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Are You Asking Yourself The Right Questions About Your Audience?

If not, then do you really know who they are?

Know your audience. Sounds simple, right?

But then why are we all constantly asking ourslves the following:

  • Do we really know our audience?

  • Do we know enough about our audience?

  • Is there more we can learn about our audience?

Stop. Take a step back and a deep breath, and let’s begin again.

It amazes me how many content marketing clients truly do not ask their readers or target audiences what they are interested in. Not just once, but on a regular basis. Just as vendors’ goals change yearly (or more frequently than that), so do the goals of audiences.

Clients (and media companies for that matter) assume that they know exactly what their target audience wants before taking a step back and performing some research.

We can’t know what we don’t know. This is a common mistake made by several companies and decision makers. Just because we think we know something doesn’t mean it is the right direction to take. A common misconception I see from clients is they are almost afraid to break out of what they have been doing for years (or longer).

The old saying goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” How does this apply to B2B media? If new revenue goals and lead targeted goals change, then it is logical to assume that the tactics to reach those goals also must change—or we’re all insane.

When I’m working with clients and they are ready to launch a content campaign to market to a specific audience, it gets me all excited! But then I make sure to ask these four follow up questions:

  1. Why is this content campaign important?

  2. How does your audience prefer to consume content? Whitepapers? Webinars? Infographics?

  3. Is there data to back up the idea that your target audience wants this information?

  4. Are you looking to be a thought leader on this topic?

These four simple questions can help mold the start of a great content campaign and potentially earn extra dollars from a sales perspective, based on the direction the answers lead.

How can this put more dough in my pocket, you ask?

  1. If the client does not have any research to back up their current content campaign or is looking to break into a new market, pitch them a research program as simple as a 10-question survey to promote to your readership. The results will help set the foundation upon which the content campaign will be built. Using a vendor of corporate communications software as an example, here are some questions the survey might contain:

  • Does your organization use corporate communications software?

  • If yes, do they use it for safety purposes?

  • What will be your organization’s approximate expenditures on corporate communications software in 2018?

  • Does your organization attempt to measure the ROI of your communications software? (Yes, No, or No, but considering it)

  • What methods does your organization use to measure ROI of your communications software?

  1. If they haven’t asked how the audience prefers to consume content, have that be one of the questions on the survey, as well. This can have the added benefit of leading to new custom content opportunities to create for the client.

  • Some examples of custom content that can be developed from research are:

  • Webinars—Sharing the findings helps position the client as thought leaders while also gaining leads.

  • Snackable Content—Sharing the important findings from the survey on social platforms to drive traffic back to a website

  • Infographics—These can be used not only digitally, but in print and in-person events as handouts or banners in a booth, to show off the findings from the research study. This is great for brand awareness and thought leadership to show the due-diligence put in by a company.

So how does this process play out?

First, I have a client that is looking to launch a content campaign on their new comm’s software within the manufacturing space. The software is meant to help with communications from the CEO on down to the workers on the plant floor, via an app that helps save costs across the entire company. The client wants to be the top dog and a thought leader in the communications space serving manufacturing facilities in the U.S..

The client tells me they want to promote this content to just plant managers. They have found that webinars are a great way to relay the importance of communication in the workplace, and they can conduct live screen-shares to show how their technology works. The client knows this from different trial and error tests over the past year. Kudos for them for taking the time to get this right.

Then, I stop and ask the client, “Why that specific target audience of plant managers? Have you thought about how important this communications system can be if used for safety in the workplace, as well? This is something a director of safety in a manufacturing plant or even human resources might consider.”

The client looks at me and tells me that hasn’t occurred to them. They want to run a program with the original plan, but they do want to learn more on the safety market.

Right there—that opens the doors up for additional opportunity for the client to consider breaking into a different side of the market, which means more potential revenue for the client and more revenue for my company—a win-win. We earn additional business while the client is taking a step towards looking at a new market—without breaking the bank to do so.

Always remember—the client will be thrilled that you took the time to take a step back with them and understand the audience rather than pitching them a quick turnaround product to get a quick dollar.

This will help build on the relationship with the client as a true partnership in their marketing efforts and ultimately help drive additional revenue down the road.

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