Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer
Marketers often live in a bubble. When you're passionate about something, it's easy to get lost in it and have tunnel vision. Marketers are passionate about marketing, and their driving thought on a daily basis is to try to implement creative ways to move product and reach people. It's this obsessive focus that can often make marketers forget what it's like to be their own customer. To become relevant to your market, first put yourself in the shoes and mindset of the demographic you are trying to reach. What is their daily life like? How are they consuming? What are their problems? You need to clearly map out the landscape and have empathy, as well as genuine understanding of your market segment's needs.
Create a content experience that is a meaningful moment in a consumer's life
After you have put yourself in the consumer's shoes, the next step is to come up with ways that you can fit in. What problem can you solve for your consumer? Create content experiences that slip nicely into the daily life of the consumer you are trying to reach. Try not to be an interruption (e.g., bombarding the consumer with online ads). This philosophy is why content marketing is on such an upswing. Content marketers are good at understanding the interests and consumption habits of their market, and creating content experiences that fit right in. You can do this as well, even if you are not a content marketer.
Apply the insights you learn to all of your campaigns
Lastly, take what you learned and apply it across all of your campaigns. Rethink the way you reach people. If your philosophy is all about quantity and the number of people reached, it may be flawed. Sure, clicks and impressions look good on paper, but there's a difference between gaining an impression and making one. Not every click will translate to a sale, but the more your brand is valued by a consumer, the higher the probability that a sale will occur. Make sure all of your digital campaigns make an impact in the consumer's life.
Heidi Browning, SVP of strategic solutions for Pandora, speaks with iMedia's David Zaleski about why these steps have been so effective for Pandora and have helped the brand become such a powerful content marketing play.
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"Streaming mobile phone" image via Shutterstock.