Creating content is not just writing articles, blogs, or opinion pieces; it’s about using a diverse set of tools to reach your audience. Dividing content into parts is nothing new. Do you want your content to entertain, educate, persuade, or convert? If all four aren’t your goal, they should be since your visitors represent four stages: awareness, interest, desire, and action. Matching the four parts to the four stages is key to reaching your target audience. Let’s see what it takes to get your visitor from the first stage to the last with content variety.
Let’s start with entertaining your audience. What do you use that gets them to laugh, ponder, or perhaps feel connected to your brand? A human interest story doesn’t just entertain but appeals to emotion. A video allows a reader to visually see something, which then typically stays with them, especially if they share the content on social media. Memes are great for entertaining, even if it’s just a cute kitten or puppy with a message from your company.
Pictures can be entertaining, as well as graphs and other content. It’s essential to look at the strategy with which you choose to entertain someone.
Does your company primarily educate someone? What types of content help in that goal? A wall of text that is technical in nature may be great for the history or tech lover, but not for your average reader. Visitors want short sentences and paragraphs, getting to the meat of the philosophy, ideology, or teaching module. They want credible sources they can check and verify, and they want relevant information. You can educate people with graphs, articles, case studies, white papers, or videos, webinars, or podcasts.
You see it all the time–commercials of a juicy burger topped with cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, and sometimes even bacon or avocado. Your mouth starts watering, and soon your stomach starts rumbling. Before you know it, you’ve shopped online or in the car headed to the advertised place, mainly if it’s on sale. TV has been persuading consumers for decades and still does; however, social media seems to be the trend now. You can check Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and see influencers on there sporting their new jacket or newest tech gadget.
Nothing says “Buy Me,” then a demonstration of how the product or service works. A two-minute video or webinar appeals to the average buyer with the right buzzwords. An ad also works great on a website or social media channels.
To turn a spectator or visitor into a buyer means conversion, which is easily achievable when a call-to-action follows your ad, commercial, post, etc. This is the time to wow your audience with benefits, features, or sales of your product. Adding a warranty or money-back guarantee seals the deal usually and increases the chances a consumer turns into a customer.
Of course, your content marketing strategy all depends on what type of product you’re selling. For example, Apple sells products for the digital world, i.e., phones, iPods, watches, computers, et al.; however, Disney sells entertainment. You’d expect their visitors to be entertained, whereas Apple’s visitors want the latest cool electronic or Bluetooth gadgets. This takes us into the section about the target audience.
So Who Are You Targeting?
Gerber sells to moms because they’re usually the ones buying their products. Nike sells to sport’s enthusiasts or athletes. Your target audience impacts decisions about what content goes on your site. So, think about your audience. What are they looking for? What do they expect? What types of content will they find most persuasive? A variety of content appeals to different kinds of people–this is why it’s important to include several different content avenues in which to share.
B2B Versus B2C Content
Whether you target the business or consumer market makes a difference in what content you offer. If you’re a business that sells to other companies, your content must reflect that with relevance. If you’re a business that caters to consumers, your message will differ. Businesses may appreciate a more direct and formal approach, as opposed to a consumer who may want a video or blog with pictures to review.
Whatever content you use, ensure your audience engages with it, meaning there’s a connection. Don’t promise the world if you can’t deliver. Give them the truth but do so in a way that persuades them to trust in your product or service, so they become and stay a customer for life.