In one of our previous posts (Four Principles of B2B Content Strategy) we mentioned message targeting as the first step in a good content plan. Finding your audience and seeking out what they want can be pretty intimidating on first try, but it’s one of the smartest tactics in connecting better with your market and
In one of our previous posts (Four Principles of B2B Content Strategy) we mentioned message targeting as the first step in a good content plan. Finding your audience and seeking out what they want can be pretty intimidating on first try, but it’s one of the smartest tactics in connecting better with your market and generating leads.
With a simple five step plan, targeting content becomes much easier and more effective.
1. Where are they?
The first thing you need to do when targeting content is to analyze who it is you’re developing for and what platform they are using. You probably have quite a bit of marketing materials to use and whether it’s social media, a website page or a case study, it’s important to take a calculated approach to each with your content. Each marketing piece is likely to have a different audience; therefore you must adjust your content strategy accordingly, by taking the next step and seeing what each of those audiences are looking for.
2. What do they like?
Different outlets of B2B marketing each have specific audiences that differ from others and you need to look at your content development the same way. Of course you want to maintain brand consistency across platforms, but the last thing you want to do is become a source of recycled information in all of your materials.
The best way to target your messaging is by finding out what your audience wants out of each platform. In 2012, we’re blessed with a number of different ways to analyze what is working.
Recently, Marketing Profs developed a great outline on the trends in B2B Content Marketing in 2012, including a great breakdown of the most used tactics. We took the top five tactics used and broke down how they can be measured in effectiveness:
Content Marketing Strategy How to Measure Effectiveness
Social Media (Other than Blogs) Likes, Shares, Social Media Analytics
Articles/Pages on Your Website Analytics, Bounce Rates
eNewsletters Click Through Rates, Conversion Rates
Blogs Page Views, Comments, Likes, Shares
Case Studies Download Rate
As you can see, implementing many of these tools to not only do basic things like measure traffic is the best way to use them. Get really deep into the thought process with your content and integrate it with these tools to see what is really working from a messaging standpoint.
3. What do they love?
Targeted content really gets taken to the next level if you are engaging your audience regularly and finding out what content they love. This engagement can be broken down into two parts (social-based and client-based)
If you have a good social media strategy then you’re already engaging regularly and building relationships with prospective clients.
Once you have an established relationship in these platforms, go a step further to find out what your social media audience wants in your content. This can be intimidating, but be assured that your content will benefit from it in the long run by being more useful.
Add some content engagement into your client relationships and find out what continues to draw them back to you, as well as what drew them to you in the first place (from a messaging standpoint).
You’ll hear from prospective clients and recurring clients by doing this, two groups which you should often be looking to speak to with your content. Engaging with your audience goes beyond analytics tools and gives you exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to finding the right messaging. There’s no choice between numbers and details, as both are needed to help ensure your content is targeted correctly.
4. Create more of what they like and love
With the first three steps of targeting content you’ve:
- Pinpointed where your messaging is going
- Who it’s going to
- What they like to see (both in numbers and details)
Now it’s time to round the bases by building content based off the first three steps.
Creating content right involves taking small pieces of what’s working and combining them with original messaging. Remember that dynamic, useful content should always be the goal. No one wants to feel as if there isn’t a warm body behind the content! Developing something useful continues to be a driving factor in search engine rankings, views, comments, shares and likes across the board.
When we talk about small pieces and trends of what works, we want to get you looking at things like page and article titles, format, as well as topics. Take these and match them with the analytics tools that you’re already using to get more into detail and find out what your audience is eating up. When you know what works in different areas of content, you can develop fresh positions and ideas based off what’s successful.
5. Find out if they like what you created
Once you’ve created content based off targeted messaging, it’s important to go back and continue measuring its effectiveness. Use the tools set forth in step two to analyze your new content’s effectiveness, whether it be downloads, page views, shares or one of the many other ways you can attach a numerical value to your content’s effectiveness.
The great thing about investing time in targeted content is that you’re always improving the messaging in your materials. By analyzing your messaging and improving it, you eliminate stagnancy in your marketing and since evolving is one of the keys in building traffic, targeting your content is a great way to do just that.
photo by ##Erika**