Though the phrase “content marketing” is relatively new, the concept has been around for decades. I’ve been practicing it in one form or another since the 1990s.
But as more and more brands adopt the modern form of the practice, I frequently see some common content marketing mistakes. And by far, the most common mistake brands make is not empathizing with their target audiences.
Lack Of Empathy With Your Customer
The most basic mistake is creating content about what you want people to know rather than what your customers need or value.
For brands that are just starting content marketing, that often manifests itself in discussing news about the brand or company and how wonderful they are. When you’re not thinking about what your target audience values, you often focus on product features or use industry jargon.
The first step in fixing that is really getting to know your customers to the point where you can empathize with them. You need to see the world through their eyes and understand how their daily lives look. This will help you understand their mindset and their behavior when they are investigating a solution that your brand provides.
When you look at the world through your customers’ eyes, it quickly becomes apparent what content you should be creating. By creating content that serves your customers’ needs as they relate to your company’s offerings, you’ll be far more likely to earn and maintain their attention and ultimately, their business and loyalty.
Content Marketing Tool: The Customer Persona
The standard approach to understanding customers is the creation of customer personas. You need to go beyond basic demographics of your customers and prospective customers to include an understanding of:
- Their psychographics
- Their technographics
- The technology they use
- Their online behavior
- Media consumption
- Generational dynamics
- To which generation do they belong?
- How that shapes their attitudes toward the world
- Their hopes and fears
- Their daily challenges
By intimately understanding the audiences with whom you want to communicate, you will be well on your way to creating a communications strategy that identifies the most effective channels through which you can reach them. Once you have an intimate understanding of who target audience is, the strategy for reaching them practically writes itself.
But most importantly, it will help you create the content that will draw them to you, develop trust in you, and create a relationship that will lead to sales.