Reach Target Customers by Using Content

“A story is at its best when it’s not intrusive, when it brings value to a platform’s consumers, and when it fits in as a natural step along the customer’s path to making a purchase.– Gary Vaynerchuk

Content is nothing but a company telling its brand’s story in a way that convinces the target customers to buy and continue doing so. Content is probably one of the most potent and effective assets a company can have and this is true irrespective of kind and size of the business. Using content enables a company to demonstrate its uniqueness, expertise and values. It is a great way to let existing and prospective customers know what they offer and how these offerings are unique and distinct from others in the market. In order to reach target customers, companies would need great and value-added content to stoke and spike their interest in the company. While retaining customers is important, reaching out to target customers is also an essential part of the company’s business plan and by using content effectively, a company would be able to engage such customers.

Businesses that recognize the importance and value of using content weave its expense into their overall budget and strategies and are able to reap rich rewards. Many companies use the services of external vendors to churn out effective and engaging content that benefits them in the end. Using content to reach target customers is a low investment but has rich returns and dividends. Customer needs vary as also their reasons to buy – using content to convey personalization will allow target customers to respond to a company if they perceive value. Creating this value is the basis of using content.

To reach target customers by using content, it would be necessary for a company to first, understand the demographics of this customer base. This target customer base should be divided into segments in order to assess the individual needs and desires of each segment. The messages that are then conveyed using content would be more relevant and customized. It is important for a company to know what the target segment wants – people in the same segment could have varying preferences – hence using content to tap into those preferences would be ideal.

When using content to reach target customers, keep in focus the obvious differences between them and create content that will arouse the curiosity of these customers. Very often companies alienate target customers by improper and intrusive messages because they fail to use content smartly and judiciously.

To reach target customers by using content, ensure that the content provides the information that would be most useful for them. Some people like to read and would not hesitate to read even a long message your company sends if it ‘sounds’ interesting. Some others may be more attracted towards graphics and pictures and content that is brief but useful. When using content to entice customers, ensure that they are encouraged to read the content and remain interested to read the next message from the company.

Content takes on many different forms and companies prefer using content in the form of engaging and interactive videos. These videos can lend a personal touch if there are real people ‘speaking’ the content and delivering the company’s message. Short, catchy and informative videos lend a lot of credibility to a company’s campaigns. They can be customized to suit the target customers to enhance their appeal. For example – if the target customers happen to be in the mid-age segment, videos with validated statistics and more information – would catch and retain their attention.

Using content to reach target customers must be designed as objectively as possible. While it must suit the interests of the customers, it must also serve to attain the business goals and objectives and contribute towards a return on investment. The fact is that designing content to reach target customers takes up valuable resources (in most cases limited) of any company and hence must be efficient and effective enough to ‘get the job done’ the first time round. It is this content, which will turn target customers to actual ones. The better a company is able to understand its target audience the higher the possibility of putting together relevant content. Such a learning exercise of the target customers places the company in a better position to serve them when they start doing business with the company. In addition, a company picks up valuable information about customer preferences and ‘market realities’.

Using content to reach target customers is not an easy task. This requires a company to think innovatively and analytically in order to understand what it is promoting and to whom. Getting the content to convey the right message to the most appropriate audience requires time and effort and is an on-going process. Proper research and understanding also enables companies to identify the most appropriate time and channels by which they must reach their target customers. Research also clarifies the understanding of what the company should promote – trying to push all products at once or even reaching out to many target customers and segments could prove to be unsuccessful.

There are instances when a company would fail to reach target customers. This could be due to not learning from past failures or due to continually using the same methods and content because it ‘worked in the past’. In addition, companies also fail to reach target customers since they either did not keep track of past customer metrics or did not use the data to replicate the successes. It is imperative for companies to have an information cycle – a loop – that continually provides insights to help improve the content strategy. The more data driven this strategy is, the higher the company’s chances of hitting it off with the target customers would be.

Using content to reach target customers cannot follow an ‘umbrella policy’. As discussed, content must be designed after a thorough understanding of the customer segments. In addition, a company must have the bandwidth and capability to serve the customers in the future and for a long time. If a company is using content to reach target customers, the content must be personalized enough such that it echoes that the company understands its potential customers. Using content accurately will enable a company to build strong relationships and lend a feeling of trust, even before the target base ‘converts’ to becoming customers. Research has revealed the companies that provided relevant and useful content online, were able to increase the ‘conversion rate’ by at least 14%, which in turn led to an increase in revenue by at least 8%.

It is critical that companies continually seek feedback and remain aware of the data available around them. They must remain proactive, agile and alert to changes in customer behaviour, market conditions, and other such factors that could potentially influence the kind of content they would need to put together and when they would need to ‘release’ it. Using content to reach target customers is a part of customer service – albeit the portion that starts before the actual customer relationship begins. Given this understanding, using content cannot be an isolated activity but must be part of the company’s overall customer service strategy in order to gain maximum advantage and enhance the company’s chances of success.

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