Discovering the human side of content marketing

Neena Dasgupta content marketing

In an intent-driven economy, how do you connect with your audience through content marketing? Neena Dasgupta, Zirca Digital Solutions sheds light on how to leave an indelible mark on your TG through the human side of the medium.

When print, radio, and TV reigned, brands reached out to consumers only through paid media (advertisements, TV commercials, etc). Measurability was low, but spends were high. In today’s intent-driven economy, consumers are completely in charge and their attention can be won or lost in split seconds.

While paid media seems to be the easiest, most obvious choice, brands don’t get as much measurability and value for their money through the medium. Therefore, as marketers, our ultimate goal is not only to create content that converts but also content that connects and inspires audiences to build stronger relationships with you.

Content is all about telling a story. Whether your grandma tells it to you or the story is told in a meme or video, it is the quality of the story and the way it’s narrated that leaves an indelible impression. Today, content is an important element of marketing strategies.

By delivering valuable content to a clearly-defined audience, you achieve engagement – vital for brands to achieve the right narrative.

Marketers are not just looking to sell products or services, but also creating sustained relationships. So, with content, you are building trust.

Research says 78% of customers prefer getting to know a company or brand via articles rather than ads; 70% believe that organizations providing personalized content are interested in building good relationships with them.

It is becoming increasingly common for brands to undertake market research in order to develop a better understanding of their audience. It allows them to tailor marketing stimuli for different segments through effective content that connects with audiences on topics that are relevant to them.

Among the brands that have used content marketing well is Zomato. It doesn’t follow a strict norm to post daily on social media as quality means more than quantity for it. Zomato is equally good on all social media platforms and is a great example of how to utilize multiple channels for content marketing.

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For long, marketers have focused on campaigns targeting audiences in specific demographics. The aim was always to reach a large number instead of exploring local or personalized content. This eventually resulted in lost marketing communication or irrelevant messaging.

Now, it’s time for the brands to go beyond the demographics.

With richer psychographic insights at hand, brands can turn personas into archetypes and create relevant, personalized, exciting content.

Today, content that has the power to engage the minds matters the most in preferred formats for sustained time periods.

Brands should use more archetype indicator tests to better understand the demographic distribution of their audience. This will eventually help them improve their marketing by adapting different aspects of their advertising strategies based on their audience psychographic and demographic variables.

In an era when digital consumers are in total control and attention spans are at an all-time low, it’s more important than ever to know exactly what your audience wants.

You can no longer think of your customers in terms of age, gender and location. You have to have the data to understand behaviors and motivations to get a holistic picture of motivations, interests, purchase drivers and values. This is where psychographics comes in.

Advertisers must tap into several archetypes to vary cues and strategies while targeting different elements of their audience’s online preferences. Studies indicate that older audience segments tend to have fewer archetypes, so it’s best to target these specific archetypes.

Your brand should speak human and not just sell. Great content has to be rooted in things that people relate to.

The best examples are the stories that resonate with the most with us, the ones we can relate to on a personal level. Similarly, great storytellers find ways to connect with their audience. Great content producers get under the skin of their audiences and dig deep to understand what they are feeling.

Know your story first before you tell it to the audience. Make sure it connects or your competitors will. If you think mechanical content marketing will work, it’s your biggest mistake.

With demographics alone, you will get only a hazy outline of your audience. You will understand only their challenges but won’t know where to find them, what moves them to action and why they do what they do.

Psychographics, together with demographics is a powerful insights-driven approach to defining your audience and reaching it.

It’s time to stop thinking of your audience as part of a homogenous group, and instead use psychographics to create content that caters to their unique traits, needs, interests, and attitudes.

This article piece is authored by Neena Gupta, CEO & Director, Zirca Digital Solutions Pvt.Ltd.