Let Your Audience Guide Your Content Strategy
Imagine the scene: you walk into a store you wouldn’t normally frequent because you know they have an item you want to purchase for a dear friend. A sales representative approaches you, and tries to interest you in all sorts of products that aren’t the gift you’re looking for. An annoying experience for you, to be sure, since you’re likely to politely decline all the offers of help (that you never
wanted to begin with), find what you came for, and leave. But what about the representative? If only they had known in advance that you weren’t the target audience for their pitch, they could have spent their time and efforts more productively, and perhaps even increased their store’s revenue.
You might not think about it the same way, but marketing your brand online is really no different. Every marketer and salesperson loves talking about their products and features, but if you have the same conversation with everyone — regardless of what their needs are — then your content strategy is inefficient at best, and can even be destructive to potential customer relationships. Instead, understanding the needs and problems of your target audience, and targeting your message to address those pain points specifically can make all the difference in the world.
That means being aware of what problems your target audience is actually facing, and speaking to those problems. That means building trust by showing that you’re attuned to your audience’s pain points. That means reaching out to influential members of that community, including ones that have successfully addressed those needs and those yet to do so. That means creating case studies and sharing customer testimonials, because there’s no better demonstration of an effective solution than plucking one straight from the real world.
Once you’ve identified your audience, you can craft the story of your company. Everyone has challenges they’re facing, and if you can identify the major ones faced by the potential customers you’re targeting, you can share their stories. You can connect with them socially, you can build relationships with them, and you can use their influence to draw attention to your own brand. Not every influencer needs to be a customer, either; sometimes building trust, establishing expertise, or simply showing that you understand the needs of your audience can have tremendous value. Every audience is different, and you need to make sure that you’re crafting your story to effectively engage with yours.
And engagement means content. As far as where that content comes from, this means both creating original content and sharing third-party content that supports all of these steps. As long as the content is high-quality and engaging, you’re doing what you need to establish trust, leadership, and to position your brand as the solution to your audience. Because you don’t win customers by promising your audience what you can do, you win them by showing who you are. So show them the entire story, and let the needs of your audience be your guide.