Taming the content marketing beast.

Have you ever developed a customer persona document? If not, now is the time.

Steve Lindgren
April 20, 2018

Did you know that a documented strategy is more effective than a verbal or mental one? I experience this every time I go grocery shopping. The visits with a list are way more effective than the visits without.

The same is true with content marketing. You must have a plan to succeed.

Identify the beast.

Before we can talk about having a content marketing plan, we need to talk about what content marketing is.

According to the Content Marketing Institute: “Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

In other words, content marketing is a process to engage your target audience with relevant and valuable material.

The trick is finding a process that works, and knowing what your target audience deems worthy of their time.

Step one: Clearly define your audience

Have you ever developed a persona document? If not, now is the time. Well, it may be past time but better late than never.

Most of our clients have a single persona. Yes, just one. If that makes you panic, just keep reading. If you are trying to engage and communicate with your audience to generate business, you need to be able to capture their attention, create a connection, and convince them to purchase. You simply cannot do this if you are talking to many many many different kinds of people with different interests and pains. It’s almost like spamming the masses with your content. And those results are never fun.

When you key into a specific person, magic happens. You are able to really understand their interests, hobbies, challenges, motivations and what pains them in life, work, and at home. Having a person is imperative in figuring out what they will find valuable and relevant, AND how they want to consume that content.

If you have multiple personas, pick one the one you want to help the most or think is most profitable.

Step two: Develop delicious content

Now that you know your persona on the inside and out, you can make better decisions about content. Here are a few things to consider first:

1. What type of content is relevant?There are all different kinds of content. Video, images, and text are the most common. Will your persona be more likely to watch a short video or read a blog post? This may take some testing, but is important to know what kinds of content they like to consume.

2. Where will they be consuming your content online? Facebook? Blogs? Twitter? Instagram?The answer is not, “all of them!” The answer is in knowing your persona. If you are stumped, try looking up user statistics and see if any of those match your persona.

3. What topics are relevant to your audience?You shouldn’t be talking about your brand/product/service 100% of the time, or even 50% of the time. People can see through the brands that only talk about themselves. Knowing your persona is tapping into their life and creating material that is related to their work, home, or interests. Are they into health and fitness? If so are into yoga, Crossfit, or are just getting started? These are the lines you need to draw and test to determine what works.

4. Create a process and a plan.This is where the content marketing calendar becomes handy. I would encourage you for scheduling specific undisturbed time to plan out your content marketing posts and goals for each month or quarter. This will save you a lot of pain down the road and it will more likely yield a successful result!

Steve Lindgren
Steve Lindgren is a Brand Specialist & UX Designer based in San Diego. His passion is to build brand experiences that educate, engage, and inspire.

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