Football season is upon us! Personally, I bleed Badger red on Saturdays and Packer green and gold on Sundays. Oh... did I not mention I'm a Wisconsin native? Sorry, New England-based HubSpot; I am a member of the other Mr. Rodgers' neighborhood. More importantly for the NFL however, I also represent 44% of its fan base. Not, not cheeseheads. I’m a woman.
Up until a few years ago, not only was the NFL basically ignoring the demands of nearly half of its fans, but they also didn’t know what to do with them. In a recent USA Today article, Tracey Bleczinski, NFL consumer products vice president stated, "Ten years ago, our motto was 'Shrink it and pink it.'" While representing an amazing cause, I am happy to support the pink. But at the same time, I also want to support my favorite teams and their colors. God forbid someone looked at my #12 jersey and thought I was supporting Tom Brady, not Aaron Rodgers.
Here are 3 lessons you can learn from the NFL’s targeting mistake and how use to create great content to appeal to your audience.
1. Correctly Identify & Target Your Customers
Targeting the wrong content to 44% of your audience because you don’t understand them is a huge missed opportunity. Make sure you talk to your customers. Find out who they are and what they are looking for from your company. Sometimes you may be surprised by what you find. Broad generalizations make it hard for people to connect with brands, and remember, you want them to connect with and build a positive relationship with you.
Come up with appropriate marketing personas that describe your target customer(s) in detail so you can understand their behaviors, wants, and needs and can create the right kinds of content to reach them.
2. Make Content Valuable to Your Customers
Just like the NFL should've created clothing that its target audience actually wanted to wear, marketers must make sure their inbound marketing content is not only interesting to customers, but also useful to them. The main reason content is valuable to prospects is because it educates them and provides them with something that's useful for them in particular. If your propects find your content valuable, they will be more likely to keep coming back for more, which will build their relationship with you and nurture them into becoming an actual customer.
3. Create Fans and Brand Evangelists of Your Content
You want people to become fans of the content you’re putting out into the world, because ultimately it will lead them to become fans of your company and brand. Much like your favorite sports team, you want your customers to get excited about what you're doing on and off the field. One way of doing that is making sure you are creating a connection with your prospects and customers and building a community around your brand. When people feel like you "get" them, it will make them feel like they are a part of something bigger. And building a loyal group of dedicated fans and brand evangelists who share your content with their connections will also enable your content to spread beyond your direct network and reach more potential customers.
Today, the NFL is finally taking its female fan base seriously. Numbers don’t lie, and now NFL stores sell just as many (or more) products for women as they do for men. If you know your customers and your marketing is appropriately targeted to them, everybody wins!
What are some other techniques you use to properly target content to your prospects and customers?