July 24, 2015

Three Ways to Align Your Content with Customer Preferences

As marketers, we create content that we hope will resonate with prospects and customers—content that is designed to be engaging, informational and valuable to readers. New research conducted by The Economist Group and peppercomm, however, reveals that this is usually not the case.

 The truth: 93 percent of marketers actually create content that is far too product-focused and company-centric, while 75 percent of business executives—prospective readers—said they are looking for content that provides valuable information that can help them generate strategies and ideas that yield better business outcomes.

The top goals of surveyed marketers included building brand awareness and increasing ROI; therefore, it’s understandable that they would gravitate toward creating company-specific content as opposed to industry-focused or evergreen content. But the fact remains, the content an organization creates and shares should primarily be directly aimed at satisfying customer needs. To this point, 71 percent of surveyed execs said they do not care for content that feels too salesy or overtly promotional.

So, what kind of content will reel these decision makers in? According to the aforementioned study, content that presents timely or unique information left 67 percent of readers with a better and more positive impression of a brand. Furthermore, content that has audio or video elements are highly preferred by readers, verses being just text-based.

Struggling to get out of the sales pitch slump with your content? Here are some ways you can fine tune your content so that it aligns more with these kinds of customer needs:

Real-time reporting: Reporting on breaking news in a timely fashion shows that your company is capable of thinking outside of its own brand and products. When appropriate, tie in your company’s core competencies and values have your CEO weigh in on the subject, for example, or confidently step out and comment on a controversial matter. In fact, a research report from Wayin found that 98 percent of marketers that capitalized on this real-time reporting trend saw a positive impact on revenue as a result.

Remember—you’re telling a story: Remember that as a marketer, the custom content that you produce should be telling a unique story. In other words, it’s not enough to churn out simple statistic dumps or that covers an overused topic. In trying to tell a story with every piece of content, you will be challenging yourself to move away from stale sales pitches or the “me, me, me” mentality that so many marketers inadvertently exhibit when taking pen to paper.

 Embrace video and audio: Videos attract three times more inbound links than plain text posts. Put simply, readers want variety in the content they consume. Not sure how to get started? Take a look at this example of a blog here at Content Boost that embeds video. Another great example can be found by clicking here.

Ready to get started? Any three of these tactics should prove helpful for doing so. Good luck!


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