Content marketing is not just about telling a great story, but rather, the marriage between a great story and its value and relevance to the audience that we serve.
As marketers, it is within our mandate to establish ourselves and by extension our brand as thought leaders, with an intent to create a stronger connection with our clients and community. To achieve our success we spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the topics and themes that will form our content.
However, how much time do we truly spend thinking about our audience – and more specifically our audience in the context of “real people”?
Real people require content that is thought-provoking and emotional, content that connects on a personal level.
There are many tools in the marketplace that help marketers measure an audience, but they typically look at segmentation with a demographic and psychographic point of view. With access to so many digital devices, the Internet and social media platforms, audiences are more knowledgeable than ever before, making traditional models and methods of audience analysis inherently limited.
As a result, the demographic set and its very construct are broken. The idea that panelists (even in a diverse set) provide ratings data that extrapolates to the general population is biased.
Today, the many ways in which an individual can ingest and connect with content has dramatically changed. We are no longer bound to the morning paper, radio news, television news or even sports highlight shows.
Now, we have access to copious amounts of real-time news content and analysis — updates from real people involved in producing information through social media, and commentary from the celebrities and athletes we follow as part of our daily lives.
We decide when and how we want to watch our favorite TV shows, where we get our news and what platforms and people we want to engage and connect with.
The reality is that we’re not even learning about products or services from traditional information platforms like television, newspaper or radio anymore. We can get closer than ever before to the brands that we love and constitute those interactions on our own terms – including place, medium and time.
The very way we create content has changed as well.
There has been a massive surge of content resulting from free social tools that provide audiences with ubiquitous access to the creation and consumption of information.
Whether that’s videos on YouTube, pictures on Instagram or even a comment on Facebook, everyone with something to say can and will share their content.
We have seen many “do-it-yourselfers” come to the forefront during this technologically advanced and socially connected time. Savvy users can become immensely influential, garner substantial audience and build huge communities around their work.
It’s quite mind-boggling that all of this is happening around us in such a rapid way. We live in an incredibly immersive and exciting time. Our children are learning how to use the tools and platforms we create for ourselves at a substantially faster pace, and older generations are embracing this digital age with youthful spirit and enthusiasm.
What were once tools of big business and enterprise are now being used by kids and retirees alike.
Facebook is no longer a platform for college students. In many cases they’ve moved on to other networks, and filling their spots are their grandparents who use iPads to share stories with old friends. So how do we now create content that will actually resonate in such a crowded environment?
Some have attempted to use shortcuts and try to create content for search engines in an attempt to game the system and gain audience. Unfortunately, that strategy is fleeting. It speaks to the general populace without taking into account the very art of content creation and its importance in our lives. Creating content in that way is like writing a pop song just to sell downloads versus writing a beautiful song filled with meaning and substance.
We believe that there is a better way to create content that will not only connect with your audience, but have a lasting impact on them as well.
We’ve seen the results and writing content for real people that they truly value is the only way to cut through the clutter and deliver your message in a relevant and meaningful way.
If you want to see results for your own content efforts, learn more about how to create awesome content for real people in our ultimate guide.