How to Build Trust into Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content Marketing has been around since the dawn of time. You have the first newspaper published in Germany in 1605 to instances of posters hanging in English pubs informing patrons on how to migrate to North America. Enter jazz journalism in the 1920s, which targeted those with a more decadent lifestyle. Throughout the 20th century, content was written for radio broadcasts and television, which aimed to inform and often persuade the masses on matters of war, peace, elections, catastrophe, and laundry detergent.
The Internet age arrived and suddenly everyone has the ability to search for information on their own terms via their preferred sources of choice. Companies got on board and created websites, Twitter handles, Facebook pages and YouTube channels in hopes of reaching their audience online. But with so much information available and fierce power searchers who are expert in making lightning fast decisions about the content they consume, companies often fall short in providing pointed content to their target audience that keeps them engaged – the kind of content that answers questions, offers utility, and ultimately, builds trust.
Often the reason companies fall short is because they treat their target audience as just that, one audience. A target audience is made up of many different kinds of people. Whether you’re in the B2C or B2B space, you’re not marketing to a consumer; you’re marketing to a human being. Knowing who the people are who have a need for your product or service is critical to developing content and messaging that speaks to their priorities and pain points. Once you have a clear understanding of the various personas who make up your target audience, not only will your marketing strategy be more highly targeted, but sales will also be more informed on who the customer is, which allows them to be more customer-centric in their approach.
For this reason, segmenting your target audience into personas will help you craft researched, thoughtful and measurable marketing campaigns that deliver to your customer’s needs.
Here are three key insights that must play into persona development:
- Identify key roles in your target audience. What are the various sets of responsibilities that exist across your target audience? For example, if you sell plant fertilizer, the target audience may include homeowners, landscapers, nursery owners, garden center managers, and farm operators. Each of these personas have very different needs and priorities. The homeowner is interested in curb appeal and beautiful flowers, while the farmer’s priority is crop yield and cost.
- List Pain Points. What keeps each persona up at night? What prevents them from being able to accomplish the objective at hand? For the homeowner, a pain point might be that they don’t have time for lawn maintenance. For the farmer, it may be a drought. Creating content that provides information on how to overcome these pain points is valuable to each persona and is the catalyst for forming trust with your brand.
- Prioritize Persona Needs. You know who the persona is. You know their pain points. So at the end of the day, what does each persona truly need? The homeowner needs a product that will make her plants more beautiful without heavy maintenance. The farmer needs to harvest more crops and he needs a product that can perform in inclimate weather. This is where the opportunity is to explain how your product or service is the solution to their need.
Once you segment your target audience and create marketing personas, you will have a solid foundation on which to begin thinking differently about your audience, their needs, and how you can build more engaging, trusting relationships with them. That, too, requires a strategy!
If you would like to talk more about persona development, feel free to give us a call and we’ll be happy to provide more insight into our process and its results.