Understanding Your Audience: The Key to Effective Content Marketing

It is said that Content is King. At least in the world of Digital Marketing or the online world of brands, this saying is the bottom line. Marketers are often found generating content which is lackadaisical and such haphazard messages fail to connect with customers. Content connects the brand to customers. If the content connects then the brand automatically connects. It is a continuous process and the brand should churn out great content on a regular basis and market the same effectively to remain connected and stay ahead in the race. Let us have a look at some of the key steps to understand the audience of the brand. Content is the bridge through which the brand reaches the customer and hence this bridge needs to be strong, durable and long-lasting.

Target Customers and Market Research: A clear identification of target customers and comprehensive research on their behaviour patterns have to precede content generation. Creating content without these prerequisites would be akin to shooting in the dark. Identifying and profiling target customers would help in arriving at the right words, proper tone and perfect style to be used in the content. Market research through surveys and interviews helps brands to get a deeper insight into the core group behaviour and understand their preferences, motivations and challenges. Google and social media analytics provide great insights into the online behaviour of these groups.  This in turn provides valuable input in creating suitable content. A sharp observation of the behaviour of the core group helps in generating perfect content and a hawkish eye on changes that may take place in the behaviour pattern of the core group keeps the brand ready to modify the content to suit these changes, if any.

Quality: In this time of technological revolution and many options, brands that provide quality content will prevail. It is very important to get the content right in as less words as possible. Quality content, which is crisp and sticks to the core values of the brand, has a greater chance of getting registered in the minds of target customers. Tracking the performance of the content through analytics such as engagement rates, click-through rates and conversions provides valuable data that helps in improving the quality of the content if required. Creating sharp content that stays within the ambit of the characteristics of the brand is a challenging task. But it has to be mastered because the shorter the content, the larger will be the impact.

Listen to Customers & Monitor Competitors: Customers and competitors play an integral part in formulating the content strategy for a brand. What the customers chatter on social media, blogs, hashtags, individual posts, etc., all need to be carefully listened to, to get a gist of their perception about the brand. Replying to all these posts and comments would amount to involvement which pleases the customers.  This helps in gathering feedback and provides crucial information regarding the impact of the brand on target customers. If the feedback is not on the expected lines, then it is time to improve the content strategy. Monitoring competitors helps in channelising all efforts in a gap they must have left open inadvertently. A careful and exhaustive evaluation of their content, strategy and engagement would provide information on an area where there is an opportunity for the brand to excel. It is important to keep your customers on the one hand and the competitors on the other, both are important.

Timing: Content marketing is the art of attracting customers towards the brand and making them remain loyal by giving trusted information. It is important to know when to give information and when not to. However good the content may be, too much would make the customers disinterested and the brand may lose value. It is important to have a reasonable interval between posting content and at the same time, it is also important not to let go of any opportunity to put out fantastic content if the situation demands. Quality should score over quantity.

Surprises: Who does not like surprises? Surprise the followers of the brand by occasionally conducting competitions, distributing exciting prizes and having guests write their thoughts about the brand. Competitions could be a quiz about the brand, writing about the customer association with the brand, penning a song for the brand, providing attractive slogans or captions and so on. Such content creates a buzz about the brand, creates an aura around it and keeps it in good stead.

The content builds a perception about the brand and this perception then fuels the brand into customers mind and life. That is why it is imperative that great care is taken while formulating and finalising the content associated with the brand. Content has the ability to make or break a brand. Keeping it simple, straightforward and brand-centric would deliver results.

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