It’s unusual to go through a day anymore without hearing the mysterious term “content marketing” at least once. Do you have it? Do you need it? Is it a passing fad or here to stay? The short answer is, gaining mastery of content marketing should be a priority for every digital marketer who wants to remain relevant.
Content marketing goes hand-in-hand with the digital revolution that turned the tables of power from brands to consumers. Sure, as a digitally savvy marketer, you can target prospects right down to their IP addresses, but the power of mass personalization comes at a price. You can’t be chest-pounding or salesy. If the content you deliver isn’t extremely relevant to the prospect at that very time and place in their life, you’re instantly dismissed, deleted — and possibly blocked forevermore.
The answer? Content marketing requires you to take an empathetic viewpoint — walking in the shoes of your future and present customers. A sophisticated content marketing strategy flips the lens and changes the voice of every communication between your brand and your customers. It begins on one hand with a clear understanding of your target audiences — going beyond demographic, geographic and psychographic targeting characteristics to create personas of your most valuable prospects. Persona development leads to visualization of decision journeys. A clear understanding of who you’re reaching and where they are in their journey helps to anticipate their appetite for messages ranging from lifestyle content drawing on shared value, to helpful how-to shopping advice, to hardcore product specs (yes, they still have their place).
Coming in Part 2: developing the content!