Inbound Content Marketing Strategy Over Outbound: Share, Don’t Tell

Traditional advertising techniques use a megaphone approach. They tell the world to buy. Content marketing is more nuanced: it shares the why to buy. Telling is what YOU want. Sharing is what THEY want. Inbound content marketers understand who their readers are and what they want. This practice doesn’t shout blindly into a crowd “buy this, pick me;” instead they speak to the customer’s desires, fears and needs.

Content strategies are more involved than just writing and scheduling posts. A powerful content roadmap ensures the message is consistent, compelling, and distributed via ideal channels. A results-oriented content strategy includes persona development, content audits and messaging/voicing documents to ensure campaigns are targeting the right audience with the right message, information and the right time.

Why is Content Marketing Effective?

Before the age of media-savvy consumers, marketers blasted their message in newspaper, television, radio, anywhere — and hoped customers heard it. And understood it. And acted on it. This approach treated every consumer the same, and it helped few through the buying process which is now called the buyer’s journey.

Content marketing is the art of providing useful, relevant information to attract prospects and convert them into customers. By educating and informing your prospects, you build a rapport with them. They see you as a resource. When it’s time for them to make a buying decision, they already know you, like you and trust you. You’ve captured their business and loyalty without selling to them. A captive audience must be earned nowadays. If you don’t offer people something useful, all it takes is a click and they’re gone.

How to Use Content for Marketing

Thoughtfully created, strategically distributed content is the perfect opportunity to showcase expertise and position a company as an industry leader. Good content can be effective across multiple channels, including landing pages, blogs, podcasts, videos and social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Each of these channels has its own nuances, however, and a good marketer will maximize the potential of each channel.

PERSONAS: You Talkin’ to Me?

Do you know who your target audience is? Do you know how to talk to them? Do you know which media channels they use, and what makes them choose one product or service over another? If you don’t, you’re bound to waste time and money with little return on your marketing dollars.

A persona is the fictional representation of your ideal or existing customers, down to the little details. Personas incorporate demographics like gender, age, location and profession, as well as the interests, education, goals and pain points of your customers. Personas are powerful, effective tools because they’re based on data, not conjecture or speculation. By removing assumptions, feelings, hunches and one-size-fits-all methodology, you can truly connect with your audience.

Any time Flashpoint.Marketing creates content to reach to a potential customer, the persona is the theoretical person to whom the campaign is directed. Done correctly, this theoretical person is the mirror image of hundreds of others out there who aren’t yet your customers.

Why Bother With Personas?

Personas provide structure and focus:

  • Successful personas eliminate guessing
  • Guide the tone, style and delivery of communication, regardless of the channel
  • Tailors content topics and format: checklist, blog, white paper, etc.
  • Dials in your messaging, tone and voice: formal, slang, hip, business, etc.
  • Adapts the presentation of products or services to fit the customers’ specific needs
  • Hyper target advertising channels: Facebook vs. Twitter vs. AdWords, etc.
  • Super-segmented emails: what you bought before, how much, mobile, time of day, etc.

When done correctly, personas allow you to eliminate uncertainties from your campaign targeting and help to really focus your time and resources where it truly counts.

Read our blog post on how to create buyer personas.

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