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Trailblaze New Customers and Contacts with Personalized Content

personalized content marketingDoes your company have a content strategy?

If not, you’re not alone.

A new report by Forbes Insights finds that most organizations either lack a content plan or are trying to get along with one that’s incomplete.

“Often that means relegating content creation to a vacuum within the marketing department, or relying on bootstrap approaches spread throughout the organization,” Forbes wrote in January. “They may produce content, but it’s rarely personalized, nor is it well integrated with broader objectives like developing the brand or increasing customer loyalty.”

This is pretty grim news in a world where more and more people seek out personalized content. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some organizations with a strong content strategy in place.

According To Forbes, Organizations Break Down Into Three Different Groups:

  • 25 percent are “trailblazers,” embracing the five key content creation practices – more on those below. They’re adept at creating and distributing content, as they consider it a crucial part of their marketing strategy.
  • 67 percent are “explorers.” They know content is important, but are still struggling on how to create personalized experiences.
  • The final eight percent are “nomads.” These are organizations that don’t think personalized content is important, and thus don’t make content planning a priority.

“This report demonstrates how far many companies still have to go to achieve a complete content strategy,” said Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer and Head of the CMO Practice at Forbes Media. “It also lays out a roadmap of how to get there through these key practices.”

So What Are Those Five Practices?

  1. Outline your priorities. Your content strategy needs to be tied to your company’s goals.
  2. Have what Forbes calls a “content champion.” This could be a senior executive such as the CMO or chief digital officer.
  3. Know your audience. Find out what your target audience wants by searching through data, and deliver content based on your findings.
  4. Invest in the technology and data integration analytics you’ll need for content marketing capabilities.
  5. Measure everything, and then optimize your content based on the results.

If you’re a trailblazer, chances are that you’re already following these practices.

But if you’re an explorer you might be wondering how to get your content strategy started. (We’ll assume nomads aren’t that curious about creating a content marketing strategy.)

A big part of getting started is knowing who’s in your audience. You can do that by creating a buyer persona. This is a fictionalized version of your ideal customer, based on market research and data from your existing customers.

Creating personas allows you to figure out the content you need to create. A manufacturing company trying to reach veterans in their field wouldn’t write the same kind of blog posts for first time visitors to their site.

To Create A Persona, You Should Interview Maybe Three To Five People, Asking Them Questions Such As:

  • What’s your job title?
  • What does your company do?
  • What are some of your biggest challenges?
  • What are some publications you read to learn what’s happening in your field?
  • What social networks do you use?
  • Tell us about your personal background, marital status, family, etc. (Some people may not want to answer this in person, so consider conducting an online survey.)
  • What’s your favorite way to interact with your vendors? With your customers.

Try to ask “Why?” as a follow-up for some of these questions. It’s usually bound to yield more interesting material than “who,” “what” or “where” questions.

You can ask someone about their job, but finding out why they like it – or don’t like it –can tell you a lot more about them.

Once you’ve created your personas, you’ll have a better idea about the type of content they’re going to want to see.

If you still have questions, talk to IQnection. Our team can help you create a digital marketing strategy that speaks to your audience and find out what matters to them. Let us be your content champion as we help you transform from an explorer to a trailblazer.


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