Sure, marketers ruin everything but it’s not their fault that they’ve been using certain media wrongly for decades.
Shannon and Weaver are the ones to blame for the way companies communicate poorly to their online audience. We’ve been learning that communication starts with a source, which produces a message to be received through a channel by a receiver. The communication model has been dead wrong all the time when it comes to (online) business communication.
The problem is the organizational point of view that forces marketing departments to send the company’s message to all the possible prospects. Most of the time this leads to uninspiring, untailored campaigns that are mass distributed to whole regions on a worldwide basis. It happened with television and radio. It happened with e-mail. And today it’s happening with social media.
But what if we take a look at the nearly 70-year old communication model, switch it and start from the receiver’s point of view? Wouldn’t online communication work better that way?
Here's how you can start your content strategy today!
Start writing down all the questions that your customers ask themselves. The questions can be very vague and don’t -per se- have to do something with your organization. After this, you look for trends in the questions and start researching what people are generally interested in online. Google Trends can already help you with this. The result of this research is your first circle and includes everything the receivers are actually looking at/for on the web.
Grab another paper and write down all the things your organization does, where it stands for, what it already did, what it wants to do, etc. Similar to your previous research, you summarize everything and look for trends. This is everything you can talk about at this very moment and will be your second circle.
Now it’s key to be very critical to achieve a magnificent content marketing strategy. What you want to do, is look which trends in the circles coincide and create content about this trend from the receiver’s point of view.
And then there’s the struggle of picking the right medium. But if you’re really thinking like your audience groups, you probably already know where your audience’s eyeballs are. Are they on Facebook or on Pinterest? Maybe you need to set up a Snapchat account and fool around with it to reach your customers. Did you even know that LinkedIn is as important as YouTube when it comes to influencing the buying behavior of your customer? Every social network has its own language, purpose and demographic. Understand this and don’t be shy to learn every day again.
You need to know what, where, when and how the receiver wants to consume content and give it to them ready-to-eat. It’s about them, not about you. You need to be the source the receiver wants you to be. Not the source you want to be for them.