Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Content Strategy
Marketing content is definitely not one size fits all. Each type of customer represents a different audience with unique interests. For example, an engineer is looking for different information than a CEO, and a CEO may not be interested in the same content as a buyer.An effective content strategy addresses the precise needs of each of your business audiences with customized information. Read on for a complete guide to creating content for your specific audiences.
- Define your target audiences
First things first. Who are you trying to reach? Decide the types of customers your business wants to target—most companies have multiple target audiences. Your content strategy should factor in the needs of each of these audiences. Your ability to define exactly who your audiences are enables you to maximize the effectiveness of your content and make the best use of your budget.
- Develop buyer personas
A buyer persona is a detailed, fictional description of your target customer. Companies typically define several basic personas depending on the markets they serve. In addition to demographic information, buyer personas include behavioral tendencies and interests. Understanding who your customers are and what they want allows you to develop customized messaging. This targeted content is the key to attracting the attention of the right audience and, ultimately, generate more high-quality leads. Not sure how to create buyer personas? Read our blog post on this topic for a complete guide.
- Understand challenges and offer solutions
Now that you have a clearer understanding of your target customers, it is time to understand what they need. What challenges do they face? What are their pain points? When you understand the problems of your audience, you can develop content that educates them on how your product or service can solve that issue. This also creates an opportunity to differentiate your company from your competitors, informing your prospects and customers on what makes your solution better. Promote your brand message in your content to demonstrate why your company is unique, and why your product or service is worth buying.
- Choose the right content format and channels
Different audiences consume content across different formats and channels, so make sure you are using the most effective approach. For example, podcasts have grown in popularity, but if your target audience doesn’t listen to them, don’t waste your time and money. Instead, ensure you are reaching your specific audiences with the options they prefer. Refer to your buyer personas for that valuable information when deciding the format of your content and the channels you will use to publish.
Content Creation for Specific Company Roles – Three Examples
Let’s examine the unique needs of three separate audiences, and how to apply the content creation principles discussed above.
Creating content for a technical buyer
Technical buyers have very specific needs and the content you create must address them. While the buyer persona for this audience will provide you with comprehensive guidance, here are some of the key elements to consider when targeting this type of customer. For a detailed guide on how to market your business to technical buyers, read our blog.
- Website usability
Online information sources, such as supplier and vendor websites, are favored by engineers when they are considering the purchase of a work-related product or service. Make sure your site’s usability is up to speed.
- Technical credibility
Engineers are annoyed by sales teams that lack technical expertise. Ensure your marketing and sales departments are in sync with consistent messaging and valuable content that demonstrates technical credibility throughout the sales process.
- Content preferences
Engineers have reported that data sheets, CAD drawings, and product demo videos are the most useful content for making a purchasing decision. Research also shows a high percentage of engineers are willing to complete an online form to receive technical material, so consider providing gated content as a method to gather information from online visitors so you can collect leads through your website.
Creating content for a CEO
Another important target audience is C-level executives. If you are creating content to reach a CEO, make sure to refer to the buyer persona for a helpful framework of their preferences. Here are some additional insights.
- Offer valuable information
To capture the attention of a busy CEO, your content should be worth reading. Do you have a unique point of view? Are you presenting original content in an interesting and compelling way? Your content needs to be something they are willing to invest their limited time in reviewing.
- Focus on board-level issues
Your content should address the business concerns and priorities of the C-level. For example, providing information about the latest innovation or how to make the best use of technology may secure their interest. In general, content that focuses on the benefits to the CEO, such as insights on growth opportunities, how their company can be more profitable, or ways to help them be more effective, can be seen as worthwhile.
- Be concise and engaging
Ensure your content is expressed in a direct, efficient way. Your content should also speak their language. Research their key marketing messages and social media posts for insights into how to develop content that will be both engaging and appropriate.
- CEO content format
Your buyer persona for this audience will offer guidance, but research has shown executives prefer to consume content via webinars, eBooks, guides, and white papers.
Creating content for a purchasing manager
Purchasing managers are experts at researching and gathering information to make buying decisions. Credibility is key, and content should be developed with the buyer’s journey in mind.
- Provide credible, educational information
Purchasing managers will be searching your website for practical, relevant information on your products and services. Besides making sure your website is up to date, ensure your brand is presented consistently in all your channels.
- Make your information easily sharable
Purchasing managers rarely make a buying decision by themselves. Buyers may need to discuss the information they gather with members of their management team. Offer content that can be easily emailed or shared through conversations or collaborative documents.
- Support the three stages of the buyer’s journey
Develop content that addresses each of the three stages of the buyer’s journey. During the awareness stage, the buyer is searching for information to solve a potential problem. Your content should educate the buyer and help them understand their problem. This is where effective search engine optimization can help buyers notice your company’s website. Potential buyers in the consideration stage understand their problem and are researching solutions. Content that encourages buyers to consider to your product or service is useful at this stage, including FAQs, brochures, or videos that explain or demonstrate how your product or services can solve the problem. When the buyer has reached the decision stage, they understand what they want for a solution, and are looking for the one that best fits their needs. For this stage, your content should persuade buyers to purchase your solution versus a competitor’s. Case studies or success stories, tutorials, and product documentation are examples of content that will provide clear evidence of how your product or service has helped others with a similar problem and is, therefore, the best choice.
The Value of a Target-Specific Content Creation Strategy
The purpose of your content creation strategy is to generate quality leads. The effort you put in to defining your target audiences, developing buyer personas, and creating customized content that positions your company as a source of credible solutions to specific types of customers will maximize the effectiveness of that strategy.
Grant Marketing is ready to work with you to develop a specialized, effective marketing approach for each of your defined audiences. Give us a call at (617) 861-7412 today, or contact us to set up a time to talk!