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Archive for the ‘audience connection’ tag

Know Thy Customer – Targeting Your Audience for Meaningful Conversation

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Everybody is blogging and posting content to Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, but do you know your target customer? Do you have a clear idea of who your desired audience is and where they hang out online? Is your content attracting the right readers to promote your online brand?

Before embarking on a content marketing program, you should have a firm understanding of who you are trying to reach, what their interests are, and where to reach them.

  1. First, remember that you are not the customer. This may seem obvious, but too often marketing professionals inject too much of their own wants and desires into their perception of their customer. Put your own biases aside and think like your customer. Ask yourself what they want from your product or service. What are their points of pain? What does your customer want from your product or service? Once you answer those questions you will be in a better position to offer content that addresses customers’ desires and needs.
  2. Don’t try to sell to everyone. There is no way you can deliver content that everyone will love, or even like, so don’t try. Instead, find your market niche and stay focused. The more you focus on your target audience , the more successful you will be. It’s always better to use a laser-focused approach to hit your target than trying to cast a wider net. If you can pinpoint your target use a personalized approach, you will get greater returns from more loyal followers.
  3. Create a customer persona. The best way to make sure you are targeting the right customer is create an audience persona. This is a detailed profile of your audience/customer, including demographics (gender, age, income, etc.) and their behavioral patterns (expectations, concerns, what they expect from your brand, etc.). You want to create a clear portrait of who you want to reach, including shared pain points and concerns.

The more you understand about your audience, the easier it is to create content that speaks to them. If you can project yourself into your audience’s needs, wants, concerns, and desires, then you can promote a more meaningful online conversation.

If you are using content to generate sale leads (and who isn’t?), then see if you can project yourself into the customer’s journey through the buying process. What motivates their initial demand for your product or service? Where do they look for it? What criteria do they apply in making a buying decision? What makes your offering more or less attractive? Answers to these questions should give you some ideas of what to address through your online content, and where to post that content to get the right attention.

Now you can engage. Offer content that addresses concerns raised during the buyer’s journey. Talk about industry issues or approaches that make your company stand out over the competition. Offer case studies, using points that parallel customer concerns or challenges. If you strike the right chord, you will not only promote loyalty in your online following but you’ll enlist some brand evangelists who will comment, repost, and share the good word about you and your company.

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Written by Tom Woolf

January 23rd, 2014 at 4:44 pm

What does ‘Les Mis’ tell us about good content?

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When it comes to content, success is measured in mass appeal

Among a number of film critics, hating Les Misérables has almost become a raison d’etre. They are about as dogged in their condemnation of the movie as Inspector Javier’s relentless pursuit of Jean Valjean. David Denby said in The New Yorker, said, “This movie is not just bad….. It’s terrible.” David Sexton of the London Evening Standard wrote, “… Les Misérables is exhausting, if not infuriating (it made me bad-tempered for two days, a personal record).”

Could this be a different Les Mis than the one I saw? I wasn’t the only one in the audience who shed more than a tear or two and applauded at the end. And my moviegoing experience was by no means a singular one. Michael Moses, co-president of marketing for Universal, the studio behind the film, told USA Today that the film powerfully connects with people. He witnessed standing ovations in addition to the tears and applause. Folks are going back for a repeat performance.

So what’s up? In fairness, Les Mis was even panned by critics when it came out 150 years ago but the Parisian masses ate it up. That’s because, as USA Today also points out, Hugo was not writing to the intellectuals of the time; he was writing for the people about social injustice – an issue we still grapple with in the 21st Century.

As a movie musical, Les Mis clearly demonstrate its enduring ability to grab audiences from the opening scenes and not let go until Jean Valjean’s life on the run ends with his redemption. The demand is global. Les Mishit the $300 million mark at the worldwide box office as it continued to rise up the chart of the most successful musicals of all time.

Despite the critics’ vitriol, it’s pretty clear that Victor Hugo was on to something. Could he have sown the seeds of successful content marketing back in 1862 when he wrote the novel? In my last (and my first post of our new Content Matters blog), I wrote how great content evokes an emotional response. That being the case, Victor Hugo was dead on. Not only does Les Mis – the book, the play and now the movie — hit the emotional mark, it tries to answer questions – another requisite of good content about redemption, forgiveness and humanity. And it educates. Who knew there was more than one French rebellion?

Let the critics damn Les Mis all they want; the audience doesn’t care. While clearly no fan, Anthony Lane also of The New Yorker predicted its mass appeal,. Lane wrote, “Fans of the original production, no doubt, will eat the movie up, and good luck to them. I screamed a scream as time went by.”

Les Mis is a powerful emotional experience. Audiences connect and keep coming back for more. If you haven’t seen the movie; do. It may inspire your content efforts. It did mine.

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Written by Barbara Kohn

January 29th, 2013 at 3:34 pm