What would make you share something on Facebook, or like something on Instagram? What would make you send a WhatsApp message to your friends?
It could be that the content is funny. It might be that the content is controversial. Whatever your reason, it was probably because the content was topical, relevant, and struck a chord with you.
This is where many brands struggle with their content marketing. All too often we see brands churning out the same content to all their target audiences, without thinking about their interests, content consumption habits, or affinity to the brand.
If you’re sending the same message out to different audience groups with different demographics, then you’re effectively throwing content against the wall to see what sticks. Not the most efficient or successful strategy.
Creating Audience Cards
At 8MS, we have an ‘audience first’ approach to all aspects of digital and content marketing. We’re not alone either. Despite Facebook’s recent troubles, their audience data is the backbone of their advertising model. Google is audience first too, and has recently introduced ‘Audiences’ into their analytics tab, which allows the user to define specific audiences, and understand how they browse the site, as well as consumption and transactional habits.
At the start of any client campaign, we gather as much information as possible on our clients audience. This could be from Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and even from third party sites such as TGI and YouGov. You can even supplement this information with customer surveys and focus groups, to really understand your audience.
Once we have that information, we then put it in a simplified form. A summary of each target audience, their interests and consumption habits. We call this an audience card. These are incredibly useful, not just for us, but for any stakeholders (internal or external), that are creating content for the brand.
From this point on, any content created should be referenced against the audience cards. It should help answer the following types of questions:
- Will this strike a chord with the audience, and why?
- Is the content aligned with our audience interests?
- Is the content mobile first, and is that aligned with your audience’s consumption habits?
A More Targeted Approach
By creating content that is more aligned to your audience’s interests, you are likely to see both improved reach and engagement rates. This might not happen immediately – more often than not we have seen a period of testing and learning with content formats, timing and style, before optimal results are seen.
At 8MS we believe any content created by a brand should be directly linked to some sort of return or ROI, whether that is monetary, or action based.
By creating an audience first approach, and tailoring content to specific audience interests, we’ve proved this approach works, which makes creating a business justification for more content marketing budget far easier.
Find out more about our audience first approach at the Figaro Digital Marketing Summit, on 26 April 2018. Click here to see the full agenda and to register.