Welcome back to the Young Folks Digital DIY content marketing challenge. Yesterday, I walked you through the foundations of a content marketing campaign or strategy and if you’ve done your homework (cheeky wink) you should now have the following covered off for your brand:
- Who we are (about us)
- What we do (thing you sell)
- Why we do it (your purpose, your why)
- Who we serve (your audience — but we’ll dig deeper into this today)
- Your goals and objectives (should stack up to purpose)
We’re now on Day 2 of the challenge (in case you missed it, you can catch Day 1 here). Today, we’re covering all things audience — because you gotta know who you’re talking to in order to work out what to say. You’ll need to gulp down a big ol’ dose of empathy for this lesson, because mapping out your audience personas is all about deeply understanding what makes your target market tick — we’re talking pain points, pleasure points, aspirations, and challenges.
Okay, let’s get stuck in to lesson two: defining your ideal customer or client.
Here is lesson one in video format. Annnd, for those that prefer to read, I’ve recapped the lesson below.
There’s art and science to audience identification and definition. The art part is our assumptions on who’s buying from us based on what we’re selling and our brand positioning — it’s instincts, it’s empathy, it’s the vibe. The science part is where we turn to data to verify our thinking. Sometimes we have access to these data points through social media analytics or website analytics, and sometimes we need to look to external sources like the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) Nielsen reports, even customer surveying services.
One thing I love to do when I don’t have all the information at hand is make a hypothesis — year eight science style — and set out to prove or disprove it with my marketing and what analytics I have access to. Yep, sometimes it’s a process of elimination.
We usually like to start out with the following:
- Where are they located?
- What’s their age?
- What’s their gender?
- What’s their income?
- What job do they do?
- What are their goals?
- What are their challenges?
- What are their hobbies and interests?
- What do they value?
Pleasure and pain.
This is where the empathy work comes into play big time. Working out what your audiences pain points are and what sparks joy is crucial for any content marketing strategy. In fact, it is these very points that we’ll be crafting messages around when it comes to the content writing work.
Why? Because when it comes to effective content marketing, it’s all about selling the solution (not just selling the product). Here’s an example:
Pain points example for a Bookkeeper’s ideal customer:
- Organising my receipts is a headache. But having my receipts under control makes me feel at ease.
- Tax time is expensive. But knowing my business paperwork is all documented legally saves me money at tax time.
- I don’t have enough time, I’m always at work. But an extra few hours a week means I can spend more time doing the things I love.
See, if we’re saying “bookkeeper for hire” it’s not quite as compelling as “Our bookkeeping services will give you back hours each week to do more of what’s important”.
Now, we can reflect this in content marketing in many different ways (but we’ll save that for lesson three).
Aspirations and challenges.
It’s not just about pain points and pleasure points, though. It’s also about aspirations and challenges and how your offering can support, address, or provide a solution here.
Aspirations example for ethical fashion brand’s customer:
- I want to live a waste-free life
- I want to limit my impact
- I want to look and feel good
- I care about fashion and style
- I care about the environment and social justice
- I want to look good without it costing the earth
See where we’re going with this? Getting to know your customer on a super deep level is crucial if you want to create relatable and relevant content — and relatable and relevant content underpins all successful content marketing campaigns and strategies.
Next up? The ZMOT.
Wondering WTF a ZMOT is? Let me explain. So, content marketing (well, any marketing really) is all about getting the right message to the right audience at the exact right time. It’s so important that Google actually developed a marketing framework around this concept called the “Zero Moment of Truth”. According to Google, “the ZMOT refers to the moment in the buying process when the consumer researches a product prior to purchase”. In other words, the exact moment they’re ready to buy.
In order to get the message right, at the exact right time, you need to understand the customer journey. It can be quite complicated, of course (and often isn’t linear) but for the most part people generally follow a flow that looks a little something like this.
Now we have pieced together some essential information about our target audience: pain points and pleasure points, aspirations and challenges, and what the journey to purchase looks like. This is going to make a world of difference when it comes to crafting your marketing messages and producing all the content.
Okay, homework time.
Before our next lesson, make sure you write down your audience personas including:
- Their age and gender
- Where they’re located
- If they’re a high, medium, or low income earner
- What their pain points are
- What brings them joy
- What their challenges are
- What their goals and aspirations are
Remember, all of the above can be assumptions if you don’t have access to this data. For example: if you sell a reasonably expensive product (such as a $550 sustainably made dress) you might make the assumption that your audience is middle to high income earners as it simply wouldn’t be affordable for the majority of low income earners. Sure, sometimes people will splurge but that’s the exception not the rule.
Don’t forget, if you want to ask a question or connect with other people doing this challenge, jump over to our Instagram and find the #YFDChallenge post. We’ve even made a Stories template for you in case you’d like to share with us — grab it in the #YFDChallenge highlights on Instagram.