How Listening to Your Audience Can Drive Strategic Content Development

Strategic Content Development abstract illustration with magnifying glass

When it comes to strategic content development, one of the most important steps is identifying your target audience. Audiences are made up of individuals with unique interests, needs, and habits, and without taking those variables into account, marketing campaigns have a much higher chance of falling short of the desired goals. 

So whenever a client comes to Killer to collaborate on a new campaign, one of the first questions we ask invariably is, “Who are we attempting to reach?” And when one of our clients, Edwards Lifesciences, approached us to develop a go-to-market strategy for a new medical device, understanding the “who” proved to be invaluable. 

Take a look at this case study of a targeted campaign with stellar results to draw inspiration for making your marketing and communications content more strategic.

Defining the Goal

Edwards Lifesciences Hypotension Prediction Index, the basis for our strategic content development

Edwards Lifesciences is a global leader in patient-focused medical innovations for structural heart disease, as well as critical care and surgical monitoring. By collaborating with the world’s leading clinicians and researchers to address unmet healthcare needs, Edwards is able to improve patient outcomes and ultimately enhance lives. 

The Edwards team approached Killer with a unique need: They had developed a product that solved a problem, but few clinicians actually knew about the problem. That nuance meant that we would have to first educate an audience about a problem. Only once that messaging had been circulated and had begun to resonate could Edwards begin to promote its new device.

Identifying the Target Audience

As with any other marketing initiative, a good place to begin an awareness campaign is by defining the target audience. While it might sound appealing to cast a wide net, the path to awareness often starts with a small, niche audience. Appealing to that narrower group allows for strategic content development that will ultimately resonate more acutely, in turn establishing brand evangelists.

After we narrowed down the audience to the relevant clinicians for Edwards, we found that we could technically narrow down even further. The problem was, we’d be eliminating high-value leads by doing so. So rather than alienating those sub-audiences, we felt confident we could develop a way to speak to everyone at once despite their different needs. The solution? Build a series of landing pages and structure the messaging so that each audience had the opportunity to “opt in” after we spoke to their level of understanding.

Developing the Strategic Content

A workbench of assets created for Edwards Lifesciences to extend a unified visual language across many campaign deliverables.

This solution of interconnected web pages would only work if the content was structured to  speak intentionally to each of the personas we identified. Of these personas, one needed to know only the basics, one called for a bit more, and one needed all of the details. 

With these groupings in mind, it was only a matter of assigning each messaging point into one of the three groupings, and then structuring the content in order from entry-level to mid-level to advanced, with strategically placed calls to action at each level of messaging.

We created a variety of visual content for this project, from landing pages to social ads to email newsletters. Here’s a motion graphic we designed for the campaign:

Measuring the Results

With the pages in place, we created a suite of outreach collateral that would ultimately bring the target audience to the page that was most relevant to them. The results were exceptional. In the first 3 months of the campaign, we generated 3,000 page visits with an average time of site of 22 minutes. The clinicians were engaging with the content exactly as intended because we wrote it specifically with them in mind.

Each and every marketing campaign is unique. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Still, there are certain steps businesses can take by leveraging audience understanding to develop a content strategy that delivers.

Learn more about this successful campaign for Edwards.

3 Killer Tips for Strategic Content Development

Try these strategies as you identify the target audience(s) for your campaign and develop the strategic content to meet their needs.

1. Narrow Down Your Audience — Then Narrow Further

If you want your content to hit the mark, you have to aim. Defining a target audience is a must-do in any campaign. Take it a step further by building out specific personas within your defined audience.

2. Assign Your Messaging to Your Audiences

Use your personas to help create content that actually speaks to them, and keep track of how each line of messaging aligns with each persona. You can use this information to inform aspects of your content strategy, from creating marketing collateral to building a user experience that engages rather than alienating.

3. Let Your Audience Decide When They’re Ready

When defining your personas, you’ll realize they have different needs. If your content is speaking to more than 1 persona, make sure you’re giving each an opportunity to convert by strategically placing calls to action directly after their needs are met.

Do you have tips on leveraging audience understanding to drive your strategic content development? Let us know in the comments below.

Tim Sheehan

Author Tim Sheehan

Tim Sheehan is a Senior Content Editor for Killer Infographics. He was born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, where he also studied English and Philosophy at the local university. Tim’s career in writing began in New York City, just a couple hours from where he grew up in PA. In New York, he spent time developing a broad editorial skill set, from content marketing to copyediting to breaking news. Tim’s never-stop-learning attitude allows him to approach the unique needs of Killer’s clients with the adaptability needed to reach diverse audiences. He believes in the importance of communication and understanding what drives audiences.

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