You are not the audience. That was the message in the blog we posted earlier this week – a plea for content marketers to be more objective when evaluating their work and strategy. If it looks good at first glance, then distrust it.
But having taken that on board, the next thing to consider is audience segmentation. In other words, how your audience is broken down, their different needs and the message most likely to trigger a response.
One size fits all is no longer the best way forward.
An example to us all
The concept has been illustrated by work such as Dell’s Nurture campaign, which strung together different pieces of content into mini-magazines or documents. The combination of elements was set via an algorithm reflecting the individual customer’s position in the sales funnel.
Perhaps a better example is Netflix. It’s a stretch to call Orange is the New Black content marketing, but Netflix’s position as a supplier of view-on-demand programming has enabled it to break down a few walls.
The ability to view a whole series at once is an instance of this. It came from the simple realisation that people do not want to wait a week until the next episode – especially given that it takes more than the pilot episode to get an audience hooked.
Another good example is the company’s ability to analyse and distill customer behaviour. A family may have one account, but within that can appear a number of individual profiles. This allow customers to be targeted according to their likely preferences.
Take House of Cards. Netflix produced around a dozen different promotional clips. Some featured women more heavily, some older men or different elements of the plot. The hook might look the same, but different fish prefer different bait.
The concept of producing 10 different pieces of content with the same aim might go against the grain. It would be difficult to imagine a Chanel perfume ad working that way, even if it wanted to target husbands and boyfriends at Christmas.
But this is the benefit of content marketing. It is possible to amend and adapt, relatively cheaply, different articles or videos to target consumer groups. It is this flexibility that could prove its greatest strength.