This question came through on HARO (help a reporter out): “What content marketing challenges or limitations do small businesses have that are often left out of the conversation?”
Here’s how I answered.
The biggest content marketing challenge (some) small businesses seem to have and that is almost always left out of the conversation is a clear idea and definition of their Target Customer.
Small businesses are too focused on trying to serve everyone. But having a clear idea of WHO their Target Customer is and using that in all their marketing efforts can make all the difference.
Their Target Customer should be defined not with a demographic definition, but a psychographic definition. Too often when small businesses define their Target Customer they use age ranges, incomes, genders, marital statuses, etc. This is fine if you have to count them for size of market or something, but it gives zero insight into their mindset, what they value, and how they connect with the business, its people, and its offerings.
Using a psychographic definition centered around beliefs, behaviors, and values gives much greater insight into who they are as a person and how to communicate to and with them.
For messaging to work, small businesses must know who they are writing and speaking to, who they are showing their value. Small businesses can write, speak, or show them directly in a way that resonates with their core. And small businesses can focus their service or product delivery directly to that person, thus delighting the few to attract the many.
Delighting their Target Customers with their messaging and the customer experience will not only attract just those people who they’ve identified, but it will appeal to and attract many others.
The coolest thing about this approach for me, other than that it works really, really well, is that all of the traditional demographic parameters fall away. For example, active people who love the outdoors and want to take care of the environment will transcend gender, race, religion, ethnicity, orientation, income, relationship status, etc. Thus they achieve their goal of “serving everyone”, just not the “everyone” they may have been thinking of in the first place.
Now, who is your Target Customer?