Your Content Needs A Strategy | Truly Social with Tara

Your Content Needs A Strategy  | Truly Social with Tara

In my last video, I talked about why
so much content marketing in this world is noise – the type of stuff that makes people
say, “We do not need any more content.” “Yeah, amen to that.” But I also said that we DO need more great content
and, I defined that type of content as: Great content listens. It interacts. It’s ongoing.
It evolves with your audience. It has a purpose that goes beyond
marketing to make a sale. It helps. It relates. It leaves a lasting impression,
and it it connects. So today, I’m going to talk about this type of
content, why it works, give some examples, and talk about why it’s important even beyond
the marketing part that we continue to do this. My name is Tara, and this is Truly Social. If you are ready to figure out what that great content
looks like, I can walk you through our process. “Let’s get on with it!” It requires:
#1, Understanding your audience; and #2,
Understanding your goals. That’s it. Simple right? Now…you’d think that every company in the world
understands their customers…ESPECIALLY in the social era where there are endless ways
to listen and get to know your customers. Now you would EXPECT that, but time
and time again, I find that they don’t. Some brands understand
the numbers and, perhaps, even some demographics as they
relate to their customers. They may even have some
personas they’ve created. “My whole persona is based
on an in-depth analysis.” But as far as deep understanding them –
their hopes, dreams, motivations, fears, goals, interests, questions, frustrations…
who they are as whole people? Not really. Now, when you’re really ready to dive in,
and really ready to commit to this, here are some of the dimensions of
the whole customer we tend to look at: Their attitudes and behaviours –
are they fiscally conservative? Status-driven? How about what do they consider
must-haves versus nice-to-haves? What are their goals and how
can you help them get there? What is their level of understanding around
the industry? Will we lose them with jargon? Or do you need to pull out the insider
language and really connect? What is their life stage? – Are they just starting out?
Starting a family? Do they have an eye to retirement? Do they have a special language they use? –
do they use acronyms? Slang? Idioms that are unique to their culture?
To their industry? Who or what influences them? Do they gather with others like them
in a community? If so, where? If not, do you think they are looking for this?
Is this an opportunity? Now, even if I don’t think that something
I listed is very relevant to your brand, and believe me, it is,
it’s worth exploring. If multiple customers share a trait or affinity,
there’s likely a reason why. That’s an insight. And as you dive into dimensions of who your
audience is, you will uncover patterns and anomalies that become insights that help you find points of
connection to them, which become content. “We had this connection, you know?” Now you also need to understand your own goals.
And once again, I’m always surprised that we have clients that come to us who
do not have specific goals in mind. So ask yourself: Why content?
What should it do for me? Are you setting the right expectations? Now, I spoke in the last video about content
being really great for things like building trust and credibility, loyalty, and
helping to inform and educate in a way that doesn’t feel like a lecture. If you know that your goals are that, it’s much easier
to shape your content towards achieving that goal. So if your goal is to educate and build trust, and
your audience is novice and fiscally conservative, but you need to get them to take a few more risks
in order for them to reach their goals, You should offer simpler explanations
and lots of emotional reassurance. Maybe some entertainment. You want to help
them feel informed, but secure. “Oh, I feel completely reassured.” So now then, you understand your audience. Now
when it comes to creating the content for them, We can start to apply the
following principles, which I call the THREE HORSEMEN OF SHAREABLE CONTENT. So #1 is Helpful content – teaches something
that your audience needs to learn. #2 is Relatable content – content that connects
deeply with their unique identity. And #3 is Emotional content – this is content that
inspires, entertains, touches and/or makes your audience laugh. If you understand your audience, you’ll
also understand how to engage through these three horsemen. Experts will want relatable and helpful.
They want to learn more, but will likely shy away from overly emotional plays. You can be relatable through insider references
and language. Beginners will require more emotional support while relating empathetically. They may be nervous and feel shame for their lack
of knowledge. Don’t overwhelm with helpful content. “Your charisma is overwhelming me!” Here are two examples of the SAME industry
where the audiences are very different in how this plays out. Meet Nancy Graham of No Dumb Questions and
Ben Felix of Common Sense Investing. Nancy’s audience is super smart business people,
but they’re not experts in investing. Nancy tackles her topics with some humour and
a LOT of personal anecdotes and metaphors. To make it even more personable, we tend to
use fun, light animations to help bring the often complex lessons to life. Her topics of more focused on
single questions and, even then, she tends to break them down
into smaller bite-size lessons. She tackled one question on the
cost of investing over 3 videos – direct costs, indirect costs,
and what am I even getting for these costs. She receives dozens of personal notes, thanking
her for the great answers that FINALLY made something super confusing into
something understood. Contrast that to Ben’s Common Sense Investing,
aimed at people who like to play the market already. DIY investors, if you will. Ben is a data guy. He’s
read everything and frequently quotes experts in his industry and studies to back up his thesis. A non-expert watching his videos might
even think he’s speaking a different language altogether, but his audience?
wow. They love it and write these long, thought-out
comments that challenge his data with their own. He’s even spun off into a podcast,
where he can go deeper into industry-speak. Both Nancy and Ben talk about investing, but their
audiences and approach are drastically different. As far as the results go, both of their series help
them achieve their goals: deepening trust and loyalty, driving more referrals, and,
ultimately, growing their books. And, btw, they don’t need to have millions
of subscribers or leads. They need to have an ongoing, solid number of
qualified leads and see that number grow over time. So is what they are doing noise? No, not at all. They get a steady stream of grateful feedback from
people thanking them for their content all the time. See how important this is? Now beyond this and the
benefit to the audience, the rise in branded content (done well) is also doing something else good in
the world. It’s paying writers and artists and it’s paying them pretty well. Companies like Contently, Newscred and even
agencies like ours, Truly Social are hiring journalists and illustrators and other people who
have struggled to find work as media companies are being squeezed. I send tens of
thousands of dollars towards invoices for these freelancers out every month
and we’re small potatoes. I’m not saying that branded content should
replace the media – not at all – the need for media is stronger than ever – but branded content is a great emerging opportunity
to augment the income for these industries. Super! Fabulous. Isn’t that nice? And I think that is VERY awesome. All of this is to say…no….we don’t need
more crappy same-same content. We don’t need the curators and retweeters and
listicle-farms pumping out cheap content strategies for brands. That is noise
and it’s bad and needs to end. But we do need great content and companies
and brands can and do play a role in making sure that this happens. If you agree with me, great. if not, let me know in the comments below… My name is Tara and this has been
Truly Social.


    Tara, I wonder if you can talk about advantage of using creative common license in content marketing? I notice you do that as well as other content marketers

    Creating engaging content "at-scale" is hard, how do you propose large brands like "Apple" or "Amazon" do it – for them paying content writers isn't the most efficient strategy.

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