One of the key ingredients of healthy branding is creating thought-provoking content tailored to your exact audience. Great content can make your brand stand out and help to establish meaningful relationships that lead to conversions and loyalty.
However, pinpointing your niche with marketing content is not always easy, especially if you are a newer company or your team has never really defined the segments that make up your audience. Many marketing teams make the mistake of casting a wide net with their content in hopes that it resonates with someone, anyone. But, this type of “far-and-wide” marketing can actually do more harm than good.
According to a report published by Lucid Press, businesses that fail to establish a clear brand voice with their marketing and content strategies tend to damage their credibility and overall reputation. This can cause customers to become confused about the company’s core mission, and can also hurt revenue and conversion rates in the long run.
Getting your content right the first time means that your team will need to narrow down its scope in order for it to actually resonate with your targeted consumers. Let’s discuss some simple but smart strategies to help create more focused and effective branding through more targeted content.
#1. Learn How to Listen
When you’re trying to get to know someone, you tend to ask them lots of questions. You may ask about their hobbies and interests or their background and favorite things. And if you really care about that person, you listen intently to their answers to understand them better. The same goes for defining your business’s audience. The best way to understand the content that will be most influential to audiences is by listening to what they want, what their issues are, and the questions they have.
There are several ways to go about this. You can conduct a marketing research strategy and ask customers straight up about the content topics they would like to see from your brand through polls, email questionnaires, or face-to-face surveys. However, this can be costly and time-consuming, and perhaps not even possible for newer brands with limited reach and budgets. When this is the case, forums like Quora and Reddit are great places to get a general idea of the topics that are trending in the industry and gain some inspiration.
Another easy way to listen to what people are saying is by looking for clues and patterns within customer reviews. Believe it or not, the dreaded negative reviews can actually be extremely helpful here. Often times, they paint a brutally honest picture of the biggest pain points that customers are having or an issue that they are trying to solve with your product.
For instance, some of Trustpilot’s blog pieces are drawn from the overall feedback from their customer reviews. While most consumers had good things to say about the business, one of the overarching issues that many customers had was getting the program set up and properly utilizing many of the features that the tool has to offer. So, the content marketing team over at Trustpilot used this information to create helpful articles that spelled out exactly how to set up the system with easy step-by-step instructions, along with content focused on the additional features.
#2. Whittle Down Your Buyer Personas
If your content is designed to cover a majority of consumers, it is not going to be as effective as highly targeted content. Appealing to the masses is not really the best approach in content marketing, so don’t be afraid to create a piece that is only going to appeal to one niche group – even if that segment is a minority within your audience.
Focus on creating specific buyer personas based on behavioral insights. Social media analytical data is a great resource for this, and most platforms offer their own reports to help your team recognize its current audience reach. This information can help your team to better understand who the brand is currently appealing to and even identify some smaller niches within the group.
Once enough audience research has been gathered, it is important that your marketing team turns these data points into easily definable buyer personas. This will help you get a grip on the type of personalities that make up your brand’s audience. Don’t be afraid to get extremely specific here, either. Just make sure that each segment is clearly defined, unique, and relatable, then start to create content that will match up to each persona’s preferences and interests.
#3. Focus on Funnel-Based Steps
The buyer’s journey can be broken down into several key steps: Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Purchase, Post-Purchase, and Re-Purchase. Customers going through these stages will be searching for content that helps them make the decision to move to the next phase, so be sure that your site’s content library is full of the information they are looking for during each of these steps.
The ultimate goal of creating a brand identity through great content is to encourage more conversions and sales. Make sure that you are creating content for each and every step of the buyer’s journey, including the fall-off and re-engagement points for a truly successful strategy.
The mattress company Casper does an excellent job of this in their company blog. For customers in the initial phases, there are articles explaining what makes Casper different from the rest by focusing on key reasons why customers should purchase a mattress online, rather than following the traditional route. There are also pieces designed for customers in the consideration phase that revolve around scientific research on sleep and mattress design. Further, in case a customer starts to lose interest and head towards the exit sign, a re-engagement pop-up appears with a special discount offer to stop them from falling off.
When it comes to content marketing, it helps to think small. Narrowing your focus and designing your content to speak to specific niches will help your audience to understand your company better, which is the essence of branding.
Make sure that you are taking the time to get to know your audience and don’t be afraid to create pieces that are designed to target particular segments. By doing so, you will open up the opportunity for meaningful connections with customers and ongoing brand loyalty.
About the Author!
Taral is a digital marketer specializing in content marketing. He works at E2M Solutions Inc as a content strategist and helps brands in building a prominent online presence through his advanced content marketing techniques. You can read his post How did a Blog Post Earn 10K Organic Traffic in 3 Months Without Promotion which explains some of his techniques for building organic traffic on your website.