I just deleted yet another sales email from my inbox following a format I see multiple times a day. Despite being from companies that span widely different industries, their email campaign messages all read the same – and all get immediately deleted by the time I’ve scanned a few words.
They’re telling me what they want me to want to buy.
Now, I know you might be thinking you’ve heard this lecture before. But this isn’t another “content is king” speech – we’ve accepted his rule and bow down before him. We know relevant, educational marketing content is far more likely to engage consumers than a typical hard sales pitch.
The problem is that many companies are still delivering content that they want or think to be relevant to consumers, instead of what actually is.
Ask yourself these three questions to know if your content is truly in line with your audience – or if revaluation is needed.
1. Do you have a clear definition of your customer base?
Is your content strategy driven by clearly identified buying personas for your target audience?
You should have details on consumers’ wants and needs, their concerns, their buying behaviors and their demographic influences to drive your content approach.
While you can begin creating buyer personas with internal data – by reviewing past sales and discussing from-the-field insight with your sales team – the best way to ensure you’re not making assumptions is to ask them directly. Hubspot suggests creating an online survey or conduct a series of interviews with both prospects and existing clients.
For tips on what questions to ask, as well as how to format and utilize a polished buyer persona, download Hubspot’s handy free buyer persona template.
2. Is your topic based on the answer they need – or the question you want to ask?
Once you have established buyer personas for your target audience, you can determine how your product or services tie in to solve a problem or provide a benefit.
However make sure that you’re evaluating persona data to determine relevant pain points and consumer questions to drive the question your content will answer – rather than pulling pieces of data to fit the question you want to answer.
For example, imagine you sell a software solution that can help your consumer complete a task faster – and you know that time management is critical to their business. You can push an article on “5 ways my product can get the job done faster” listing key features of your solution, or you can push “5 ways to get your job done faster” where your solution ties in to one of many helpful tips.
The first topic may incorporate client-centric data from your profiles, but ultimately, it’s still focusing on you and your product – what you want to push. The second topic, however, is focused completely on the customer. You’re providing time management tips they can utilize beyond just your product.
The latter is more effective as it fosters trust with your consumer, that you’re invested in their success beyond just pushing your agenda. That trust is key to generating significant customer engagement with your brand.
3. Are you pushing your message to the right platforms?
Generating a great piece of customer-centric content on your blog isn’t enough, however. You need to tell consumers that it’s there – in a way that’s customer-centric, as well.
Determine several platforms your audience uses the most – social media, email, newsletters, etc. – and focus your resources there. These will have the highest chances of engagement, and thus highest returns on your investment.
Not sure which tools are right for your message? Check out Curata’s comprehensive content marketing tools map.
If you think you’re in control of your content, then you need to reevaluate your content strategy to ensure it’s truly “customer-centric” – from inception to delivery.
Still have questions on how to craft better content to engage consumers, or additional tips to share? Let me know in a comment below or shoot me an email!