As a PR professional, for years you have regularly shared content about latest company news with select media outlets read by your target customers. And you continue to do so even today. But of late your customers have been saying that they don’t know much about the company or products. Why? What’s changed? Some reasons:
- Print media outlets that you have been targeting so far are losing audiences as they move to online platforms to take advantage of news immediacy and longer shelf life
- Target customers have changed their reading habits to now source information from interactive online environments like search engines, blogs, forums and social media platforms
- Maybe you are not providing the kind of information your target customers are searching for, online or offline.
Print content losing to online
Print media outlets require time to get their news out to readers, depending on their publishing frequency. Even those who publish news daily, suffer from lack of customer interest for news that is already out a day before, online. Does that mean print is dying? Of course not, they will still be there. But will likely provide different kind of content to differentiate.
We live in a digitally connected world; a world where our personal, professional and social lives are deeply intertwined around the Internet. Transforming everything that comes in touch with it, the Internet is driving a significant change in customer reading habits as well. For starters everything is online. Print still exists but is used for sourcing different kind of information needs.
For information on any product or service a target customer is likely to browse search engines on the internet. Why? Well, because it is available on demand and customizable to specific needs. Things like features to look for, customer feedback, media reviews, brand experiences, support issues, usage experiences, best deals are all available at the click of a button. And by not offering information such as this on the web outlets such as search engines, social media, web you are likely to loose out to competitors who do.
You are not providing content customers are looking for
So what are your customers looking for? Is there a way to know what they need to know? Target customers have no preset search patters while browsing for information. Everyone has their own way of doing it.
For eg. A customer while looking for a “water purifier” may not actually start by searching for “best water purifier brands “ instead choosing to search for “RO water purifiers” or “RO + UV water purifiers”. At this stage he is still not decide on brands to work with. But by not being the source of his information quest, a water purifier brand is likely to lose out to a rival who provides an easy to understand Infographic on “why RO+UV water purifiers makes sense” subtly incorporating brand logo, url and even an offer in the infographic. In addition he may also capture customer contacts when the infographic is downloaded by the prospective customer, for offline conversion.
Suggested Content Marketing Practices
- Get your content search optimized, indexed on relevant web outlets that will allow you to repurpose content and also offer backlinks.
- Beyond offering only company centric news you would do well to develop and share content that your target customers are likely searching.