HubSpot has been pulling all sorts of great data with their 2016 State of Inbound report. One area was full of surprises. They asked what sort of content people actually want to see vs what sort of content we marketers are producing.
The results of the survey have led to the term ‘Decentralized Marketing’. This is just a fancy way of saying that you need different types of content on multiple streams, to meet the needs of different types of people. According to the surveys, consumers want content in this order:
- Social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Etc.)
- News articles
- Research content
- Long form materials (white papers)
- And lastly…Blogs.
The message from HubSpot is that your company needs to extend its content strategy beyond your own website or blog, and look to external sources like LinkedIn or Medium. Being mobile friendly is also crucial. All of which is absolutely true, assuming you have already taken the time to get to know your audience and find out where they actually are.
Most Content Marketing is Mediocre, or Worse
The reality is that only 5% of content marketing is successfully driving engagement (Beckon). What’s wrong with the other 95%?
According to Beckon, brands have raced to increase the volume of content they’re producing without stopping to think about quality or the return on this increased spend. Here at Kinetix, we often find that the problem starts with the buyer personas.
What is a Buyer Persona?
Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, you need to fully understand who your customer is and where they are most likely to engage before you randomly distribute content across the digital universe. The best way to do this is by creating a buyer persona.
A persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer(s) based on demographics, behavior patterns, real data, and a healthy dose of educated speculation about the persona’s motivations, needs(pain points), and goals.
A carefully crafted persona will help you identify where your ideal customer spends time and gathers their information. Meaning THAT is where you want to be seen. There is no point posting on LinkedIn if your persona prefers Facebook.
How to Build a Persona?
Your persona guidelines must be tailored to your organization or industry, but the key areas to start with are:
- What is the job title you mostly come across when people are reaching out to you?
- What sort of organization or company do they work for?
- What is their age and gender?
- Are they married?
- What are their goals?
- What challenges do they face?
- How do they find you?
Start by looking at your site analytics to get a sense of how people are finding you online. Talk to your current customers. Ask them how they found you? Look at what your current customers have in common and then build a story around that. This story will help you understand your customers’ behavior patterns and enable you to shape your marketing and content strategy based on what your ideal customers need so that you can be there to serve them before your competitors do.