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Archive for the ‘consumer appeal’ 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

Using Content to Tap Key Motivators: Greed, Fear, and Risk

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I saw an article posted recently by the Content Marketing Institute entitled “2 Foolproof Methods for Getting Content Marketing Buy-In.” It got me thinking; what really motivates people to buy into to a content marketing campaign? There have to more than two motivators?

Before everything else, whether you are talking to chief executives, marketers, your peers, or anyone else you all have something in common – you are human. There are basic human motivators that date back to the Neolithic Age that still drive today. The big ones are greed, fear and risk, and most other motivators are subsets of greed, fear, and risk. If you understand how to apply these motivators as part of your content marketing strategy, then you will be able to get more buy in from your target audience.

Let’s consider greed for starters. Back in the days of the caveman, greed would be a great motivator to steal someone’s mammoth steak, but today it’s all about commanding market share and market dollars. If you can deliver content that outshines the competition and drives more business, then you have something compelling. If you can develop a campaign that minimizes cost and risk and provides a sure-fire sales opportunity, then you can get buy in.

How do you tap greed with content? Try offering sure-fire tips to solve a marketing problem. Create a white paper on sure-fire ways to build business. Offer success stories showing how someone else made a fortune with your problem or service. In short, make an offer that is too good to pass up. If you can create a compelling story using greed as a motivator, you will get a higher response.

Fear, however, can be an even more compelling motivator. Just as the caveman is motivated by fear to run from the saber-toothed tiger, you want to tap into fear to promote action. Use your content to address a dire problem. What about a new industry regulation that could cost your prospects a lot of money. Create a targeted message that uses fear as a motivator within a target group. For example, we did a white paper project for a technology company that solved social media compliance problems for financial service firms. The white paper was a big hit because the consequences for non-compliance could be millions of dollars in fines. Fear motivates like nothing else, so address well-defined problems with solutions that prevent big consequences.

And then there’s risk. In his article on “2 Foolproof Methods…,” author Joe Pulizzi says one method is using a pilot program is one way to get marketing buy-in. I think of this as a means to eliminate risk. A pilot program lets you test the waters before making a big fiscal commitment. Similarly, with content, if you can offer a “try before you buy” approach you are eliminating risk. Offering free tips and techniques means there is no commitment, which means a higher response rate. Reassure your audience that any information they offer won’t be shared. Be helpful without asking for too much in return. Eliminating risk, combined with something that promotes greed or fear, and you have content that will get a response.

So no matter how terrific a product or service you have to offer, and no matter how sweet the offer, remember that your respondents are still people. Use tactics that motivate people. Be sure to appeal to basic instincts and the logical arguments to close a sale follow. After all, we’re only human.

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Written by Tom Woolf

March 19th, 2013 at 4:24 pm