The ultimate goal of content creation isn’t just to rank high on Google or populate the pages of your website. What brands really need to do, is form a connection with their target audience – one that paves the way for meaningful (valuable) relationships.
So, how do you make sure your content really hits home? Ultimately, you need to get into the minds of your target audience. It’s not enough to simply produce content for the search engines, with keyword optimisation and backlinks. Instead, you need to understand the needs and pain points of your customers and create pieces to suit them.
By getting to know your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile), you can design your pieces to answer common questions, generate conversations, and build hype. So, where do you get started?
Stepping into the Shoes of your ICP: Finding Intent
The first step in creating content tailored to your ideal audience is getting to know their pain points. Once you’re aware of a challenge your customer is facing, ask yourself how you’re going to respond to their questions with your content, and grab their attention.
A good way to boost your chances of success is to align your pieces to your audience’s “intent”- or where they are on the buyer journey.
The intent marketing funnel breaks down into these stages:
- Awareness: The first step in a customer’s buying cycle, is when they realise, they have a problem that needs a solution
- Consideration: When your prospect is considering their options, and your company has an opportunity to outline all of the solutions you can offer
- Intent: When your customers are actively engaged in finding a product or service to suit their needs. This is where you prove your expertise
- Purchase: This is when your customer is ready to actively buy something, and you can offer discounts or coupons to boost your chances of a sale
- Nurturing: This is the stage in the cycle where your content needs to convince your customers to stick with your brand and keep coming back for more
Content designed to enable, inform, educate, and inspire your audience is generally more powerful than anything else. This means many of your pieces should be designed to solve problems, answer questions, and demonstrate thought leadership.
Optimise Your Content for Your Audience
Once you know what kind of content you should be creating for customers throughout the buyer journey, the next stage is optimising your pieces to generate the best results. For instance, you’ll need to think about how long your content should be.
Just because Google likes long-form content over 1000 words or more doesn’t mean that’s what your audience actually wants from you. Pay attention to how much content your customers prefer to consume. Clear concise pieces often outperform keyword-stuffed waffles.
Next, think about how you’ll present your content. Written articles are great – but they’re not the only option. Video has grown into an increasingly popular way to capture audience attention with engaging, multi-sensory experiences. On-demand videos are perfect for those who don’t have time to take part in a scheduled webinar. Long-form learning content is great for deep dives into your technology, while short-form videos are brilliant for social engagement.
Ultimately, optimising your content means creating the right pieces, in the right moment by walking in your customer’s shoes.