In our previous post, we discussed the importance of boosting the engagement between your readers, target market and your content marketing. For all intents and purposes, marketing is often created, developed and published in a vacuum, and neither yourself nor the outside experts that you’ve brought in to create your content actually constitute your target market. Instead, it’s imperative that you form a detailed and accurate portrait of your target market and understand as well as you can why they may be interested in engaging with your content through your blog or social media accounts. Simply put, without this detailed understanding of your readers and target market at large, it becomes much more difficult to create content that will engage your readers and compel them to engage, either by liking, sharing or commenting.

Engage Your Readers

Now that you understand the importance of identifying, profiling and developing a complete understanding of your target market, it’s time to discuss the various way that you can create content that is more engaging to them. This in turn will prompt more engagement and increase the likelihood of developing relationships that will directly lead to a higher customer conversion rate.

The Importance of the 90:10 Rule

The “Golden Rule” of content marketing is often cited as the 90:10 rule, which states that 90% of your content should be informative and educational while 10% should constitute a direct marketing plea to your readership. While this rule is fundamentally sound, it doesn’t account for the fact that your specific target market may desire a different mix of content. For instance, if your business mainly provides an essential product or service, simply producing content that overwhelmingly pushes a direct sales pitch to your readers can be a recipe for disaster. Your readers don’t want to be sold on your business and your service, at least not directly – they want to be assured that your business will provide the product or service in question on time, in a competent fashion and at a fair price.

Be A Winner!

Winning over these readers will require that you establish a relationship built on trust by proving to them that your business is competent and trustworthy. On the other hand, if your business produces a non-essential product or service that appeals to the desires and wish fulfillment of your target market, they will likely be uninterested if you attempt to educate them in some way. Instead, they want to see your products or services in action, and they want you to convince them that purchasing your product or service will make them happier, healthier, more successful or more attractive. While it is a bad idea to completely throw out the 90:10 equation, it may prove vital to the success of your content marketing to ensure that you are developing, creating and publishing content that meets the equation that already exists in your customers’ heads.

Following Up on Engagement

While understanding what your target market expects from your content is important, it can be equally important to know the best and most effective ways to follow-up when your target market engages your content. As you already know, your role as a marketer doesn’t end when you publish your content, but you may not understand the power of creating an ongoing dialogue with your readers. If one of your readers asks a question or leaves a comment, be sure that you acknowledge them with a follow-up comment that answers any questions they may have. If a reader mentions you in their own post, make sure you like, share or comment as appropriate.

Finally, if a reader engages in a negative fashion, either by posting a complaint or responding negatively to your content, apologize and try to turn the engagement into a positive one through further dialogue. No matter how your readers choose to respond or to engage your content, there are very few instances when ignoring them and remaining silent is the best course of action.