The places we spend our time on the internet these days (ahem, Facebook) are rife with junk to keep us entertained while we should be doing something else. “She Did This and You’ll Never Believe What Happened Next” and “Top 10 Weirdest Celebrity Couples” spread like wildfire and get way too many views for the zero service they actually provide. Marketers call these (annoying yet irresistible) types of content and headlines “click bait” – a term that does not have nice connotations.
As a small business, you do actually have beneficial services and products to provide to the public – but how do you even get noticed amidst all that voluminous junk?
People are online in exponentially increasing amounts, especially from their mobile phones. But they probably aren’t spending hours playing on your website. That’s one reason amplifying your content is critical – to get your quality content to the online spaces where people are spending their time.
Yes, you could write shallow blog posts with click bait titles that might get thousands of likes, shares, and views. But how does that contribute to your business’s growth? A few hundred highly-qualified visitors who engage with your content and then become subscribers, leads, or sales are much more valuable than the millions of people fighting over a blue and black dress.
So what is the secret to developing content to amplify that isn’t just click bait?
Write content your customers care about.
Catch that? The operative word is customers.
Focus On Customers, Not On Clicks
It’s easy to get excited when a post gets more shares, retweets, and +1s than usual, and when it brings an influx of visitors to your website. Clicks are exciting. They are easy to measure. They are a nice pat on the back. But clicks that don’t grow your business are time wasted – for the people who read and the time you spent creating.
Alternatively, you can write a great article, full of wisdom and education and your brand position and put it out there in all the channels. But if potential customers don’t care about it, they won’t read it or share it or like it – and they sure won’t come buy whatever it is you are trying to sell.
Determining and getting to know your target audience – intimately – is a critical element of Phase 1 (planning your campaign) in the 7 Phases of content amplification.
Identify Your Customers and Develop Content for Them
Pretend you are a local coffee shop. Your audience isn’t all people on Facebook (too many pre-teens and grandparents in other states). Or all people within your local geographical area (they don’t all drink coffee). Or even all locals who drink coffee (some only drink Folgers they keep in their freezer). Your audience is the unique demographics, needs, and concerns of the people who ultimately buy your product or service and then continue on to become loyal customers and promoters.
You probably already know who these customers are, and had a few names come to mind as you read that. Think about these people and consider these questions (or even better – ask!):
- What are their demographics? (age, location, income level, job position, family status, education, etc)
- What needs did they have that created interest in your business?
- How did they hear about your business?
- Why did they choose you?
- What have been the results of doing business with you?
- Why do they keep coming back and what do they tell others about you?
On the other hand, it’s also helpful to have an idea of why people with similar demographics and needs did not choose your business.
This information will help you narrow your target and better understand why people become customers. That understanding in turn drives marketing strategy and creative content that appeals to the people most likely to do business with your company.
How to Find Content Topics Your Customers Care About
The best way to find topics that your potential customers care about is to talk to them and get their ideas. Something that is obvious to you might be the most commonly held misconception among your customers.
Fortunately, the internet is a gold mine of information when you know where to look. You can do market research, focus groups, and surveys to learn more (and we do highly recommend these), but a few hours of online research can also reveal some great ideas – without the time or cost.
Here are a few places/people to mine for content ideas that your customers will care about:
- Reviews (on your website, on retailer sites, on Google, Yelp, and other places your business is listed or customers spend time)
- Emails and phone calls
- Sales people
- Staff experts
- Existing customers
- Online surveys to your email list, followers, and website visitors
- Competitor websites
- Industry and customer blogs
- Search results (for your brand, products, service, needs, industry terms)
Look for commonly asked questions, misconceptions, needs, benefits, thoughts about your brand/product/service. Listen to what they are saying – especially when you find it in multiple places. Turn that into content that then answers these questions, dispels myths, explains how you meet these needs, and drives perceptions in a new direction.
The best part about quality content that truly matters to your potential customers? Push it out there so it’s easy to find and they will do the amplification work for you.
Get Help Identifying Your Customers Online & Developing Targeted Content
Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information, time, and research needed to identify and target and write for your potential customers online? Sanctuary can help guide you through every facet of your online marketing strategy, including defining audiences and developing and amplifying quality content that drives new business. Contact us today for a free assessment and quote.