The buyer’s journey can be confusing. With so much information out there, it’s easy for buyers to get confused when looking for solutions to problems. The last thing they want is to be sold to with a gimmick or pitch. These things add little value to the buying process.
What do consumers want? They want to find a solution to a problem or need. They might need help identifying what it is they are looking for, once they’ve done that then they want to know how your product or service can help and how easy it is to acquire it.
Supplying that type of helpful and informative content provides real value to the buying process.
Good content marketing provides that kind of information. This inbound marketing strategy helps buyers solve problems, eliminate pain points, and navigate the available options to find the best fit available. More importantly, it provides value.
Analyzing Your Target Market
Inbound marketing takes advantage of the fact that 81% of today’s consumers conduct online research before making purchases. The right content can help you reach these consumers. But blasting your content to everyone on the internet is costly and ineffective.
To reach your customers with content, you first need to analyze your target market. That tells you who within your target market might be interested in your products or services. Then you need to segment this universe of potential customers into groups called personas.
Personas can tell you who your customers are, what their pain points are, and how your product or service can help them. They also can tell you the best method of reaching these consumers with content that connects.
Methods For Reaching Your Target Market
Dozens of methods exist for reaching customers. These methods are generally divided into outbound and inbound. Outbound methods of reaching customers include direct mail, print advertising, highway billboards, and bus benches.
But outbound methods don’t provide the ROI they once did. The best way to reach potential customers these days is with an on-target inbound marketing strategy that drives sales and profitability.
In fact, research shows that content marketing generates three times as many leads as outbound marketing methods while costing businesses 62% less. Content marketing works well, especially when time is of the essence.
Developing Content Can Be Challenging
Developing content topics that resonate with your audience can be challenging. But you can tap both internal and external resources to unearth the right topics for your content marketing pieces.
Internal content resources include customer service people, public relations executives, salespeople, and senior executives. External resources include reviews, comments, and blog posts.
Having chosen a topic area, you need to decide the best way to reach your target audience. Email marketing, white papers, case studies, e-books, and features articles are all powerful ways to do that.
So is blogging. Blogging is a highly effective content marketing tool. In fact, research shows that small businesses with blogs generate 126% more lead growth than business without them.
What’s more, blogs resonates with consumers. Seventy-seven percent of internet users read blogs. They also follow their advice. More than half of consumers, 56%, said they have made a purchase from a company after reading on of their blogs.
Reasons Why Content Fails
Developing personalized, high-quality content and promoting it tells customers about the value of your products or services. But even the best content flops now and then.
Good reasons exist when that happens. Below are six top reasons for content that flops:
- Inappropriately targeted content
- Poor headline or article title
- Spelling and grammatical mistakes
- Not promoting content sufficiently
- Not providing social buttons for sharing
- Failing to optimize content for search
Avoiding these mistakes when developing content boosts impact. It also helps you promote the value of your products or services to potential customers.
Providing products and services with value boosts business growth. Value is anything a customer appreciates, like cutting costs or boosting productivity. But offering a product or service with value is only half the battle.
The other half is promoting that fact to consumers in your target market with the right tools, like content marketing. That inbound strategy enhances awareness of your products and services, increases conversions, and boosts profitability.
Thanks for reading,
Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in August 2018 and has been edited and updated in December 2021.