Running a successful content marketing campaign requires that your content attracts visitors and entices them to come back for more. It’s not enough for your marketing efforts to attract just anyone. They need to attract the right people, the people who care about what your business offers. Those people are the ones who will become dedicated customers.
Trying to figure out how to appeal to the right people can be tricky. Here are six steps to help you on your way.
1. Analyze the Competition
Checking out your competition is a good place to start when trying to develop a content marketing plan. This serves several purposes. It helps you define your target audience-- the people you ideally want to connect with.
Who is your competition targeting in their content marketing efforts? Answering that question gives you a good starting point for your own search. And, it may even give you direct links to some of your future customers.
It’s also extremely useful to see what you’re up against. You want to stand out from the competition. In order to do that, you need to know what’s already out there.
2. Discover Your Niche
Before you can discover your target audience, you have to know your business inside and out. A good way to start figuring this out is to ask what problem your business solves. This should be relatively easy to answer.
Once you have that answer, dig deeper. Are there more specific problems your business is especially good at solving? Do you specialize in a certain area?
The internet is changing the way our brains work, and the way we live our lives. Internet users are bombarded with endless marketing messages each day. For this reason, you really need to stand out. Determining what sets your company apart from the rest can elevate your content marketing to the next level.
Do you offer tailored services? Fast turnarounds? A unique product? Hone in on how you’re different, and use that information as a selling point. Understanding your own uniqueness can help you discover your niche and appropriately target the right people.
3. Find Your Target Audience
Think about the problem your business solves and then imagine who might experience that problem. There’s your target audience — the people who have the problem your business solves.
Now, define that audience in as many relevant ways as possible. Ask yourself:
- What are their job titles?
- What industry do they work in?
- What softwares do they use?
- How large is their company?
Answering these questions will help you figure out how to tailor your content to your target audience. The more detail, the better. You’re likely to find some of this information about your audience and the specific people to target on your social media channels. Social listening tools can help you figure out the details of how your social media is functioning.
4. Get Into Your Audience’s Head
Determine the topics that will appeal to the audience you defined. Making sure that your content is educational about your industry will help your audience know what to expect from you and help establish you as an expert.
Although it doesn’t have to specifically be about your product or service, content you create should attract your target audience and stay relevant to the general realm of what you do. It can be helpful to analyze your competitors’ content, who’s following you on social media, and who’s following your competitors on social media.
Creating personas of hypothetical customers is a great way to figure out their wants and needs. It can also make it easier to understand your audience and brainstorm what types of content they might want to see.
5. Create Relevant Content
Take the topic ideas you’ve come up with and make something out of them. This is where the planning stops and the creation begins. Your visually appealing and intriguing content should grab readers’ attention. Internet users have plenty of options for finding information online, and they often leave a website if they don’t find what they want right away. Your content should hook them in quickly.
Be sure to write an intriguing introduction that speaks to your audience’s needs or interests. Most people know within a few seconds if they’re going to keep reading or click away. Use those few seconds to your advantage and create a killer introduction.
High-quality content gives readers a good impression and a favorable opinion of your brand. It also encourages readers to check out the next piece of content you share, which helps to create a community around your brand. These people could eventually become customers and help to promote your content and your company online.
6. Evaluate Your Progress
Once you establish a healthy campaign, you should keep evaluating how well it’s working and refine the process if necessary. It can be difficult to guess exactly what your audience wants to see in advance. Monitoring which of your content pieces performed best can give you ideas about what to keep doing and what to change in the future. Tools like Google Analytics and marketing attribution can be useful to track performance.
Determining how to market to your audience’s needs can be tricky, but it’s an essential part of any marketing campaign. Once you’ve discovered your business’ niche and your customers’ needs, you can start creating the content that will attract the right people and lead to creating a lively online community and customer base.