If you’re a witch, you know your broom from the front of its wooden knob to its last brushing fiber. But you’re not a witch. However, just as a witch may know every aspect of her broom, as a champion of your brand, you know every attribute of your product. The challenge is remembering that your customers don’t always share your expertise. That’s why it’s crucial to understand who your audience is and where you can find them so you can properly name your next piece of content in a way that will enchant your readers and garner interest in your brand.
Know who to target
Step one will always be walking in your customers’ shoes. Who’s your audience, and what questions might they have that you would be able to answer? Until you can define who your customers are, can you properly target them? I know you know your product, but do you have a clear understanding of who is interested in making a purchase?
We recommend testing and then re-testing your strategy to determine who you should target. Sometimes this is less obvious than you think. Industries like jewelry, perfume and laundry detergent, previously solely targeting women have now shifted to targeting men with campaigns such as Jared Jewelers’ “He went to Jared,” Old Spice’s ”Smell like a man, man,” and Tide laundry detergent featuring dads in their television spots for the first time in almost 70 years of business.
Similarly, your target market can be just as unexpected. We are now seeing a shift in targeting with brands trying to reach the rising population of Millennials instead of Baby Boomers. Think it’s crazy? I did too until I realized that Pedialyte, a brand that primarily targeted women and children suffering upset tummies in the past, was now popping up on my radar as a Millennial man looking for extra electrolytes after a hard workout. In fact, according to MarketWatch, Pedialyte is projected to double its sales this year thanks in part to its alternate life as a hangover cure!
The point is, you may not know your audience as well as you think. Through vigorous testing and research, you can get to know them better and then target them properly.
Know how to target
This is an exciting time to create content. With so many online tools available, marketers can create a multitude of content with little to no formal training. From infographics and podcasts to videos and ebooks, there’s a type of content for every brand looking to reach its specific audience. To stand out and make an impact, you must truly understand what your audience wants to read and what form of content would go the furthest on your path to engaging customers.
Do your readers spend most of their time on social media, or do they prefer to read news on their phone as they take the train on their morning commute? Are you writing a long-form comparative essay for a respected journal or a Buzzfeed quiz? We can all agree that your title needs to fit the format. It can also be said that readers who interact with content on social media want brands to get straight to the point with visually appealing content and a short, witty title. On the other hand, readers confined to the morning train route may have a longer attention span and want a longer read, which may call for a more editorial-sounding title. Knowing where your readers are going to see your content and how they prefer to absorb information is crucial to understanding who your readers are and how you will name the content.
Know how to get someone’s attention
There are five perspectives on naming content, blogs, articles and any other sales or marketing collateral. And what do all of them have in common? The idea that your content will answer a question your customer, prospect, visitor, or reader has so that there is a value to interacting with your brand. Think about the questions your readers would type into a search engine, and then name your content in a similar fashion. Your readers should have questions (that’s good!); it means there’s a level of interest. But is your content named in a way that will get the attention of your readers and have them spellbound? Although there are many ways your audience will search online for answers, if you have a good understanding of your readers, you should be able to properly name and create content in a relevant and interesting way.
How does your brand compare to the competition?
Comparative content is important to readers looking to analyze multiple options before they make a purchase.
- Real-life Application: Distribion’s side-by-side competitive piece on marketing automation providers – The Definitive List of Marketing Automation Providers
- Start here – 10 Tips on How to Research Your Competition | Inc.com
Can I afford what your brand is selling?
Price-focused content can both ensure readers they will be able to afford a product and emphasize the value the product will have for the customer.
- Real-life Application: Zillow’s online affordability calculator – How Much House Can I Afford – Home Affordability Calculator | Zillow
- Real-life Application: D Magazine’s interactive landing page with video – The 21 Best Happy Hours in Dallas | D Magazine
What have other customers said about your brand?
Reviews tell readers that they are not alone. There are customers who have come before them who have had a favorable experience with the brand.
- Real-life Application: Travel Insurance Review’s online guides and reviews – Travel Insurance Reviews, Guides, and Instant Quotes
- Start Here: How to Write Genuinely Useful Reviews Online – Lifehacker
What are the top things I should know about your brand?
You are proud of your brand, and you should be! Opinion-based content is the way to go here.
- Real-life Application: Press releases are perfect – Distribion Featured in Mountnow’s List of Top Marketing Automation Tools
- Start Here: Want to create your own “Best of” list as an infographic? Moz.com has their own list of the top ten infographic builders – 10 Tools for Creating Infographics and Visualizations
What challenges will your brand solve for me?
More than likely, your customers are coming to you to solve a problem they are encountering. Solve the problem, and your readers will better understand your brand value.
- Real-life Application: McCormick’s how-to recipe guide to making breakfast with their spices – Quick and Easy French Toast Recipe | McCormick
- Start Here: Mashable’s how-to blog post on how-tos has over 1,000 shares and counting – HOW TO: Make a Great How-To Video
There are many ways to name your content, but addressing the questions your readers have will raise interest and increase the likelihood of clicks, reads and views. Your readers are searching for relevant content; it’s just a matter of understanding who your audience is, where they are and how they want to be reached. And although it doesn’t take witchery to create marketing content, to really charm your readers, you must be able to powerfully position the message by using titles that answer readers’ questions and show the value of your brand.