Before creating content, you must consider which audience you are creating content for.
No matter how good your content is, without actually speaking to the needs of your audience, your efforts will be a waste of time. Rather than just posting any old thing, focus on your customer and what they want to learn.
What is it that bothers them? What specific problems do they have? How can you meet them where they’re at, speak their language, and communicate your values to them?
How to really understand your audience
One way to be sure you really understand your audience is to categorize them and create a profile for them. Who are they exactly? If you were to pick your target audience member out of a crowd, what would they look like? What would they be doing? Answer these questions and be as specific as possible.
A member of your target audience is a person that has a unique demographic and set of core values.
For example, your target audience member may be a 42 year old Caucasian female named Karen. She is married with 2 kids living in New York City, NY, has earned a masters degree and makes $60,000/year. Karen enjoys playing tennis and other outdoor activities with her dogs.
You will be using a specific profile like the one above in order to focus your overall style and communication. From everything you communicate, even down to your email subject lines, your style ought to be directed toward this individual. Whenever you write your next piece of content, think of Karen and what she would want to know, how she could benefit from this post, and how she prefers to hear about it.
If you are not sure of how to identify your target audience, you may consider running a brief survey asking a few key questions. You can use the lists above to gather basic information and include in your survey. Also, consider asking a couple open ended questions such as, “What are your needs (specific to your business/industry)?”
How to write content specifically for your target audience
Another thing to keep in mind is that we can’t simply write one piece of content for our entire target audience. Your audience will be at different levels of commitment than others. So, your target audience must be divided into segments.
These are 3 basic segments of our same target audience. So, we’ll need to create 3 articles right?
Yes, but even an article specific to each segment may not speak to their exact needs. This is because each of these 3 segmented groups will be at varying phases in their buying cycle.
Because of this, you’ll need to create content that speaks to each phase of each segment.
For best results in your overall content marketing strategy, you’ll need to create content for each of the 3 phases of each of the 3 segments.
For example, we’ll take just the first segment:
These 3 pieces of content all speak to the same Karen who is in our 1st Segment, “Karen who is just starting out.” Each piece of content leads the individual down a path toward a purchasing decision by first becoming aware (Phase 1), then considering the options (Phase 2), then making the decision (Phase 3).
Here are examples for segments 2 and 3 just to give you some idea.
So, as you prepare to create content, you’ll need to consider each of these scenarios for your own target audience. How can you segment your audience and speak to each segment’s specific needs. What content can you create that aligns your business to your audience’s needs and ultimately helps move them toward a purchasing decision?
This is where things get really exciting!
Now that you’ve got your target audience identified, have them segmented, and have an idea of how to speak to each phase of their buying cycle, you’re now ready to develop your plan of attack! In our next step, we cover exactly how to do this from developing a content calendar to creating your first few articles! You’re going to love this!