As we shift towards a new paradigm in the marketing world — using content that works in your favor to drive sales — it’s important that writers understand several factors in order to create relevant content for their audience. Over the next few months, we’ll dive into a few features of your content marketing campaign that will set you up for success. First up: why knowing your audience is the key to brainstorming topic lists and planning your content.
1. Know their struggles
Pain, struggles, problems — every business has something they are hoping to solve. Whether it’s getting in front of their key audience or demographic where that group consumes content, selling a new product or overcoming an obstacle, it’s important for sales and marketing pros to understand these struggles so that we can show how our efforts can complement theirs. Knowing their struggles opens up a limitless cache of topics that you can use to show off your thought leadership chops, offer novel solutions and set up your team as the one that has the answers.
2. Learn their joys
Another source of content fodder are your customer’s celebrations. Whether it’s coming up with a game-changing or innovative product, learning something new that applies to what they do or gaining new team members, these joys can also lend topics to your ever-growing content marketing list.
If you are struggling to find out what your customers’ pains and celebrations are, chat with your sales team or consider surveying your audience. You could do a series of polls on social media or an email marketing campaign to drive survey results. Another option is to add a question or two to the sales process to ascertain these details.
3. Define your voice
As a team, sit down and discuss what you want your overall content marketing voice to be. Do you prefer to keep it formal? Or would you rather write like you’re talking to a friend? Ensuring that all of your messaging lines up is important for the cohesion of the campaign. We’ll also talk about this more in next month’s blog post.
4. Make a plan
Just like with any other marketing campaign, planning is one of the most crucial steps in ensuring success. Plan as far in advance as possible, allowing some flexibility in case of major market changes. Figure out who your key team members are, what any visuals will look like, choose hashtags and schedule initiatives before you even get started. As with any plan, make sure the workload fits into the existing general marketing campaigns so that you won’t need to stop prematurely due to a time crunch. Define the amount of time for a trial, if you plan to do one, and be sure to give it a solid amount of time since content marketing is a long-haul strategy rather than something used for short-term campaigns in many cases.
5. Keep it evergreen
“Evergreen” content doesn’t lose relevance, just like evergreen trees stay green and retain their needles year-round. Stick to topics that either are an issue every year or all year. If you write about news, your content will only work for you for a short period of time. In other words, leave the news to publications that focus on news, and instead write about struggles that don’t go away and celebrate victories that will be important for years to come. Within this framework, there is space to also include some non-evergreen content, as long as it’s in the minority.
Next up: Tone is everything! Check back next month to learn more about the various styles and tones that content marketers prefer.
About the author
Jess Schmidt brings a creative writing degree and over a decade of professional writing experience to the team. As a career marketer with a background in the design world, she works with clients to make their brand stories stand out. Her specialties are thought leadership, compelling descriptive language, technical details and marketing strategy. She writes content for all of the publications under the Great American Media Services umbrella and manages advertiser-driven projects. She’s also the in-house SEO and SEM guru. Learn more about our team here: smartsolutions.media/contact-us.