It might have been one of the last breakout sessions of the day at Content Marketing World, but Vice President of Strategy and Marketing for Edison Research Tom Webster certainly knew how to get a crowd going—even with a cocktail-laden happy hour just minutes away.
That’s because Webster started his session, titled “What’s Wrong with My Content Creation Strategy” by asking a really simple question to audience members.
“Is your content audience focused?”
Because if it’s not, he argued, then you are putting your brand and company at a grave disservice.
While it might sound like a great idea, unfortunately more marketers tend to be content-centered then audience-centered when it comes to the marketing strategy. In other words, they oftentimes steer their marketing decisions based on what they think will sell and drive leads, rather then what is actually of deep interest for their target audience. And there is a great danger in taking this marketing approach, Webster warns.
So instead, marketers ought to embrace an audience-centered approach, going to great lengths to satisfy their desires and needs and create content that is so compelling that people will find it before they even realize they are searching for it.
“This is not a new concept,” Webster reminded. In fact, media companies have been doing this for decades—identifying segments of people who find value in their product and weaving content together to addresses those disparate needs, wants and desires. Your job as a marketer then, according to Webster, is to evolve your company to act as a media company, keeping the audience top of mind always.
And Webster could not be more correct. From understanding the unique pain points of your prospects to, as Webster puts it, figuring out what your audience—not your customers—expect you to be and executing on those expectations, it is paramount to evolve your content creation strategy to be audience-centric.
“It’s not about why people buy your product; it’s the why they think you exist,” Webster explained.
So how do you get to know your customers better? By listening to them. Figure out what piques their interest, canvass the social media sites to get a sense for their opinions and take a look at the success of your marketing efforts to figure out what is resonating.
After all, when you are one of the few companies sharing information about a topic on which there is little content, then economics are on your side and your potential for growth is unlimited, according to Webster.
“We live in a time where you do not have to be the best in your field to be the source of that information; you just have to be the best at content marketing,” he said.