The third in our series of CIM/NBS marketing club events brought together industry professionals and marketing students in a content marketing workshop hosted by Further, a Digital Marketing and SEO Agency. We were guided through the evening by Gill, an expert in content marketing at Further, who would arm us with his knowledge of the subject to have us all creating engaging content by the end of the night.
Gill started the session by highlighting the importance of understanding your customer to paint a picture of their needs, values, beliefs, what they like, what they hate, how they use content, etc. The list goes on and is constantly changing. Whilst we were presented with a simplified version, content marketing is about the overlap between ‘what you want to say’ and ‘what the audience is interested in’. Gill gave us a list of reusable questions to help us understand the needs and behaviours of customers. These questions ensure that you are creating content for the right people at the right time and place. Market research using resources such as Buzzsumo and Google Analytics can help to answer these questions. These resources can identify how consumers search for the thing you do/sell, how they feel about your product and how they engage with the brand online, for example. These answers help content marketers create and place content in the most appropriate channels for your customer to reach.
To ensure that we understood how we could profile customers, each table assigned one person as a ‘customer’ of a brand from a list of different product/service categories from which they had used before. Asking our ‘customer’ the key questions that we had been presented with earlier, we could build a picture of our customer’s needs and wants when it came to that product/service brand. With this information, we could create content that would appeal directly to our customer, based upon their needs and feelings towards the brand.
Our task now, as budding content marketers, was to create content using the tools we’d learned for a fictional classic car insurance company. Understanding the potential customer profile for classic cars was the starting point for our content marketing strategy and in mixed groups of marketers and students, everyone came up with different potential customers that the insurance company could target. Using cut-outs (hand cut by Gill himself!), each group could start to build a picture of their customer, what they like and what they engage with, for example social media, newspapers/magazines, television, etc. and content for marketing campaigns was produced.
Presenting our very different ideas to the room drew up some interesting discussions concerning stereotyping, age, online/offline content placement and proved to us that content marketing and getting to know your audience is an ongoing investigation.
With thanks to Sarah Hindley for reporting on the event for the NBS blog and Minh Khang for the photos