Content marketing that neglects the priorities and needs of its customers is doomed to fall short.
It’s a sad, but likely true fact: Your content marketing is failing you.
When you think about the point of implementing a content strategy, what goals come to mind? In an ideal world, you’d see:
- More viewers
- Better qualified leads
- More conversions
The paradox here is that creating content specifically to meet these goals is why your efforts are falling short. They’re achievable goals, but they’re not the ones you should be aiming for.
To put it another way, your content marketing needs goals to work effectively, but those goals can’t be established until you know the players of the game. In the case of content marketing, those players are your customers.
This is why the goals of any content marketing strategy should be focused on putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, building loyalty, and providing content that addresses actual needs.
1. Putting Yourself in Their Shoes
The centerpiece of your content marketing should be goals based on what your customers actually need, not what you think they need.
Don’t just throw content out there that you think will be beneficial; try to conceptualize the problems that they face on a daily basis. This exercise can provide insight into what type of content will address specific pain points and how your brand can provide real solutions for them.
This includes proactively addressing your customer’s objections as they move through the sales funnel to help increase conversions and prevent sticking points (such as price or product complexity).
When your customers feel confident that you understand their needs and know how to help them, increased customer loyalty to your brand is easily within reach.
2. Make Yourself Useful
Of course, the overall goal of understanding your customers better is so you can provide them with more value. Your content needs to have an impact on your viewers—if your readers find it a chore to read your posts, they won’t be reading for long. You can tailor your content marketing around what posts your viewers find most valuable; do some research on what kinds of questions your audience is searching for and what posts have the highest engagement.
Create more of these posts and let them know that they can rely on you. This type of consistent value is the best way to build loyalty and trust with your readers.
And this loyalty can be powerful—according to research compiled by Access Development, building loyalty with 5 percent more customers would increase the average profit per customer between 25 percent and 100 percent.
With the wealth of purchasing options out there these days, customers are wary about doing business with just anybody with a website. If you want them to invest in your brand, you need to take the risk out of the equation. Giving your customers the means to solve their problems is the best way to increase your readership, build trust, and promote steady growth for your business.
3. Measuring Success
The goals of building customer loyalty and putting yourself in their shoes are essential to the marketing process, but they have the unfortunate feature of being difficult to measure objectively. This is where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come into play.
Much like every other phase of your content marketing, you need to have your goals in mind before you’ll be able to find value in the measurement of KPIs. There are as many performance indicators as stars in the sky; you need to know which will be effective for your particular content strategy.
Interested in measuring the loyalty of your customers when it comes to sales? Examine:
- Churn (retention) rate
- Purchases from repeat customers
- Percentage of customers that take advantage of subscription-based services and memberships
How about the simple goal of getting more traffic? You’ll want to look at:
- Visitors per month
- Time spent on the page
- Which pages are most viewed
- Percentage of subscribers
The point is that content marketing goals should be guided with the appropriate data, no matter what they are. While your overall objective should be to provide content valuable enough that these metrics build on their own, keeping an eye on the performance of your material can give you an idea of potential weak points in your content strategy.
Through Their Eyes
Content marketing is a constantly-changing practice, with new “rules” appearing all the time. However, there’s one truth that remains constant no matter what industry your content marketing resides in: the customer comes first.
Any content marketing that hopes to see increases in customer retention, loyalty, and performance indicators should first remember to walk a mile in their customer’s shoes. The benefits will come on their own.