Many brands now use an inbound marketing strategy for reaching their audience. This means drawing potential customers in and driving traffic to a specific landing page through engaging, relevant content.
While content marketing can be highly effective when done right, even the best marketing assets can suffer in the face of information overload. To cut through the clutter and reach an audience that’s already overwhelmed by content, you need a strong point of differentiation.
Below, 10 members of the Forbes Agency Council explain how to create a content marketing strategy that truly resonates with your target market.
1. Personalize The Customer Experience
Dig into your data and use it to create a personalized experience for your customers. Knowing who you’re communicating to will help you generate focused content that targets your audience where they are on their customer journey. Delivering the right message at the right time will bring value to your campaign and help your brand stand out. – Cheryl Myers, Smart Panda Labs
2. Share Only What’s Necessary
Start by knowing who your target audience is and learn what they need answers to or solutions for. Only focus on and publish the content that your audience wants or needs to know — not just what you feel like sharing. It will save your team time and energy, plus you’ll be able to create more in-depth and trustworthy content that may bring you organic leads for years to come. – Matt Bowman, Thrive Internet Marketing Agency
3. Use Search And Social Data To Give Customers What They Want
Perform keyword research, then use the keyword findings to identify questions your customers are asking and need solved. Also, figure out what isn’t being solved for these customers. That is your opportunity to fill content gaps customers seek. – John Bracamontes, Acumen Studio
4. Use A Little Bit Of Humor
We will often share a satirical and/or ironic point of view when a topic is saturating the water coolers. People love to hear themselves talk and focus on being the smartest person in the room. To change it, we use a tongue-in-cheek point of view in personal conversations to break the ice and soften the saturation. Then, we can proceed with a proper and open-minded discussion at hand. – Timothy Nichols, ExactDrive, Inc
5. Tell The Story Only You Can Tell
Use the one thing other companies don’t have: your brand, perspective and experiences. Create content that’s specific to your brand. The world doesn’t need another “seven ways honey is good for your health” blog post, but we do need to know how Sally created Voney, the first vegan honey brand, and why it matters to her and the vegan community. Nobody but Sally can make this content. – Bernard May, National Positions
6. Narrow Your Audience
If your content strategy isn’t working, narrow your target audiences even further. Focus on a very specific set of needs for a given customer segment, then create another for the next, and so on and so forth. This not only helps you create more engaging, catered content, but gives you insight into the challenges and problems different groups of customers have. – Kathleen Lucente, Red Fan Communications
7. Tweak And Repurpose Core Content Pieces
Brands should have core content pieces and then distribute them according to the platform they use. For example, chop up the video to one minute for Instagram. Add a quote card for Pinterest or Facebook or the transcript over LinkedIn. One piece can be shared on many platforms that are congruent to the audience without looking stale. – Tom La Vecchia, MBA, X Factor Media
8. Incorporate Personal Stories
Try to incorporate personal stories into your content that are interesting. Start your content out with a cliffhanger that gets readers’ attention and interested in the content. At the end of it, tie in the purpose of the content piece, whether it is to be educational or to push the product or service you’re selling. Then, try to end with another cliffhanger that will be addressed in your next piece. – Bryan Citrin, Chiropractic Advertising
9. Deliver An Interactive Brand Experience
A way for brands to stand out from all of the saturation of content marketing is in their delivery method. Utilizing proximity marketing that interacts with mobile browsers and location-based managed Wi-Fi can create an interactive and enhanced brand experience. These technologies are easy to add to existing marketing strategies and act as a new vehicle to ensure the delivery of digital content. – Henry Kurkowski, One WiFi
10. Improve Your Production Value
Most inbound marketing campaigns are information-based. By crafting campaigns that use narrative, striking imagery, design or well-produced video, a brand can easily separate itself from everyone else. Today, great creative ideas that are exceptionally executed will escape the sea of sameness and entertain the attention span of the distracted consumer. – Darryl Mascarenhas, LivelyGroup