One of the biggest mistake marketers make is trying to be everything to everyone. Clearly defining your audience makes all the difference when you’re creating content and building your brand. Creating a content strategy without a clear understanding of your audience is a bit like setting a boat adrift without navigational tools. You’re out there and you’re taking action, but you’re not working toward a specific goal. These are the situations that marketers dread: huge amounts of time and money, without a clear potential for good ROI.
Think about the game of darts: You have to aim in order to hit the board. If you hit the board, you score. And if your aim is very good and you hit the bull’s eye, even better!
Let’s start with setting parameters and defining your audience.
Every solid audience profile starts with a fundamental understanding of who your audience is. Demographic profiles are limited in their potential to uncover motivations and buying patterns.
- What problems does my company’s product or service solve? If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you should have some understanding of why your product or service exists. Your content should be related to that purpose, too (that means resisting the urge to share irrelevant memes just because they’re funny—if it’s not connected to your mission, it doesn’t belong in your content marketing).
- Who do you like working with? What works well with your style? If you LOVE to go out to eat and share pictures of food maybe you should work with restaurants as your clients
- Who will pay you?
Second; Where does this Audience spend their time?
Once you have defined your audience you must stalk them like they are the hottest Tinder date you have ever gone on. How much do you already know about your audience’s content consumption habits? For example, do they read blogs? Are they email newsletter subscribers? Do they religiously download podcasts to listen to while they work out?
What are the best ways to reach your target market and how can you write great content that achieves the goal of connecting the right people with the right message.
If they do read blogs or newspapers or other publications, which ones do they spend time on? If they’re looking for reviews on products similar to yours, who do they trust? As you move down this line of inquiry, a whole litany of questions and answers will open up for you.
Lastly, What Benefit of Your Product Solves Their Problem?
Getting to know your audience in real depth takes time. Creating buyer profiles that your writers and teams can refer back to is a significant effort, and the output isn’t content that can be shared with customers. But it’s well worth the time to develop this expertise. It will improve everything from your product development to your sales, and you’ll see unparalleled returns from your SEO and content marketing investments.
Always bring it back to the problem you solve for them. Are you saving clients time? Money? Why should they work with you and how can you help them solve a problem.
In conclusion, find your niche, define it, ask questions, go deeper into each vertical and conversation and tailor your message to your audience. Don’t give away your time, energy and power by spreading yourself too thin and being everything to everyone. Instead be laser focused, aim and shoot!