Unfortunately, marketers continue to waste time and resources creating and executing content campaigns that simply don’t work. As a result, a substantial amount of content that is created is wasted.
A first step is to define the questions your customers are asking, the topics they are interested in and the formats they want, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). It makes sense that the more you know about your target audience, the more effective you will be at developing relevant content that resonates with them. Research and collect as much information as possible, such as online and offline behaviors, to determine their interests and how they act on them. The CMI suggests utilizing this data to pinpoint common characteristics and habits specific to your audience segment(s), then prioritizing your content development accordingly.
Become a “content sleuth.” The CMI notes that digital marketing customers leave behind a data trail from their online journey that can be pieced together to determine:
- Who is engaging with your content and why?
- What content is receiving the most engagement in your topic area or industry?
- What content formats are working best across which networks?
Also, understand what your key competitors are doing. Based on what information you uncover, you can determine if there are subject areas or topics that have been over-played, as well as if there are specific areas that can help you rise above the clutter. According to Gartner, information and insights are becoming competitive assets that drive business advantage, even with content strategies.
With the data you’ve collected at hand, develop content that will drive your audience(s) to action. Michael Brenner, CEO of the Marketing Insider Group and co-author of “The Content Formula,” notes that “considered purchases require lots of education. This is content that buyers are looking for every day, and every business has the knowledge to provide it.”
You’ll then need to distribute your content in the most high-impact and efficient way possible for your business. Define where potential buyers are reading and sharing content and target those areas. Remember that, even though a piece of content may be extremely relevant to your target audience, you are wasting your time if they don’t see it.
Mainstream platforms are extremely important distribution channels, such as email, search and the “big three” of social media: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Also, the CMI suggests identifying creative distribution channels that extend beyond owned channels, such as partnering with influencers whom your audience trusts, leveraging advocates inside and outside your organization, and considering remarketing techniques that can guide customers to relevant content at a time when they would be most receptive to it.
Lastly, make sure to put in place ways to evaluate how well your content is performing to prove the value of your investment.
By leveraging the wealth of data at your disposal, you can create successful marketing campaigns that resonate with customers and prospects, are highly visible to the right targets and demonstrate a healthy ROI.