• Andrea Harrison


As a Content Marketing Writer I'm often faced with the task of helping my clients identify what their goals are for driving an audience online. Many have a clear idea of the format and nature of the message they want to convey, who they want to address it to and where they want it seen. Others, though, haven't the foggiest notion. All they know is that they want to gain more business and want me to bring it to them. Who in business doesn't want to gain more customers? That's a no-brainer. I've had clients like these who have expected me to do the impossible; market their business without any direction. One such client wanted publicity to attract clientele throughout New Jersey while another asked to be put in front of more corporate clients. It’s okay to start with a general goal as those, but if you can’t break your goal down into manageable increments I’m afraid your campaign, and ultimately your business, will go south very quickly.

How do you narrow down your digital marketing goals? If you are getting ready to generate content or have someone like me help you with that, it starts with deciding what you specifically want to accomplish, why would it be of value to your viewers and the targeted demographic you are focusing on. From there you should decide on the kind of content you want to generate and what platform to use to get your message out to the right people.

Let’s use my two clients as examples. Client A is an author who wants publicity throughout NJ to gain more readers to her newest publication on holistic health. I would start by asking her about specific populations who would be interested in reading about holistic health such as holistic practitioners or health conscious consumers. From there the client would need to further narrow down the characteristics of the group such as sex, age, geography and spending habits. Once the client has chosen the targeted characteristics of the group, he can begin to think of the purpose for his message. It could be this client wants to attract new readers; hence, generating content on creating awareness such as an introduction to his publication would be a good step.

Similarly, Client B must choose a particular corporate customer by narrowing down the industry, size, financial status, location and perhaps if that company would outsource for its tax preparation. Let’s say Client B is looking to attract the same demographics that their existing customers possess. There is still work to be done in focusing on a different area to target. Client B must also decide the purpose of attracting these new companies. Is he looking to promote an existing service that he thinks this group would be interested in or is there new information about the tax code that he believes this particular group would want to know to save money for their company?

Once a client has the specifics of whom they are targeting and why, they need to decide on what form their content will take and where their message will be seen. The format and platform will depend on some factors; the message’s purpose, the call to action, and the audience.

If the client’s purpose is to educate or inform, they may want to generate a blog and enable their prospects to subscribe to future publications. With respect to choosing a platform, it would depend on where one’s audience is usually found. For instance, Client A’s consumer audience may like to read about or get information about holistic products and health on Facebook. Thus, that is where Client A should be posting information about his book or perhaps how his prospects can purchase a publication. If he wanted to demonstrate a particular product or health regimen, he might want to create a video and upload it to Tube, then provide a link to it from Facebook. Prospects of Client B would most likely be on Linked In to get information about tax services and keep abreast of the changing tax laws. Client B would do well by posting an industry article. If their audience is more interested in numbers and trends then posting an Infographic may be a better choice.

Once a client has their goals narrowed down and is ready to generate content or have it created for them, it’s vital that they convey to their audience the action they want them to take. The Call to Action will provide a clear signal to the recipient of what they should do next in order to become a customer, educated consumer, loyal follower, etc. After all, that is the ultimate goal; to transform your leads into customers. The examples of CTAs are many but most popular requests are to subscribe to an email list, redeem a coupon offer, download product information, arrange a consultation, or encourage purchase from an online store.

Have a business and want to gain new customers? That’s just the beginning to driving an audience that will want to engage, follow your brand and eventually buy from your company. Have a marketing plan in place that will help you implement your goal.

Most importantly make sure you break your goal down into manageable increments. Know what you want to accomplish, who you want to reach, the kind

of content you want to generate that will be most appealing to your audience and which platform your message will be best received in.

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