Many companies are increasing their focus on content creation and marketing, often funding such programs by shifting advertising dollars. But are they really getting maximum bang for their bucks? Is what they are creating going to get the attention and deliver what customers want?
A 2011 emarketer.com survey found that the use of dynamic content to increase the relevancy of a company’s products or services has become a top priority for U.S. marketers. Improving segmentation and targeting and better integrating social channels and data are other key objectives. In fact, consumers in the same emarketer.com survey noted that they are going to social channels expecting exclusive content.
The content development process typically starts by determining the audiences the company wants to reach and setting an editorial calendar for content creation. Content, both internally generated and from other sources, is then aggregated, curated and deployed. Next, the company listens to what’s being said about the content, and perhaps engages with its audience (although many companies are missing engagement opportunities, too, as we discussed in a recent blog). This feedback is then evaluated, and the lessons learned are applied to the next round of content creation. This seems simple, right?
Where this process can fall short is in failing to truly know what your audience cares about. What celebrities do they like? What entertainers have their ear? What TV shows do they like? If market research has determined your audiences, social media analysis can provide the foundation for discovering who really makes up those audiences and synchronizing content to their interests and tastes. Social intelligence guides investments in various forms of content. It can tell you the style of the content, whether it’s video or written words to use in videos. It can reveal whether an audience likes games. Social data can also tell you how the consumer wants to engage you on product releases, promotions and contests.
Social intelligence can help you decide on the optimal “canvases” or distribution channels for reaching your audience. It can tell you whether to paint your message as a blog, as a video or in another branded content form. If you listen to your audiences and know where they’re engaging on topics you want to have influence on, you can distribute content properly and cost-effectively instead of building it and hoping they will come. Think of it as an ongoing series of content masterpieces.
Your customers and prospects are talking about you more than you know. To understand what these audiences truly want, it’s important to continually evaluate what they’re saying – weekly, daily or even in near real time. This evaluation helps you identify trends, go deeper into the psychographic profile of your audiences and ensure your content dollars are going to the right investments.
This blog post is the second in a three part series. Click here to read the first post.