Published by Andrew Noll at March 17, 2016
Every great piece of content has a focused and deliberately selected target audience. Every time you create any form of content, you have to release it for your target audience.
Well, without pinpointing a target audience, it is unlikely that you will reach your demographic. Releasing content without an audience is like taking a shot in the dark, without even aiming!
What about if I want to target a large and diverse group of people?
That’s wonderful, and there’s nothing wrong with a large audience. However, the best way to create content is by targeting a smaller subsection of your audience and writing specifically for them. As you release new content, you may draw in people outside of your target demographic. This doesn’t mean that you should target a larger group, however. The more people you target, the harder it is to create content people like.
Think about the last video you shared. Maybe you sent it to a few friends. Did everyone enjoy it? Could you forward it to your parents, co-workers and acquaintances? Any given video could be controversial or unappealing to different demographic groups. Just as it’s highly unlikely for everyone in a group to like a single video, it is improbable to create content that everyone will love. You have to find a large subsection of your audience that is the average viewer for your content. Every demographic has its own wants and needs, and you’ll have to cater your content accordingly. Keep reading to identify your target audience – a mystery worth solving.
Who Are They?If you haven’t identified an audience yet, then it’s hard to start writing and forming visuals with clear purpose. Unfortunately, your ideal target audience isn’t always obvious and requires some sleuthing.
Social media is a great place to discover who’s consuming your content. A thorough analysis of your followers will reveal patterns to help you identify who your audience is. Sometimes these findings may not match up with your perceptions of the brand. Don’t worry, brands mean different things to different people. Just do your best to summarize how your target audience views your brand.
If you enjoy your own subject matter, your consumer might share some similarities with you. For example, I enjoy marketing and content creation, so I’m writing an article for others who share my interests. I might be inclined to read articles on marketing and content creation, so I share a common interest with our target audience.
If you have the resources, I would recommend bringing in at least one other team member to evaluate your audience. People have blind spots when it comes to their own personal qualities. You want others to analyze the audience to find anything you may have missed and add any qualities that you and the audience share, but of which you are unaware.
Your target demographic is going to be an approximation of the kind of consumer that will be attracted to you. Estimate their gender, age and ethnicity to get a better idea of who you’re addressing in your content. Social media accounts or analytics can give you a good idea of the demographic characteristics of your target audience.
What Do They Do?Think about the types of occupations that will be attracted to your content. This can be particularly difficult for some industries that are highly relevant to most consumers, such as food or entertainment, but it’s still a necessity. Consider the types of people and professions that are likely to search for your SEO keywords. Identify aspects such as:
Where Are They?Is your target audience local, national, or international? Examine where your customers, site visitors and friends on social media are coming from and factor this into your target audience. While it’s good to plan for growth, now is not the time for speculation. You don’t want to make predictions of who your ideal audience will be, because this will prevent you from addressing the most immediate audience available to consume your content.
For example, let’s say that I chose to target Australian viewers. Although we get site visits from Australia, they aren’t the majority of our site traffic or social media followers. This would ultimately be an unwise choice, because I would be targeting a new audience segment and would not capitalize on current branding. Instead, we focus on an American consumer, and more specifically, those in the New England area. You may write some content for other audiences and to bring in new views, but start by focusing on your base target demographic to build yourself up. Your target audience is essential to your business model and everything you do should reflect your overall mission and vision.
When Will They View My Content?Find the best time to post for your target demographic. This is hard to determine and may require some experimentation. Try to use A/B testing and post at different times until you find the ideal time. Also consider timing based on your consumer’s lifestyle. For instance, if they work in an office, they will probably be on social media in the morning and during evening commute. These times will vary and you want to post your content around the schedule of your target audience.
Why Will They Enjoy My Content?Your content needs to be useful and interesting to your consumer. There are many different kinds of entertainment and your content can be enjoyable in many different ways. Just remember that your average consumer should enjoy it and it should sound appropriate coming from the voice of your brand.
How Do I Create Content That My Audience Will Find Engaging?This is one of the greatest challenges in marketing and it could make for a great novel. If you know who your consumer is and what they want, then you can create dynamic content for them regardless of the platform. Remember to use emotional appeals and maintain a high quality standard. Periodically re-evaluate your target audience to better understand your content strategy as your online presence grows. Like it or not, you are a brand to your consumers and they expect your content to be branded accordingly. You have to find ways to understand your target audience in order to release content that provides consistent quality and portrays your brand in a positive light.
When you identify your target audience, you’re acting as a detective. You must clearly compile all of the elements above and then combine them to form a composite of who your average content viewer is. If you execute this well, your content will obtain more leads and generate a larger reach for your brand.
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Note: Posts have been copied onto this page to show Andrew's writing skills in perpetuity.
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