Content marketing is huge right now, but you'd be surprised how many marketers and entrepreneurs are struggling to get it to work for them.
We know it can work. We've seen the many success stories.
But what can you do when you're just not getting any traction?
In most cases, the failure of content marketing ends up being an audience targeting issue.
Are you really meeting their needs, answering their questions, and providing value?
And just as importantly, are you doing those things in a way that's aimed at the right group of people?
If you're doing content marketing, you probably have a lot of data lying around.
You can leverage all the information you can find to create buyer personas that capture your most important customers.
Here's the process you can use to do this.
First, Gather the Data
You have more resources at your fingertips than you realize for collecting data about your audience.
Start by talking to your team: What has sales learned about their prospects?
What do they think your audience’s biggest pain points are based on the conversations they’ve had?
Who do they close deals with the most frequently? Their CRM data can help quantify their opinions.
The same goes for your customer service team.
They’ll have keen insights on who your happiest (and unhappiest) customers are and why.
Then, go online to dig deeper.
Your website, email, and social media analytics are goldmines for information about your target audiences, their demographics, geography, visitor behavior, and more.
You can even purchase audience research from companies like Gartner and Forrester.
Then, Distill the Data
You’ll soon find that you know too much about your audience (what a good problem to have, am I right?).
Take everything you’ve collected and hone in on which pieces and parts are actually useful to you.
Pay attention to large sweeping trends and also make notes of anomalies that could be caused by seasonal changes in your business, political events, or something else entirely.
It can be helpful to have multiple team members complete this exercise together.
Not only will other people be able to pick out key information you might accidentally overlook, they’ll also help combat your data bias.
(I mean, I WANT Dany to be the savior of Westeros, but is she really? I don’t know. There’s an argument to be made that she’s the true villain of the series.)
Finally, Build Out Your Personas and Create Content for Them
With your data collected and narrowed down into useful snapshots of your customers, you can make educated assumptions about your different audiences.
Then, and only then, you can bring your audience to life through marketing personas.
Once you understand exactly who your audience is and what they want, you can pick the right content topics that they’ll find irresistible, put them in places where they’ll actually be found, and measure your results.
You can read more about improving your content marketing ROI over at Convince and Convert.