Write the Content that Your Target Audience Actually Wants

Your organisation has bought in to inbound and content marketing, and your team has been diligently putting out content, but you are still not seeing the conversions that you are hoping for. If this sounds like you, perhaps the content you have been writing is not the content that your target audience is looking for.

We have worked with marketers to gain clarity within their organisations on what their ideal content strategy should be. The key factors that determine whether a content strategy is sound are none other than knowing exactly who you are talking to, and knowing what content is relevant to them. And this is the approach that is tried and tested by many content marketers that are seeing success in their inbound marketing strategy. This week, we are seeing two content marketing experts talking more about this, in the form of “customer-content fit” and “topic clusters.”

Customer-Content Fit

Content marketing agency Grow and Convert recently coined the term “customer-content fit” that exemplifies the importance of understanding your buyer personas and buyer’s journey so that you are writing the correct, relevant content to attract the right people at the right time. Here’s what Grow and Convert says of the problem that many marketers are familiar with:

If you’re the marketing executive or founder, this misalignment problem is mentally and emotionally exhausting. You’re working your tail off producing content month after month. From ideating, to writing, to graphics, to promotion- it’s all a lot of work. So when the management team asks you “How many customers are we generating from our content marketing efforts?”, it can feel like you want to throw something at a wall.

— Customer-Content Fit: A Framework for Producing Content That Attracts Customers
Grow and Convert

For marketers just coming onboard inbound and content marketing, getting the right mindset on how to write relevant content is a big hurdle to overcome. I’d say there are two camps of marketers that I’ve worked with: marketers who want to jump right in to start churning out content, and marketers who don’t know where to start. For both camps, the solution is surprisingly the same:

  1. Build your buyer personas
  2. Identify your buyer’s journey and map your content strategy to your sales funnel
  3. Write content to target these personas in their various buying stages.

Topic Clusters

Incidentally, HubSpot recently released its new Content Strategy tool which is built on the concept of topic clusters. HubSpot explains why topic clusters is the new approach to SEO:

Influential search engines like Google have changed their algorithm to favor topic-based content. As a result, SEOs are exploring a new way of linking related content under a “topic clusters” model. This report serves as a tactical primer for marketers responsible for SEO strategies.

— Topic Clusters: The Next Evolution of SEO

Essentially, the key difference in content approach with topic clusters is that topics are more valued over keywords, as search engines enhance their algorithms and become more intelligent in deciphering search queries and guessing intent.

Credit: HubSpot

The Content Strategy tool is very new and we are on our way to understanding it more, but it’s not difficult to see this as a move in the right direction. Interestingly as well, focusing on topics can open up new opportunities to fill in content gaps that cannot be easily surfaced when simply focusing on keywords. This is good news for marketers who are finding it harder to think of new content to write given the saturation of similar content already out there.