Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How to WRITE RELEVANT CONTENT for your Target Audience.

Today's lunch blog post is simply about content. Content is one, if not the most, important piece of your website, social media campaign, marketing, newsletters, and webinars. Who wants to read a book that is irrelevant? No one, and ALL best sellers become what they are by being relevant and interesting. So who is your consumer? Do you know them? How?

Your consumer

You can figure out the persona's of your consumer in many different ways. Do you have a store, maybe not if you are an online based company, but if you did you would recognize certain traits that make up your average customer. What if you are only online based, then what? You could take a poll, but most people don't like to waste there time so you may not get an accurate calculation of who they are. Another option would be starting a social media campaign. In social media you can connect with a broad audience, get a lot of additional information about your consumer, connect to new clients, and start a larger conversation about your company.

"Think Like a Publisher"

I was recently reading, "The NEW RULES of MARKETING and PR" by David Meerman Scott, and in the third chapter he discusses content (most of the book is dedicated to social media campaigns). The following reference is from the section titled, "Think Like a Publisher."

  • "The new publishing model on the Web is not about hype and spin and messages. It is about delivering contetn when and where it is needed and, in the process, branding you or your organization as a leader. When you understand your audience, those people who will become your buyers (or those who will join, donate, subscribe, apply, volunteer, or vote), you can craft an editorial and content strategy just for them. What works is a focus on your buyers and their problems. What fails is an egocentric display of your products and services.

    In order to implement a successful strategy, think like a publisher. Marketers at the organizations successfully using the new rules recognize the fact that they are now purveyors of information, and they manage contetn as a valuable asset with the same care that a publishing company does. One of the most important things that publishers do is start with a content strategy and THEN focus on the mechanics and design of delivering that content. Publishers carefully identify and define target audiences and consider what content is required in order to meet their needs. Publishers consider all of the following questions: Who are my readers? How do I reach them? What are their motivations? What are the problems I can help them solve? How can I entertain them and inform them at the same time? What content will compel them to purchase what I have to offer?

All great points when introducing your consumer to your company story.
  • Who is your consumer (again read the section on personas if you don't already know)
    • Example: Bike Race. Consumer: Pro bikers, everyday bikers, people who like to stay fit.
  • Why are they your consumer? (or not if some competitor is getting all the consumers)
    • Example:
      • Pro racers: They like to race, you have the best race, pretty atmosphere. They want racing tips. Pro racers talk about experiences. Doctors write on health tips for bikers.
      • Everyday bikers: They read the blog to get tips on how to ride properly, and stay healthy. Although they may never bike race, they will respect the blog as an expert opinion on the subject and refer other friends who do race to the site.
  • How do you reach them? Not how do you want to reach them, this is not about you. It is about the clients needs.
    • Where are the bikers? At other races, on social networking sites, outdoors.
    • Give them information to help them succeed and become better.
    • Offer them the opportunity to get involved and help others that are similar to them.
    • Find them and offer them the information they need/want about racing, about the race, about being healthy.
  • What are their motivations? Why are they looking for you? Why do they need/want you? Why would anyone use your service/product?
  • What problems do they have? How can you solve those problems?
The examples above are from a real client: The Great River Energy Bike Festival, or GREBIKEFESTIVAL (as they can be found on many social networking sites like twitter, facebook, flickr etc.)

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