I was working on content strategy for a new client and was shocked to learn that after about a year in business they still didn't really know who their target demographic was. Not long afterwards, during a potential client consultation, I also discovered that despite having ideas about a content strategy for their business, they had no idea who consisted of their target demographic.
The dictionary definition of strategy (strat-e-gy, noun) is "a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim." But how can you properly put a plan into place if you are not quite sure of who the audience will be? How can that audience take an action if you have put little thought into who they are? How do you even know what kind of content to create if you don't know who's consuming it?
The answer is simple: you can't.
Build A Smarter Content Strategy
A great content strategy stems from knowing your audience and figuring out the best ways to give them what they want.
Start By Making Smart Assumptions
When you are first starting out with a marketing strategy, you typically don't have access to a ton of great data, which takes time to collect. You're forced to make some assumptions at the outset of launching a new campaign, but that doesn't mean you have to go in blind. You have access to certain data points, such as:
This might not seem like much, but it gives you a starting point for creating a successful content strategy. And since marketing isn't an exact science, the goal should be to collect as much data as you can with your initial campaign and then further refine it from there.
Use Data To Build Out Better Profiles
Whether you collect insight via your social media channels, surveys, email marketing efforts, or Google Analytics data, the more granular you can get regarding customer behaviors, the more specific you can be regarding your content.
For example, if you used surveys to follow up with customers who made purchases over the course of the last 3 months, you may come to find that where you assumed you were talking to men, your customer base is actually made up of more women. Or, you may find that your age range for your target demographic will shrink based on your initial assumptions. The key, then, is to use these new data points to build out more accurate customer profiles. In some cases, you may even find that you are talking to two or three distinct audiences and you can craft separate content strategies to tailor the experience to each of their needs.
Tailor & Tweak
Customization and personalization are big themes within the content marketing industry right now, namely because of all the access to data that marketers have thanks to upgrades in technology. As you continue to collect more data and further refine your demographic profiles, you should constantly be updating your content strategy to reflect that new information.
This means that the best content strategy is not one that is set in stone, but rather one that is fluid and can evolve over time. A smarter content strategy, one that will yield greater success, also means you have to rely on data in order to send the right message to your target audience. This takes patience, creativity, and attention, which is not easy for everyone, especially in this era of NOW.
HYC Can Help
If you're interested in crafting a smarter content strategy, I'd love to talk to you about your business and your goals. Contact me today to schedule a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation with me.