Think about it- The corporate website is the digital face of your company through which you engage with your audience, tell them who you are, what you stand for and share with them your expertise and experience. Now go back and check your website and see if your content is in line with this definition- especially the point about ‘engaging’ with your ‘audience’.
The trouble with us marketers is that we love talking about our products and their myriad features, how they are ‘cutting edge’ and can ‘make a difference’. But website visitors on the other hand are looking for specific solutions to their immediate needs and if they don’t find that information right away, they’ll hit the back button even before you can say CONTENT! So, even if you have great content, if it is not talking to your target audience, in a way that will appeal to them, it will miss the mark.
The most effective strategy for creating content that will be relevant to your potential buyers is to put yourself in their shoes. Stop thinking like a marketer who has a product to sell, instead, think like a buyer who is looking for a solution to a problem. These are a few questions that can help streamline your thoughts in the right direction:
Who is my target audience? This question needs careful evaluation. If you offer multiple products, or services, you will have to clearly list out the specific target segment for each of those and then think about how you will structure the content for them. The segmentation should be as specific as possible. E.g.: “My target group (TG) is Media companies operating out of North America owning a data center” is a better segmentation compared to “My TG is media companies”.
Segmentation can be based on various criteria including geography and location, size of company, industry, designations of decision makers or influencers. The best segmentation, of course is one that is based on buyer personas, which also considers the buyer’s behavior and stage in the buying cycle.
What problems is my TG likely to face? Once the potential buyer segment is clear, try and list out the typical problems that that group may have. For instance, if the target audience is small enterprises, their problem is most likely to be resource (price, people, and technology) related. Jotting this down will let you know exactly how you can structure your solution to mitigate the problem scenario.
How can my product solve the problem? Once you are clear who you are targeting and the problems that that group is likely to face, it becomes easy to tailor your solution to solve those specific issues. This way, the content does not look just like a bunch of features thrown together, but a solution package that has been especially created for your potential buyer. It also gives the buyer an assurance that your company understands him and his specific problem and that immediately builds trust.
Did somebody in a similar situation benefit from the solution? The reason why case studies and customer testimonials are so popular in B2B marketing is because they can effectively demonstrate your solutions’ capability in a real world scenario. They prove that your solution worked for your customer. Leverage on them to influence your potential buyers.
Can my target audience relate to what I’m saying? Your potential buyers may not be familiar with your space or product. So using your industry specific terms and highly technical jargon might put them off. So ask questions such as -Is this an industry term that my audience can understand? Am I using too many technical words? Is the right message going out? Will it appeal to people of this geography? Keep asking these questions throughout the content development process to streamline your messaging correctly.
What kind of content will appeal most to my target audience? A whitepaper may appeal to a certain type of audience, whereas a podcast or video may be more effective for others. Some potential buyers would like to try out the product themselves, while others might prefer a demo organized for them. Using just one type of content is not enough to hold interest- you need to keep experimenting to hit the right formula.
Is my content current and relevant? A regular content audit on your website is essential to ensure the accuracy and relevancy of information. Look at the content from a fresh perspective and from a user’s standpoint to get a clear picture. Does the product demo talk about all the current capabilities we have? Do we even offer this feature anymore? Is this service relevant to this segment anymore are questions that you need to ask.
Another aspect is to look at the content itself, and weed out things that are dated – If you are still quoting some stat from 2001 which says you are the best, it is not likely to make any positive influence on your buyer. Keep numbers, graphs and screenshots current. If you take care of your content assets well, potential customers are likely to think it will be the same with your product.
Am I coming across as an expert in my space? Thought leadership content on your website gives your potential buyers the impression that you are a thinking company, not just another product or service provider. Include research reports, whitepapers, best practice documents that prove your credibility and expertise in your space.
Is my content engaging? I am listing this as the last point here, but it is high up there in importance. Your website content should be like a conversation, not like some boring executive giving a lecture in a thick baritone. Your potential customers must feel welcome, and must feel free to interact with your company. Yes, it’s easier to achieve this with a B2C site, but B2B buyers are people too, you know, so they will still relate better to language that is engaging without being very casual.
Creating website content that adds value and resonates with your customer is not very simple. But it is no rocket science either. More than a process change, it requires a mindset change, a change where the marketer starts thinking from a buyer’s point of view.
Read the original article at Business 2 Community: http://www.business2community.com/content-marketing/is-your-content-speaking-to-your-target-audience-043263