ContentCal 6C's - How to understand and target your ideal customer
Before you even begin to create your content marketing plan we need to first understand exactly what constitutes a good content marketing strategy.
To do this, we need to understand where content marketing sits in the broader marketing funnel.
Often, social media is misused as a ‘conversion’ orientated channel, akin to the way that people use email. Posting on social channels looking for an immediate ‘result’ or a ‘conversion’ skips so many vital steps when it comes to enticing people with your social media.
Afterall, research has show that 70% of people make a purchasing decision before contacting a supplier.
This information is critical in helping us understand and appreciate how wide-reaching and powerful social media is. It’s so much more impactful than driving a single person to take a single action.
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So, what’s the most important thing that helps create influence at scale?
Trust is the most fundamental buying emotion. Trust ultimately governs our decision-making while social media and content marketing in general have an unparalleled power to deliver trust at scale.
So, let’s look at how we can achieve this in a practical manner. To do this, we first need to understand a typical marketing funnel.
You’ll notice the ‘conversion’ stage is in the middle of the funnel, which demonstrates the first point more clearly. Many people are misunderstanding the impact of content marketing, before skipping to the third stage too quickly and asking for an action before trust is built at the ‘awareness’ and ‘consideration’ stages.
Our primary job as content marketers is to make that awareness stage of our funnel as wide as we possibly can. The most important metric for us at this early stage is reach, as we want to get as many eyeballs on our content as we possibly can.
Let’s zoom in on this a little bit as this quadrant gives you a real opportunity to understand which content and the types of content that work well at each level within this funnel.
The top two quadrants relate to the ‘awareness’ stage of the funnel and the bottom two relate to ‘consideration’. As you'll see, the top two quadrants relate to an emotional reaction (going back to that ‘trust’ element again), and the bottom two relate to a more rational reaction in consideration.
With what we’ve just learned in mind, before creating our content strategy, we really need to be clear on three key things:
- Who are you targeting?
- Why are you doing it?
- What do you want to be known for?
Firstly, being clear on who exactly you are targeting is absolutely critical. Try to be as focused as you possibly can on who you're trying to serve. Ultimately, you can't build trust and you can't educate people unless you truly know this.
Secondly, we need to be clear about our objectives and what we want to get from our content strategy. Are you looking to grow your followers? Do you want more engagement? Are you looking to increase traffic to your website?
The final thing to work out before we embark on a strategy, is deciding what we want to be known for. Social media has an unparalleled power to humanize a brand and have our businesses be known for something. If you are not clear on this currently, that’s not a problem, as it's something that comes in time.
At this stage, we're going to use tools like ubersuggest.com to understand the current search traffic and intent of our audience.
We’ll use an example of a local coffee shop to bring this to life.
Here in this coffee shop example on ubersuggest.com, we can see that when people are searching for a coffee shop on Google, it’s very location dependent.
This gives us our first clues of what we might want to be known for. For example, we could introduce a content theme around the location of our business by sharing interesting facts about our local town.
Going deeper into this, you can use another free tool called www.keyword.io. Here we can search the word ‘coffee’, and see some of the most popular search terms in order to know where our focus should be.
In this screenshot, we can see some of the broader topics that coffee-lovers are searching for. People are trying to find ‘which coffee machine to buy’, they're looking at ‘coffee recipes’ and they're looking for the ‘best reusable coffee cup’.
Here we have some clear themes emerging and ‘what we want to be known for’ is now becoming clearer. We could create some themes around sustainability, recipes, or guides on which coffee machines are best just based on those terms alone.
Now we’re starting to get a picture of our ideal customer and what they are interested in, so let’s add some color to it with context.
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Here we're going to bring in a third free tool: www.answerthepublic.com. We will be searching the word ‘coffee’, and it's going to show us all of the questions that have been asked on Google in relation to that word.
This is so powerful because there's a year's worth of content inspiration right there. Ultimately, the objective of content marketing is to answer the questions that are in our customers minds to gain awareness and build trust at scale.
We can see a lot of the same themes that have already been emerging, only strengthening our reasons to go in a certain direction with our content. There’s clearly a lot of questions around ‘sustainability’ and ‘which coffee machine to buy’. We’ve already got the ‘recipes’ and ‘location’ theme too.
It’s very clear from the above screenshot that we can see that ‘health and wellness’ is also a key theme throughout coffee lovers' search history. That means we now have five key themes to work with.
We’ve got a little more research to do and then we’ll be ready to start creating one week’s worth of content in 30 minutes.
To ensure our content creates as much awareness of our brand as possible, we need to use hashtags wisely. Let us head to www.best-hashtags.com where we will search for ‘coffee’ once more.
This will show us the most popular and liked hashtags around this particular key word. If you’re using ContentCal to plan and prepare your marketing content, you can then head into the Setup area to add these hashtags as Snippets. This enables you to do your research and then easily implement it.
It’s a similar story with www.daysoftheyear.com. Each week there is a national day for something and an associated hashtag that will trend on that day. Make sure that you don't miss an opportunity for trending content by searching these national days and picking out the national days that are relevant to you for your business.
You can then add these national days into ContentCal as Calendar Notes to ensure you never miss an opportunity for additional exposure online.
That’s how we can understand and target our ideal customer to build trust and awareness of our brand. We’ll continue the exploration of the 6C’s and cover the final four stages in our next blog, the third and final installment of this three-part series.
Note: Completed the first two steps of the ContentCal 6C’s? Begin plotting your content themes and adding research into ContentCal. Sign up for a free trial now.
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