Getting in the Mind of Your Audience
Touching the heart (or nerve depending on your goals) of your intended reader is not rocket science but does require some real thought on your part as a writer and producer of content. Whether you are selling ice to Eskimos or sand to Arabs you need to be able to describe that intended target in great detail before attempting to appeal to their needs/wants/egos.
Do you have a written description of your intended reader? Creating written Personas is a little like preparing for an interview. You know the job description (i.e. your product, service or information you want conveyed) now you have to research how that will impact your buyer/reader. The more specific you can be in describing your target market, the better your chance the content will inspire or invoke an intended reaction.
What the heck is a buyer persona, anyway? Let’s take for example, you are a real estate agent wanting to sell a new listing that is in a retirement community in Florida along the Gulf Coast area near Clearwater. That’s pretty specific. To develop a Persona, ask yourself these questions:
- Who are your best potential buyers?
- What does he/she do all day?
- What would be that person’s favorite activities?
- Where are they currently living?
- What amenities does your neighborhood and surrounding areas offer that would appeal to them?
You may get several specific types of personas by working through such a list of questions. Consider writing content for EACH one. Yes, you heard me correctly. Speak to the individual and be sure your content is published in the appropriate places that line up with the answers you came up with. If you can’t answer those questions, canvas the neighborhood! Ask a handful of actual buyers of similar products/services that you are seeking to promote. Use that information to develop even more specific questions to help really develop those personas.
Become an Expert
Knowing your audience is most of the battle. Knowing where they frequent, who their friends are, what their favorite activities are ~ it is key to developing a trustworthy relationship with them. If they like you and trust you, they’ll buy from you or at least take the next step along the sales funnel to your intended goal. For more content marketing resources and help with developing Buyer Personas, contact us now!
What is a content marketing funnel or ‘marketing funnel’ and how can small businesses, online marketers and ecommerce owners or managers use it to increase profits, interaction and engagement on their websites?
Traditionally, the Marketing Funnel is a way to describe or visualize the path on which your target market, i.e. website visitor, customer or reader, will reach your website and ultimately do whatever it is you are asking. Whether it’s to buy a product or service, participate in a survey, share a post or make a phone call to you, there is a particular action you want your target to take. Getting them from wherever they are to completing that action is the Funnel. Content Marketing Funnel ideas are vast but here’s a mile high view:
First, identifying your target market as specifically as possible.
There will be several Personas (personalities of folks you are looking to engage) and you need to identify each and bring them through a funnel of their own.
Secondly, after getting an idea of the WHO you are attempting to grab the attention, then you need to help them step through the WHAT by giving them a WHY… why should they click on your Facebook add or share your Tweet or give you their email, name and address? What is in it for THEM?
If you can answer that and they step into the next funnel ring, you will be able to then give them the HOW ~ how can they get that which you have so perfectly described as their coveted need/want or have-to-have. Keep each step simple and only ask for one thing at a time. Following a bit of a bread crumb trail to the middle of the funnel.
Here’s a great example of a content marketing funnel in five points, easy to follow and implement. You don’t have to be a great writer, just speak to your audience in their language. If they are techie, you need to know their geek-speak, if they are professionals make sure you sound like their peers.
Guide them through the funnel one step at a time and don’t forget to keep track with analytics so you can improve the steps that work best and eliminate those that fail. Want more help and ideas on Content Marketing? Contact us and we’ll hook you up!
Story telling is an age old activity. Before the written word, verbal history was handed down generation after generation. Even in our day of over stimulation and information overload, there is something about engaging the imagination of your reader that will endear them to you. If you can capture their imagination, their heart, you will gain their respect and when they like you and trust you, they will buy from you.
Story telling is both an art and a science. For web content creators, this means there is an opportunity to learn how make this work for you in practical ways by touching the heart and imagination of your intended target. Sometimes the value added is the entertainment and inspiration given. It makes them want more. It endears your audience to you. Create a brand with storytelling.
Taking your brand and telling a story to your audience that will help them remember you is where the rubber hits the road.
How to make story telling work for you.
The best advertisements tell a story. Being able to get that story heard and shared is the key. Memorable stories will outlast any other form of advertising, hands down. What your readers or audience will remember is the feeling or ideas that will ‘stick’ with them when they are considering the product or service that you provide.
Keep the story relevant to your audience and relate it to your product/service.
The use of social media today gives as many opportunities to tell you story as it does challenges to be heard. Every opportunity you get to tell your story, take it! Remember, facts tell stories SELL! Keep in mind your audience, if you are speaking to conservative businessmen versus a group of teenagers on the topic of gaming ~ you’ll want to tell your story a bit differently to each group!
Storytelling can be a great web content resource, provide material that will quickly impart your knowledge, all the while exposing your expertise and willingness to share yourself with your audience. It endears you to them and more quickly imparts the advantages of your service or product to your intended audience faster and will last longer than telling facts alone.