customers is stiffer than ever.
To address this issue a new discipline has emerged. It’s called “content strategy” and its role is to guide businesses through the tall weeds of producing and distributing content that draws in customers and turns them into loyal fans. Take advantage of some of content strategy’s key concepts to make sure your content efforts produce results.
Really Know Your Audience
Who are customers? It’s the most basic and most important question you’ll ever ask yourself about your business. But it’s more about age, sex, and social class. It’s about who, exactly, needs you, your services, or your product? Answer this question as deeply as you can and you’re on the right track. Let’s say you sell clothing and your target market is “trendy women between 18 and 25 years old.” You’ll need to know more if you really want to connect. What are the needs of this woman? What are her hopes? Dreams? What are her struggles? Her fears? Content that addresses these questions has the opportunity to connect with your target. But there’s even more. To really reach your target in today’s media mogul-field you need to understand her media consumption habits on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly basis.
John Lavine, professor of Content Strategy at Northwestern University, said it best in the recent Content Strategy MOOC offered through Coursera.org. “You can’t create experience-free content, so plan for the experiences you create.” How do you want your customers to experience your website? What experiences are important to them? Does your content make them smarter? Does it entertain them? Does it make them feel like they belong to a community? Does it teach them how to do something? Make them feel like they can accomplish their goals? According to the book “Medill on Media Engagement,” these are some of the most powerful consumer experiences. Design your content to create these experiences and your site visitors will keep coming back for more.
Consider Your Platform
Your content and your business is a needle in a haystack. There is an overwhelming amount of content on the web. So, how will your customers and clients find you? Here’s a new twist on an old theme – they won’t find you. You’ll need to find them. This is where choosing your digital platforms comes in – and it’s more than just your website. Want to reach the ladies? Pinterest is a good bet. While only 15% of adults use the platform 70% of them are women. Want to find your male targets? Men, more than women, love Youtube. There are 280 million active users on Youtube and men spend an hour watching each week, while women spend about 35 minutes.
Connect the Dots
All of this is good information, but if you don’t put the pieces together by building from one to the next, your content empire will collapse. Begin by developing a clear picture of your target market, then create content that speaks directly to them, and deliver that content to them where and when they are. If you need more help, send us a note.