5 minutes required reading time
By Luke Sharkey – Growth Marketing Manager
It starts with a blank page.
While all the above questions have merit, the answer differs drastically from business to business. And while all of these questions require strategy to solve each mystery, before we discuss strategy we must instil one clear point…
1. What is the point?
Three things to remember:
But don’t worry, we can help you to reach your audience by our social media marketing service.
2. Sharing is Caring
Having defined the intent of content, it’s now important to see what makes content successful.
In our opinion the success of content is based on the concept of shared meaning.
What is shared meaning you ask?
There’s a strong chance you have a friend that just gets you. They’ll tell you a story you completely understand it and you can do the same. Somehow through your very separate and distinctive lives you have developed similar interpretations of certain things. Finding this oasis between customer and company is the aim of all marketing. And it is central to quality content.
3. Buyer Personas
As an exercise draw yourself a target with three rings. In the very bullseye, I want you to answer the most important question. What does your customer experience from your product or service? Not what it does. Not what it is. What is gives. What it provides.
What does your customer experience from the product or service?
If you sell toasters don’t say burnt bread.
Nor should the answer be some deep soul-searching anthology about the tactile feeling of depressing wholegrain bread between a fast-heating spring loaded mechanism.
No, if you sell toasters, a good answer could be:
“breakfast in a hurry for the busy working woman”
Here you’ve identified a demographic, a subjective experience and a core value for your customer.
Now to the middle ring. Conceptualise your audience. Not in broad strokes. Conceptualise a person. Female. Early thirties. Single. Time poor. Strong work ethic. Keep defining the character and personality traits until you feel you know them. You’re meeting them: your buyer persona. You should probably give her a name. For the sake of this example our buyer persona is named Sally.
With all of the information you have put into the inner and middle circles come to the outer ring. What does Sally engage with? She’s time poor, so she probably doesn’t engage with written media on a computer. A smart phone seems more likely. Think about her Social Media habits. And what articles she would read and where she would find them. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty and consider her job, hobbies and income, you may even deduce the times in which she is online, her needs and hesitations. Get to know her, walk a little in her shoes.
Just kidding there’s a small bit left to do first.
4. Competitor Research
Some people like to do the competitor research before the buyer personas, which is fine. But it can lead to imitation over innovation. Whichever way you go about your process, the key is to do comprehensive competitor research. Look at the types of content being created and see how it is presented.
Look at advertising, Search Engine Optimization and website content and determine who bring a strong game, and who brings a weak one. It is good to use programs like Moz, Screaming Frog and Buzzsumo in this stage to find out the strategies of your competitors.
To be clear the intention here is to develop strategy, not to plagiarise. As the saying goes, to steal from one source is plagiarism, to steal from multiple, research! Look at how your competitors target their demographics. Is it through native or programmatic advertising? Do they wield a heavy social media presence? Or bring with them some clever Keywords initiatives.
Now start to integrate this into your buyer persona. If you’re going to write website content, always come back to the core of your buyer persona. That burning answer. “Breakfast in a hurry for the busy working woman”. Build a website for that person and you’re chances of striking shared meaning have increased. Utilise what you like of competitor strategy and you’ve increased those chances again.
One last consideration before Content Creation…
5. Content Continually
Many people see the mere creation of content as successful content and that is understandable. Content is hard to create. It takes time to make, and even more time to make well.