While it’s great to have high traffic numbers on your website, how do you know if your content is resonating with your readers? Maybe your target audience isn’t finding the right content on your site, or maybe your content isn’t written in a way that resonates with them.
So how do you achieve success and get the right people reading the right content? Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you build your content marketing strategy.
What is Your Target Audience
A target audience is a pre-defined market or business segment intended for your content, advertisement, product or service. In marketing, it's a specific base of consumers AKA your buyer persona and those you design your key messaging for.
1. Know Your Tribe
Take some time to understand your audience by running a target market analysis. What challenges are they trying to solve? What does an average day look like for them? How do they measure success?
Even simple demographic data points like where they live, their age, and job titles can help you tailor your content to reach its intended audience. As you gain customers and get to know your readers, capture those insights in a master persona document and adjust your topic strategy as you learn more about your audience.
2. Frequent the Right Places
Part of building a solid persona is knowing where your audience goes for information. Do they visit particular social media outlets? Online communities?
Explore as many potential online venues as you can and take note of what visitors are talking about. Look for ways to get exposure on the channels of your readers’ choice, either by paid or free advertising or by offering to write a guest blog or contributing a free piece of content.
Establish yourself as a thought leader in as many “digital water coolers” as possible by getting to know the members and providing valuable insight without any expectation of anything in return. As you build your tribe, the loyalty to you and your brand will follow.
3. Stock up on Content
Before your first piece of content goes up on your website, make sure you have a second piece. And third. And fourth. It’s very easy to get excited about your first, brilliant piece of writing and then bask in its glory after you post it. The problem is, you can easily lose momentum in creating more content, and your audience will lose interest very quickly. Keep filling the well with relevant, quality writing, and your audience will stay interested and keep coming back for more.
4. Make New Friends
Once you know where your readers spend their time online, get to know some experts they listen and subscribe to and start sharing and “@ mentioning” their content. Once you spark a conversation and build rapport, you can gradually share your views and expertise. By working your way into the circle of the “trusted advisors,” you’ll bring more readers into your fold, and they’ll already be interested in what you have to say.
5. Create Some Evangelists
It’s easy to spot your biggest fans. They engage with you on social media, download gated content, open your emails, etc. Why not put them to work building your audience? Send them a discount code to share with their friends and colleagues, or a special piece of content to forward to potential subscribers. There is no better endorsement than that of a subscriber or customer with nothing to gain from promoting your brand, but it doesn’t hurt to reward subscriber loyalty with a referral promotion occasionally! Try some creative target audience marketing tactics, and don’t be too proud to ask your readers to recommend you.
6. Ask, and You Shall Receive
Subscriber lists are a gold mine for information. If you’re thinking of launching a new product or service, ask your subscribers what they think. Treat them as advisors and make communication a two-way street; if they take the time to provide feedback, make sure you follow up to let them know what you did with it.
They’ll be much more likely to offer advice and direction in the future. Likewise, if they feel like they are in the “inner fold” of your business strategy, they’ll be more interested in upselling and cross-sell opportunities when you ask.
Over to you
These are simple tips to keep in mind as you create content and build your audience. The best rule, however, is to stay laser-focused on solving problems for your customers. They don’t want to hear about you—they want to hear how you are going to ease the everyday pains and hassles that impede their success. Make it your goal to be a problem solver, and a loyal audience will follow.