Despite continued reports of its death, content marketing is alive and well and remains one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience. Types and modes of delivery continue to evolve, spurred on by changes in the way consumers engage with brands, but the concept remains the same. Researching your audience, identifying an ideal market and delivering the content they want when they need it influences purchase decisions and builds brand loyalty.
To target your content to the consumers with the most interest in your products and services, consider these best practices as you plan your online marketing strategy.
Becoming an Influencer to Build Trust
Producing quality content in the formats your ideal customers engage with most helps differentiate your business from others in the industry. Investigate your closest competitors to discover how they’re reaching consumers, and compare your findings with the behaviors of your own audience. Is there an information gap your content can fill to draw more people to your company?
Seeking to provide information customers can’t get anywhere else makes your business stand out as a thought leader and an industry influencer. Customers want compelling content without an overwhelming sales message, and when you provide unique resources, they consider your brand helpful and are more likely to engage in the future.
Marketing Throughout the Sales Funnel
Once you have the attention of consumers, your brand must continue to deliver content pertinent to their changing needs. Consumers doing general research for a product or service will want basic information, but if they already know what they’re going to buy, it’s important to show why your company is the best source. Informative blog posts, articles and videos can demonstrate how your products fill needs or fix problems, thereby influencing buying decisions.
If a customer leaves your site without making a purchase, tactics such as retargeting and abandoned cart emails bring products or content from your site back to their attention and help them remember why they chose your company in the first place.
It’s All About Location
Fifty percent of B2B marketers cited better targeting of content as a contributing factor to increased success in 2016. Looking at where most of your website traffic and social media engagement originates helps you create content suited for the most active audience segments. An audience made up of mostly U.S. consumers will react to a different tone and set of cultural norms than one predominantly from Asian countries. To drive the most engagement, your content needs to be relevant to the dominating cultural influences in your target market.
Harnessing the Power of Social Ads
With social giants like Facebook changing the way promoted content is displayed in news feeds, social ads are becoming more important for online marketing. Ads can be targeted to display to consumers living in certain areas or with particular interests, making it possible to segment your social following into small, unique groups. However, most consumers ignore or block “hard sell” ad messages, so designing your promotions to prompt engagement rather than purchases may be more beneficial to your business.
Monitoring Changing Segments
Content marketing channels and tactics change because consumer behaviors change. The audience you cater to today will likely be consuming content differently next year, next month or even next week. The age bracket for which your products and services are most appropriate may also shift. Use website analytics, purchase histories and social conversations to determine how to restructure marketing strategies over time.
Diversify Content for Increased Engagement
Live streaming video is set to be the “next big thing” when it comes to content, but audiences still respond to established content types like articles, e-books and videos. Do what works best to deliver content to your target audience. Experiment with a combination of content types to keep them interested, and stick with what receives the most positive feedback.
Successful content marketing hinges on presenting relevant information at the right time, balancing useful content with advertising and building trust between consumers and your brand. Combine these strategies with targeting methods based on analytics and market research to get the most out of every campaign and build beneficial long-term relationships with customers.