Why your content isn’t resonating with your target audience and 4 ways to fix it
Picture this: you’re about to launch a campaign. You’ve spent weeks working on the content - writing and rewriting the copy, tweaking images, editing videos, the works. Despite all the hard work, your content falls flat with your audience and the campaign underperforms.
Unfortunately, this is a scenario many marketers are familiar with. Did you know that 95% of content fails to connect with its audience, according to Content Marketing Institute?
The problem isn’t that there’s too much content being published. It’s that a lot of it is poor. Too many marketers are hopping on the content bandwagon with no strategy per se, dishing out content that doesn’t add value to their target audience and says nothing about who they are as a brand or what they stand for.
No wonder customers are tuning out.
Creating great content takes more than just writing a bunch of articles or following a soon-to-be-forgotten social media trend. When done right, content marketing can help answer your audience’s questions about your brand, build trust, develop relationships, improve conversions, and generate three times the number of leads compared to traditional marketing. But the question remains: how can marketers create content that people love?
Here are four ways to win at content marketing:
1. Start with your brand
The first step to creating great content is to understand why you want to produce content. Too many marketers begin their content efforts without knowing who they’re trying to reach, what’s important to their audience, and why. But in a world where everybody is doing content marketing, you have to earn attention.
Marketing has always been about telling your brand’s story and connecting with customers. Content can be a bridge between your brand and your audience. Whether you’re writing an article, producing a launch video, or hosting a webinar, your goal should always be to communicate who you are as a brand, what you stand for, and why you’re different from competitors.
This starts with establishing your brand foundation. When you get that right, it becomes easier to create content that is consistent with your brand and sets you apart in an ever-growing sea of content.
A great example is our work with American wine-subscription club Firstleaf. The brand wanted to launch a television commercial campaign (TVC) to boost brand awareness and build a stronger connection with their target audience. We soon realized that before getting started on the campaign, the brand first needed a refresh to reflect who Firstleaf truly is and what sets them apart from the 1500 competing wineries in Napa Valley.
Thanks to Firstleaf’s revamped brand, we were able to create two heart-touching TVCs that relay the emotional core behind Firstleaf and help connect with the brand’s target audience. Read all about the collaboration here.
2. Know your target audience
A key factor of creating compelling content is to know who your target audience is. When we’re working with a new client, we always start with a brand assessment to learn the ins and outs of the brand and their target audience. We conduct industry, competitor, and target audience research to familiarize ourselves with the market our client is operating in and gain insights into how we can help them differentiate. These insights are then translated into high-quality and relevant content that conveys the brand’s message while setting them apart.
Knowing your audience also involves understanding which channels they’re present on, the challenges they face, and the topics that resonate with them. Which is easier said than done, considering that each customer is different and has their own path to purchase.
That’s why it’s important to take a full-funnel approach to content. Full-funnel marketing entails tailoring your content and messaging to different stages of the customer journey. This way, you ensure that the right content is reaching the right audience.
The beauty of a full-funnel approach is that it takes the entire 360° customer journey into consideration. In doing so, it helps you nurture your customer relationships and build more engaging and personalized brand experiences.
It’s no secret that brands who adopt a full-funnel content marketing strategy do better than those who don’t. Our work with Rosco Vision is a testament to this. In preparation for the product launch of their innovative new dashcam, the DV6, they asked us to create a digital marketing campaign that builds awareness about the product and generates high-quality leads.
Using the full-funnel approach, we mapped out the customer journey for each of the channels the campaign would run on and identified which content would have the maximum impact at each stage of the journey. Some content evokes curiosity about the DV6, while other content serves to build stronger connections.
In five months, the campaign saw a conversion rate of 14.5% - a steep jump from the industry average of 2% of 3%. It also generated a 377% increase in leads for Rosco Vision and won us multiple MarCom awards. A successful campaign, to say the least.
3. Create content that sets you apart through creativity
You won’t be able to grab the attention of your target audience by playing it safe and creating the same cookie-cutter content as your industry peers. Your content needs to stand out against everything else that’s out there.
Creativity is a surefire way to inspire and engage the people you’re trying to reach. Just look at brands like Nike, Pixar, and the like. These brands are successful because they leverage creativity as a differentiator and apply it to everything they do - from the content they publish to the experiences they craft. They constantly think outside the box and in doing so leave a memorable mark on customers.
There are tons of ways you can be creative. The way you position your brand’s story, your design and illustration style, and even the words you use to communicate with your audience can be laced with a dose of creativity. Try it out and see for yourself what the true power creativity holds.
4. Be consistent
Content gives you the chance to humanize your brand and connect with your audience. If your content isn’t consistent with your brand and its values, you risk confusing your audience and creating a fragmented perception of your brand.
To build trust and brand recognition, your content needs to be unique and identifiable. How you communicate with your audience also plays a role here. Your tone of voice (TOV) is integral to how customers perceive your brand and should reflect your values. Documenting your TOV helps ensure consistency across your brand communications.
When it comes to maintaining consistency across your designs, a design center of excellence is the way to go. A design center of excellence is essentially the underpinning of your design network - it connects all your design systems and files in a hierarchical structure. Almost like a family tree, where your corporate brand design system sits at the top and influences all connected subdesign systems.
With a design center of excellence, your entire design ecosystem is connected. This makes maintaining consistency much easier, thanks to better quality control and the ability to scale creative outputs. You can learn more about what a design center of excellence can do for you in our Scaling design guide.
Every marketer wants to create compelling content, but only a handful succeed. If you want to be part of the select few that manage to cut through the content chaos, you’ll need to go the extra mile. Take the four points above into consideration and set yourself up for content marketing success.