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Cracking the Code: 3 Steps to Building Influence with Content Marketing

January 12, 2017

By Ashley Zeckman

Stories like Indiana Jones, The Goonies and Sherlock Holmes have all taught us a very important (and sometimes frustrating) life lesson: If you want to find the artifact/treasure/bad guy, you have to crack the code!

Even with all of the information available to us as marketers today, there is still so much mystery surrounding the “perfect” combination for content marketing success. Additionally, thousands of variables and quickly evolving customer habits add complexity to content planning and execution.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret. I can help you crack the code to building influence with content marketing! How? There are three essential steps to building influence with content and this post contains a “map” of each element. While the exact code might be slightly different from one company to the next, these steps can help you identify the key elements you need to deploy a successful and impactful content program.

Identify Audience Needs

The sheer number of options available today have enabled consumers to become much more selective about which brands they interact with online. There is another cause and effect to this influx of options: consumers are overwhelmed.

To truly capture and keep the attention of current or potential customers, brands must identify who their customers are, what they care about and who influences them. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to attract and engage different members of your audience. Preferences will vary on everything from content types to topics and goals.

Who Are Your Best Customers?

To better reach these different audience members, focus on identifying key traits of your current ideal customers. Once you’ve uncovered that information, you can develop customer profiles or personas which can serve as a guide for your content strategy.

3 Ways to Uncover What Customers Care About

Access to your customers will vary greatly based on your industry and offerings. Three simple ways to uncover customer needs include:

  1. Asking Customers Directly: surveys, social polls, customer calls
  2. Review Analytics: content types, key phrases
  3. Keyword Research: uncover top questions customers are asking online

Circle of Influence

The last piece to identifying audience needs is developing an understanding of who influences them. For example, if your target profile is a Director of Marketing, you will want to research the different types of people that influence their decisions. Below is an example of how this might look:

Including influencers in your content provides a great opportunity to maximize exposure and build credibility. The information that you uncover about who influences your audience can be used to determine which influencers will have the most impact on your audience.

Develop Content Based on Identified Needs

Once you’ve developed customer profiles, you can begin planning the details of your content creation. For each profile, it’s important to create content that meets the needs of …read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog