Would you walk out on stage to an auditorium full of open ears without knowing who that audience consisted of? Would you expect them to turn up to the event, pay for a ticket, take time out of their day, to listen to someone who wasn’t prepared, spoke on a subject they weren’t interested in and was totally irrelevant to the promise of the promotional material?

Of course not. So why do exactly this when developing content marketing for your business?

Unfortunately, many marketers instinctively leap to quantity, not quality. Understanding that content can fuel brand awareness, sentiment, SEO and more, they inadvertently create a roar that drowns out their intent. Before you start, turn down the volume and identify what your ideal customer wants and needs to hear.

1. Are you speaking from the right platform?

Roundtable or auditorium, LinkedIn or your blog – your platform is directly influenced by the audience you are trying to reach. Draw on user research, personas and social listening to uncover audience preferences.

Before you start, identify what your ideal customer wants & needs to hear. Click To Tweet

2. What are the roles of your decision-makers and influencers?

Don’t talk details to a senior strategic audience, they won’t appreciate it and they certainly won’t engage with you a second time. When, where and how do these people spend their days? And how can that inform that choice of platform or channel? Make sure you’re operating on accurate information. Your data needs a regular check-up.

3. What is their level of fluency in the topic? 

Using jargon will alienate your listeners if they are not experts in the subject, so pitch your commentary to match their knowledge level. 

4. What is their demographic?

Boomers, millennials – we use language differently depending on our background, just as the people and things that influence us depend on who we are. Speak their language and use meaningful influence, not showy tricks.

5. Have they come into contact with your business before?

Your content should always form part of a bigger story that reflects your organisation and its purpose. Consider how each piece of content acts as a separate chapter of that story.  If you’re telling people something that contradicts the last thing you told them, they’ll be less receptive.

Your content should always form part of a bigger story about your business. Click To Tweet

6. What are they expecting from you: information, inspiration, mentoring?

Make your call to action clear and relevant, don’t leave your audience hanging, tell them what to do next. Make sure it’s directly addressing their needs and is threaded throughout your content, not just tacked onto the end.

7. How did your audience find you: organic search, email newsletter, social media?

This will determine what they are expecting to find ‘post click’, so make sure you are telling a logical story that fits with how they arrived at your doorstep.

Though your content needs to deliver on your objectives, it first needs to deliver to your audience needs and expectations. Be relevant, unselfish and do your homework.

Ready to tap your experts for content?

Seven things to ask before creating B2B content

Samantha Sinclair
With over two decades of experience in marketing, Samantha has worked across a range of sectors, specialising in ICT and professional services, and built skills across client relationship, marketing strategy and people leadership. She is passionate about customer experience and has built strategies that work to enhance the customer’s journey at every touchpoint.