Knowing who is going to be reading your content is key when you’re planning a content strategy. Marketing these days is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about creating content that your audience will actually enjoy reading, continue reading, and even tell others to read. To make that to ‘die for content,’ you need a content strategy that dictates your voice and delivery, and this all starts with understanding your audience.
So Who Is Your Content Strategy Audience?
If you ask the average business owner to describe their target customer, you’ll often hear attributes of a too-good-to-be-true type of customer. Most target customers are based on assumptions and not facts, which is why a lot of great brands are never recognized — because they cannot create content that attracts their ideal customer
(because they have no clue what their ideal customer is like).
There’s no one-size-fits all audience solution according to Inc.com, so you can cross that off your checklist right now. Your customer type is as unique as your brand and the products/services under your brand. A legal client isn’t going to be the same as a wedding planner’s client list, now will it? Your content must be customized to your industry and the type of customer who is interested in what you have to offer.
There are three basic questions you should answer with your content:
- Who is your primary audience? Are you targeting teenagers? Retirees? Single mothers? You have a target customer and they can be somewhat categorized, so pick a category.
- What purpose will your content serve? How is your content going to help the target customer?
- What’s your typical customer’s attitude toward your product? Be realistic — not everyone is enthusiastic about every product or service out there, even if they need it.
Identify Your Target Customer
A good content strategy has mapped out the target customer. You should know the average age of your shopper, gender, race, etc. For example, a home loan agency typically meets with people between the ages of 25-30, probably both men and women, and ethnicity can vary depending on the region.
A company selling supplemental prescription coverage, on the other hand, might typically sell their product to retirees (above the age of 60) who need to supplement where Medicare and Medicaid lack.
Decide Your Purpose
Your content, service, brand, website, etc. serve a purpose. You are the answer to a potential customer’s issue — otherwise your business wouldn’t exist. What is your purpose? What are you solving for your target customer? According to the University of Maryland, you can’t write content without knowing what you’re solving for your reader.
A website designer, for example, helps companies and individuals set up websites that they couldn’t otherwise do themselves. Therefore, a website designer’s content should address the concerns of the average website owner, show the reader they understand the difficulties of building a website, and offer their services as a solution. You’re the go-to man (or woman). You know all the codes, the tricks and you have a portfolio of awesome websites to back it up. Use that to prove you’re the solution.
A personal injury attorney, for example, is there to help accident and injury victims receive compensation. Your content should be understanding, comforting and address the common concerns of your average client. You know your clients are probably worried about paying for their endless medical bills, getting their car back together, or paying for their mortgage. Address those concerns with a comforting, helpful tone.
Remember Your Target Customer’s Concern
Just because your services or products are necessary, doesn’t mean your customers are excited to buy them. Insurance, for example, is something everyone needs but no one wants to pay for or deal with shopping for. Address these issues in your content and call your customer out on their concerns. Have a valid argument against that issue so your customer has no excuse.
Remember the Viral Factor
Successful content is content that people want to share with others — and makes you go viral. It can be tricky writing that unique piece that people are compelled to share, but there are a few things that can increase the likelihood your content will go viral.
- Improve the Reader’s Social Standing – Most readers only share something if it improves their personal image or helps forge relationships with others. So, share content that a reader would want to share with other people to establish a better relationship.
- Use Triggers - There are things that can trigger emotions and emotions are popular in viral content. Use fear, anger, humor, sadness, etc. in your content (where applicable) to incite an emotion in the reader. One of the biggest causes for viral content is awe, second humor.
- Share a Personal Story - People like to know that there is a human being behind your brand. Share personal stories or have touching customer testimonials on your blog or website that reach your readers on a more personal level.
Learn more about what makes content go viral in this article by Entrepreneur.
Bottom line: if you consider your audience in your content strategy, you’ll deliver a much more powerful selling message than if you address what you think is your “target customer”. It takes time to research your ideal market, but that research investment pays off when you convert over 80 percent of your readers into customers.