Committing to developing dynamic content is just one facet of a content strategy that supports your business goals. Customers are inundated with information at every turn, making grabbing and retaining their attention a hard win.
Top leaders know they have to find the intersection between company goals and customer needs. Blend the two together within a comprehensive, thoughtful content strategy, and you stand to boost your metrics and bottom line.
Establishing an online presence is essential, giving your organization an opportunity to speak using its own voice. Doing so can increase trust with customers and protect your brand image in the event of a public-facing issue. That’s why most top organizations maintain a company blog or post thought leadership articles on external sites. But do you know whether those pieces are moving your goals forward?
Publishing content without an aim in mind can quickly derail your content efforts. Forget about content for a moment and, instead, focus on primary goals. Are you looking to generate leads, convert sales, cement customer loyalty, or something else? Each goal will require different kinds of content at different stages of the marketing funnel.
Once you’ve identified your objectives, then determine how your content strategy can support them. Establish quantifiable and qualitative benchmarks on your existing performance and set goals and timelines for measurement and reporting new campaigns.
Selling to everyone will likely lead to selling to no one, so it’s essential to narrow down your target audience. Create customer personas to guide your content efforts, working with your data team to better understand your audience members.
Top marketers often name their personas to further flesh out their customer profiles, making content generation personal. Identify customer needs, desires, and pain points to knit together content that provides a helpful solution at every turn.
Include persona training across your organization to focus the entire team on customer experience. Ideally, your call center, sales associates, and content teams all speak the same language to your customers. Ensure that your content is also digested internally, so team members can respond to customer inquiries led by content.
It’d be great to assume that everyone is clamoring to hear what you have to say. But reality tells us that customers have limited bandwidth when it comes to content, and for good reason. Increased screen time, now up to nearly eight hours a day for the average American, can lead to information overload. Pair that with the constant pressure of messaging on both work and personal accounts, and it’s a recipe for exhaustion.
Identify where your ideal message recipients are and determine how to earn their attention in that space. On social media, some accounts skew more personal, like Instagram, where users want to see more people they know. Others, like TikTok, allow more leeway for brand content, as discovery is a pillar of the platform.
For business content, focusing on professional sites, platforms, and even traditional email may be more effective. Review your data, industry trends, and customer feedback to find your sweet spot.
Knit Content Into Customer Experience Organically
Coming out of left field with new offers and expertise may lead to raised brows and customer confusion. Instead of seeing a campaign as a blitzkrieg, focus on meeting customers where they are and developing your relationship over time.
If you have an existing email marketing campaign running, segment your list as you launch content campaigns. Use social data to your advantage as you retarget specific individuals and organizations on other channels to reinforce your message.
Work with your sales team to review sales lead data and determine how potential customer needs can drive content. For example, a new product enhancement may ease customer pain that’s been reported on recent surveys. Market this solution to existing customers, and when they successfully use the solution, craft content around their experience. You’ll delight the customer, garner social proof of your product value, and generate a valuable new case study. Use your success story to propel related content across the web, linking back to your product solution.
Use Storytelling to Convey Your Message
Data is essential, but humans respond best to stories. From the dawn of history, people have huddled around fires to tell the stories of the day’s victory or defeat. While much has changed in modern life, people are still drawn to the human experience and individual stories.
In both business and life, people are wary of brands that oversell, becoming skeptical of outrageous promises. Brands can overcome this hesitancy by developing stories that support business objectives.
Develop content that offers helpful solutions or ideas on relevant issues. Bring in the human element, highlighting case study data in a natural way. For example, a financial institution may share the story of a couple building their credit in preparation to buy a house. The solution may be a credit-building product, but the story gives life to the journey toward hearth and home.
Cranking out content can feel satisfying, but the term to become obsessed with is RPIE. A principle of strategic communications, the four-step communication process entails research, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The acronym should serve as a commandment to your content team, prompting them to focus on each pillar in their process.
Seek to understand the results of your efforts, adjusting what you learn before you pull the trigger on new content. Leverage what you know and the results you earn to become smarter each time you generate new pieces. Review your data regularly, and track it against both industry trends and your own performance.
A dynamic dashboard that aggregates performance metrics, social reach, and sales success is an ideal way to convey this information to organizational leaders. It will elevate the importance that strategic content has for your business. It can also identify new content opportunities, leading to bigger wins and happier customers.