And they don’t live in a herd.
Momma and I were taking a Sunday drive in the country last week. We passed a bunch of cows in a big field.
Yeah… I know. It’s called a herd.
I didn’t get out to go look, but I’m pretty sure they had brands on their butts.
You know what a brand is, right?
It’s that little mark that’s burned into their hides to mark ownership. If someone tries to steal them away, that mark identifies the ranch they belong to.
- Your customers are not cows.
- They don’t live in a herd.
- Your brand is not burned on their rumps.
- And, you do not own them.
One huge mistake marketers make with content
They have a “rancher” mentality. They look at their customers like cows and their market as a herd.
Wrong on both counts.
They think every reader should be fed the same information.
After all, if you feed your cows the same hay, maybe a little corn or oats, they’re happy little bovines, right?
Might work in animal husbandry.
Not so much in brand evangelism.
What your customer really is
Did you notice the subtle change? We went from customers are to customer is.
That’s because your customers are singular individuals, not collective cattle. And he or she belongs to a tribe, not a herd.
In a tribe, each member has some degree of autonomy… and a different measure of responsibility. Because of that, they likely have different “dietary needs” when it comes to content marketing.
Take my target market: B2B industrial manufacturers.
- The CEO or owner is interested in making more money.
- The CFO is interested in saving more money.
- The facility manager is interested in better factory efficiency.
You, the vendor, have the always popular, ever-in-demand super widget.
The basic information is the same for everyone. You’ll still describe what your product is, what it does, and how it does it. However, that’s where the menu changes.
If your content is for the owner, make sure the appetizer (the lead or opening) speaks to her needs.
The CFO’s content?
Before you get into the main course, whet his appetite with a tantalizing description of how it saves his company money.
I’ll let you design the menu for the facility manager.
The same goes for the dessert (close, with a call to action). You want them to take the next step down their individual buyer’s journey.
Help them do that. Give them targeted content at the appropriate moment.
Remember… they aren’t cows. They’re people. They’re individual members of a tribe.
Feeding them all the same old hay, corn and oats won’t cut it. Each one needs a personalized menu.
Getting just the right content to just the right person at just the right time seems like a chore.
But, with analytical software, planned content delivery and a good content strategist, it’s the most effective way to get herd…
I mean, heard.
One final thing… you’re not your tribe
You’re really an outsider.
Some marketers make that mistake, too. They think they are their market. The tribe.
Honestly, you’re probably part of a herd in your customers’ eyes. A belching, snorting stampede, bearing down to run them over and take their money.
In a very real sense, they brand you.
I know… I’ve had plenty of branding irons in the fire, just waiting for an unsuspecting sales rep. Most were in the shape of a big L.
Break loose from that herd.
With an effective, targeted and documented content marketing strategy, you can jump out of the corral and be welcomed in as an honorary, trusted member of…
Article written by Steve Maurer – Steve Maurer Freelance Writing
First published in my LinkedIn profile here.
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