Latest posts by Jay Dillon (see all)
- Which Social Media Platform Is Best For Your Business? (FB, Twitter, IG?) - February 8, 2016
- The Role of Social Media Manager in 2016 - February 1, 2016
- Why Placing Ads In Blogs Can Be A Negative - January 4, 2016
The inbound method hinges upon content. Without excellent content, companies don’t stand much of a chance at succeeding with their online marketing efforts.
Content is the new standard when it comes to the ways that companies attract new business. A survey by major research company RfK Roper showed that 70% of consumers would rather learn about a company through a collection of articles than an advertisement. Even though consumers understand that companies are selling something, they reported being fine with that as long as the content they consume is valuable.
The Content Challenge
All of this information is helpful for inbound marketers, but there is a problem: businesses are still struggling to create customer-centric content.
In a recent worldwide survey of B2B marketers conducted by Corporate Visions, it was reported that 27% of companies feel that their sales and marketing content focuses on their own company, instead of the needs of their customers and prospects.
This is a serious issue, because it means that a significant portion of today’s marketers are still missing the mark when it comes to creating compelling content. Without considering the needs of their customers, businesses will not be able to maximise their ability to attract inbound leads.
The Foundation for Customer-Centric Content
So what can companies do to resolve this content problem? The first step to creating content that will appeal to your customers is understanding who your customers are. One of the best ways to gain this understanding is by creating buyer personas.
Buyer personas define who your customers are and what they need. A good buyer persona will have details about your ideal customer’s occupation, age, professional responsibilities, and goals. All of this information provides the basis for compelling content that is focused on the needs of the customer, instead of conveying a company message.
The reason that buyer personas are so valuable is that they help marketers think like their prospects. Buyer personas outline in clear detail some of the biggest challenges that their prospects face, which makes it easy to come up with content based on solving these challenges.
Creating Actionable Content
The second step to making sure that your content is valuable to customers is providing something actionable. Presenting a problem or challenge is not enough: you must also be sure that you help them solve it.
In many cases, this is the part of their content where marketers decide to use a call-to-action. After they present the challenge, they position their own offerings as a solution to the problem. Entrepreneur suggests that companies have a clear, easily findable call to action to increase conversions.
These tips provide a great foundation for how companies can create content that appeals to their audience, but there is one other important element to achieving success with content: getting feedback.
Listening to Feedback
Many marketers spend hours upon hours poring over research, analysing charts, and doing other things to try to find out what does and doesn’t appeal to potential customers.
While this activity can be valuable, there is often a much easier approach: just asking!
By learning about the opinions of their real-life prospects and customers, companies can do a better job of making sure that their content provides value for them. Forbes says that customer surveys are the most efficient way to gain feedback, but you might also consider corresponding with your customers directly. In many cases, your past customers and prospects will be happy to take a few minutes to provide you with feedback that will help you improve your content.
The Final Word on Customer-Centric Content
The importance of customer-centric content can be summed up in one term: customer experience. Research shows that customer experience will be the number one priority for companies in the Asia Pacific region this year.
Providing your prospects with content that focuses on their needs will help you improve their experience. The better the content that you provide to your customers, the easier it will be for them to have a great experience with your brand from the first time they become aware of you to the time they become a loyal customer.