According to Joe Pulizzi, the author of the book CONTENT INC., content without the right niche focus, which he calls the content tilt (angle), is not likely to stand out amongst the crowd. Finding your content tilt is the most important first step. In this post, we will share with you how we did just that!
Finding the Audience for the Content
This is not hard. We know that we want to help small businesses grow their customers by engaging local consumers to think local and support local when they are shopping both in physical storefronts and online.
Since our solution connects small businesses to local consumers, our target audience includes small business owners, marketers, agencies that help small businesses, and most importantly, consumers who either already care about small businesses or need to be educated about the impact of local small businesses in their community and local economy.
Finding the Content Tilt
Once the audience has been identified, we come to the core question: what content is important to our core audience — small business owners and marketers that work with small businesses. We need to tilt our content to focus on a specific enough angle that it stands out.
First, we need to identify our core competency in content publishing so that we can be sure our content has value that will help our customers learn new things that are helpful to them.
Our core competency is technology, and we actually have a significant background in technology content publishing. In fact, I personally have written a dozen books on technology in the early days of my business career, which established our parent company’s business; custom mid-range e-commerce consultancy.
But technology is too broad and not focused on our target audience. We need to focus our content on mobile marketing technology, which is what Switch2Local offers small business customers.
But mobile marketing technology is also too broad. It covers technology that works for large businesses too. So, we need a narrower tilt.
Mobile marketing for small business — this seems to be the right angle to focus our content. But that leaves out our other audience — the consumers who are interested in shopping locally to support local businesses.
This analysis led us to realize, we are not really a mobile tech company trying to sell technology to small businesses. We are really trying to “connect” or “engage” local consumers with local small businesses using mobile marketing technology. So our content should be focused on:
Mobile marketing that engages local consumers to local small businesses.
A little bit more brainstorming led us to:
Mobile marketing that engages local people to shop small.
We really didn’t like labeling people who care about small businesses as “consumers” but rather the people who make the shop small ecosystem flourish.
Once we were sort of sure that we liked the tilt, we decided to investigate if the phrases we chose to represent our content goal was appropriate. For example, is “text marketing” better than “mobile marketing”? Well, we didn’t like to use guess work so we used the best tool available — Google Trends — to help us choose.
As you can see “mobile marketing” is searched by Google users a lot more than “text marketing”, and is therefore a better phrase to use in content copy.
We also wanted to make sure “shop small” was the right phrase over “shop local” which sounded more familiar to most of us. Google Trends shows that “shop small” is slightly more popular when compared to “shop local”.
We think that if we continue to focus on developing and delivering content that addresses both of our audiences equally, we will have done our job of engaging local people with the local small businesses that deserve their attention and patronage.
We know we have a tall order of a mission but we are committed to using our own technology in the mobile marketing space to make small businesses become vibrant and successful in reaching local folks that care and want to see major parts of their day-to-day spending stay local.