Crafting great content – and ensuring its continued relevance – requires an adaptive process. Here are five steps to optimize the effectiveness and efficiency of your process:
- Define the project & audience – Begin by ensuring you have clarity regarding the goal(s) driving your content creation. What’s its purpose? What outcomes are you looking to achieve? Efficiency begins with being certain your content creation aligns with the goals set by the business. Additionally, answering these questions with as much detail as possible will help you to clearly define your target audience – the key next step.
- Identify target persona(s) and what’s driving their behavior – Spend time getting into your target audience’s head by building a persona for key individual(s) in the buying process. Among other things, you need to identify what their challenges, pain points, and goals are; what typical roadblocks they encounter; what their buying process is; what they value and what motivates them – all things that shape behavior. As we discussed in a previous post on psychographics, you’ll need to learn how to craft messages that appeal to your target audience’s more primitive limbic brain system – the “feeling and reacting” system – that drives emotions, motivation, and thus behavior. Also look to discover where your audience seeks out information. By going to those same sources, you can not only discover what topics are of interest to them and which questions they may be asking, but you’ll also know where to go to influence the conversation with the insights you’ll develop throughout the process.
- Always ask yourself, “So what?” – Having gained insight into your target audience’s current reality, think through the implications and potential impacts of those combined insights. What does the proverbial Big Picture look like and what might a bit of crystal-ball gazing tell you about how that might change? By identifying the most likely scenarios, you can test the veracity of these ideas in a number of ways. Feedback can be solicited from industry thought leaders, clients, and influencers through community groups, blog posts, etc. Likewise, developing a carefully crafted prospect survey will not only garner you great feedback, but also allow you to surreptitiously place those forward-thinking ideas on your target market’s radar – efficient and effective!
- Maintain a narrow focus on subject matter – As the old adage says, you can’t be all things to all people. Rather than spread your material thin and risk confusing the issues, focus narrowly on building one or two great assets around which you can base your strategy. Maintaining this tight focus keeps your messaging sharp and direct, and conveys your differentiating value to prospects more effectively.
- Repackage & restate your content – Stretch the value of your content by repurposing it across different mediums. In this manner, you can create a cohesive body of content that spans your website, brochures, white papers, reports, case studies, etc. Additionally, this approach will serve to satisfy the varied ways prospects prefer to consume content.
An additional advantage of re-purposing and repackaging content is that, inevitably, you’ll also restate your message in varied forms, appealing to various perspectives. As great orators know, this will help your message resonate more clearly with a wider audience, while rendering it more impactful.
Delivering relevant content requires a vigilant, adaptive and timely process for generating that content. While the process is involved and comprehensive, in today’s business context it’s those who continuously deliver insightful and valuable content, who become the go-to trusted advisors in their marketplace.
**One great way to gain valuable, timely insights into your target audience is through the use of surveys. Read our brief to learn how SimplyDIRECT customers are addressing their content challenges in ways that help them work smarter, not harder. Click on the link below.
SimplyDIRECT with its subsidiary Gatepoint Research designs, drafts and deploys opt-in, invitation-only surveys to management-level executives within leading technology companies. Using web, phone and email-based data collection, its cutting-edge IT trends research and data analysis helps in the generation of custom reports and thought-leadership content.