In today’s competitive marketplace, content marketing is not about telling people all about your business, products, or services. Instead, it is all about using high-quality, meaningful content to:
- Offer relevant information that educates your prospects and customers
- Deliver a valuable experience that connects with people and builds trust
- Drive forward movement through the buyer journey
- Empower customer decisions that will ultimately benefit your business
To optimize these efforts, a content marketing writer needs to understand who the content should speak to and why. So, before sitting down to begin the creative process, your writer needs the answers to the following questions.
Who is your target audience?
Whether your content marketing writer is creating web pages, blogs, white papers, or other assets, understanding who you want to read the content is critical to crafting the right message.
Begin by providing as many basic details as possible about your target audience, to help your writer make sure the content speaks to the audience and their needs. These details might include:
- Job title or area of responsibility
- Industry or business type
- Number of employees
- Geographic location
- Products the target currently buys
- Individual demographics such as age, sex, and education level
It is important to remember that there may be many subsets of customers within your base, each having different needs and goals. This is yet another reason to be as specific as possible when identifying the target audience for a specific content asset.
And whenever possible, help your content marketing writer explore beyond basic demographic data to gain a deeper understanding of your audience.
How can I learn more about your target audience?
Don’t forget to look to your sales, advertising, or marketing team for valuable information about your current customer base. Then pass along to your content marketing writer any information that is pertinent to understanding the prospects you want to reach.
Armed with demographic and sales data as a starting point, your content marketing writer can engage in some research to gather additional insights. You and your team might have some resources you can recommend to aid in the search.
Here at HELLO Marketing, we help clients gain a better understanding of their current customers and ideal prospect through buyer persona development ─ using a proven method to uncover how and why customers make buying decisions.
Buyer personas can help you and your marketing content writer get into the mindset of your customers. In turn, this can help your writer go into the creative process with a more detailed and nuanced “picture” of who your target audience is.
(Want to learn more? Here’s a Content Marketing Institute article on personas vs. stereotypes.)
What problem is your target audience trying to solve?
For your content to resonate with your target audience, that content must:
- Speak to a real-world problem the audience is facing
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of their pain points
- Provide useful information that will help solve the problem
- Talk in terms of the big picture ─ not just the aspect of the problem your product or service will solve
Brainstorming with your content marketing writer and drawing on what you know about your customers, make a list of the different challenges your prospects are facing. Where are they feeling overwhelmed? What issues stand in the way of solving the problem? What do they need to feel comfortable making a purchasing decision?
Naturally, you also want to make sure your marketing content writer understands how your product or service meets the prospective customer’s needs.
With a firm grasp of the target audience’s challenges and how to address them, a writer is on the way to crafting content that will not just inform your audience, but also build trust in your business as a resource and a problem solver.
What does your target audience really care about?
To create content that the target audience wants to consume, it will help the marketing content writer to know what your audience truly values. Again, this is where knowledge of your existing customer base can help you share with your writer some of audience motivations that might not be obvious on the surface.
For example, one of your customers might have told you that improving employee productivity was their top priority. However, as you worked with the customer, you learned that improving work-life balance was the underlying motivator.
In addition, prospects will have different priorities depending on where they are in the buyer journey ─ that is, whether they are in the awareness, consideration, decision, or delight stage. Understanding what prospects want and what they need to know as they move through that process is vital to creating content for the different stages of the buyer journey.
(That includes providing post-purchase content for existing customers, to keep them happy and doing business with you for the long term!)
Sharing all this information will help your content marketing writer help YOU serve up the right content at the right time for your target audience.
What is your goal for this piece of content?
Your content also needs to have a clear purpose that ties in with both your overall content strategy and your target audience’s needs. So, understanding what you want to accomplish is crucial to the content marketing writer’s task.
Is the goal to:
- Drive traffic to your website?
- Position your business as a subject matter expert?
- Increase shares on social media?
- Get new newsletter subscribers?
- Build an audience for educational offerings such as webinars or podcasts?
Knowing what your purpose is, along with who your prospects are and what problem they want to solve, will help your writer create content that meets your goal while addressing the needs of your target audience.
Contact HELLO Marketing for a free 20-minute consultation that will help get you on the right path to understanding your audience and crafting effective content that brings results. Call Lauren at 973.214.5942 or email her at [email protected]