I’m a strong believer in the power of influence marketing and content marketing. So much of it overlaps, from co-creating content with influencers, to influencers sharing your content once it’s published. And the beauty of it is, if you do it right, you’ll have plenty of chances to attract the right customers. But you need to know what your prospects like, if you’d like to get into their ‘figurative’ pants.
photo credit: via photopin
The following advice applied to 3 things: Improving your content strategy, scoring new clients, and having better sex (we like to give professional and personal advice in the same posts):
- Listen to the needs of the person and respond to their interests
- Don’t force them to go somewhere or do anything they don’t want
- Make them feel comfortable
- Find out what they like, don’t like, and then adapt
The only way to find out all of this information is to open up a dialogue, and start asking questions.
Start By Asking The Right Questions
I wrote a post last week introducing you to how we’re approaching our new content strategy. The major topic of that post was about asking the right questions. We asked our prospects about how they consume information online, which better helped us adapt our social media strategy. We’ll write more about how we specifically changed our own online behaviours in later posts. But for now, lets focus on some of the questions we asked our prospects :
- What are your personal interests?
- What’s your favourite format for consuming content?
- What value do you want from content?
These are only some of the questions we asked, but they were the most relevant to our content strategy. Most of our prospects are women between the ages of 23-28. We know that they’re interested in travel, fashion, active lifestyle, and cooking, so we try to incorporate this in our content as much as we can. Some of them even mentioned that they like websites like BuzzFeed, Mashable, Gawker, and People Magazine. So this is why we started our Hits and Giggles series, to add an element of fun to our website.
The general consensus was that most of our prospects like to consume case studies, or short-form content. They will read long-form content (over 1000 words) too, but it has to be extremely eye-catching, and valuable. They’ll skim through long-form content more than short-form. The value of the content needs to help them with their jobs – can it advance their career? Can it make them look good in front of their bosses? Can it help them score a new client? Can it help them make daily tasks more efficient? Can it educate them on a topic they’re currently working on?
How We Changed Our Content To Reflect Our Clients’ Needs
From the information we gathered, we adapted our content strategy, starting with our blog first. We started incorporating personal interests into our headlines, and have a blend of short-form and long-form content. We also started publishing guest posts from industry experts, as we know that our prospects look at influencers and experts for content as well.
Now, we know we still need to work on a few things, like case studies (which are in production), and creating content for other websites too (guest blogging), but so far, it’s been paying off!
Search traffic has gone up, because we’re providing valuable content that PR and marketing professionals are looking for. Our social media traffic has gone up, because our content has suddenly become more interesting (on both a professional and personal level). Our engagement with prospects and influencers has gone up, because our content sparks conversation, and is sometimes provocative. And most importantly, we’re generating more inbound leads by entertaining, educating, and providing valuable articles for prospects.
So just like sex, content marketing has a lot of give and take, and proper communication will always make it better. Find out what tickles your clients’ fancy, and incorporate it into your content marketing to reap the benefits, and score! In my next posts, I’ll focus on how we changed our social media behaviours and content curation to attract targeted prospects, and how our whole strategy comes together by working with influencers.
What kind of content do your clients/customers/prospects like? What are their personal interests? How can you attract more leads through content marketing and influencers? Please leave a comment below!