As more and more consumers are opting to breathe in online space, every brand should also bump into where their audiences are heading. We’re seeing brands of all sizes and forms struggle with the online media evolution. The new online advancement comprises of more complex, over-and-above collaboration, up-and-coming buying behaviors. Unfortunately, some brands have been drowned in the digital current and a grand number of them are still learning the idea of surviving it.
Repeat after me, your content is your brand, in the understated form of narratives and visuals. Just like your brand, every single content you’re producing should ascertain its target market. If you don’t have the initial grip of whom and what kind of individuals are consuming and digesting your brand stories, then I highly recommend you to start halting your content production right away. This might sound like a straight slap in your face, but I certainly mean it!
You’re wasting not only every story, visual, verse, and creative call-to-action but also time and opportunities to converse your brand core. Clearly, you are not doing content marketing.
Imagine letting a balloon in an extensive space — no particular path to traverse to and in the end will pop unwittingly. Absurd, right? The implication is that, if you create and let your content flow over the horizon of “everyone,” it will eventually become insensate. Bear in mind, a great content is content that seamlessly fits your audience.
Here’s a guide on how to spot that “special few” to market your content.
1. Craft a Content Persona
Let’s get straight here. Online attention spans are shrinking and more users spend less time on your pages — a sounding seven seconds, to be specific. With this authenticity, you, as content marketer, should get your brand message out quick and streamline your content to subside the increasing online window shopping behavior. The formula is to understand and write specifically for your audience.
One initial step to identify your content’s target market is by developing content personas. Hubspot defines personas as fictional representations of your ideal audience based on real data – from demographics up to the online behavior along with educated theory about their personal accounts, motivations, and concerns.
Personas also serve as your unifying self and foundation you can use to help funnel decisions about content features, types of interactions to throw to, and even visual designs to develop. You can’t bestow an accurate content on the right medium at the right time without them.
To start, create a content persona profile. Start with who they are. Who are your quintessential readers and audience? The classification of their age and from what generations do they belong. You may want to also include their locations and gender, family size, educational level, and occupations.
After focusing on “who” they are and “where” do they come from, it might also be valuable to bring into line the “why” and the “how” of your perceived persona. What are their interest and hobbies? Consider also their goals and habits. Their frustrations and struggles. If possible, you may want to ask their real intentions and aspirations. What is their least favorite color? How many pizza slices can they eat in one sitting? What keeps them up at night? How about who they wake up for?
Craft and compile a content persona profile based on their basic human information up to the way they blink and think. By identifying these, you can have the intuition of what type of content your target audience is absorbing or even tales that will make them vomit for a second or two. Don’t also forget that these personas will soon age, mature, and change as the trends go by so from time to time, update them accordingly.
2. Hollow out into Your Audience’s Insights
Content is conversation.
For you to be able to completely determine your target audience, you have to continually engage with them. Try to look at their online behavior and media consumption. What do they do online? Are they active on social media networks? What platforms are they using? What stories do they want to listen to? How about stories they crave to share? Spy on your perceived target audience on their online community. What type of user-generated content are they posting? Their sentiments? The hashtags they’re using? Follow your reader’s activities, be one of them.
Good news is that, social media platforms, such as Facebook, provide data-worthy insights and analytics. You can now easily pin down the gender, age, location, language, and type of topics they usually share.
3. Tap Your Brand’s Buddy – Influencers
To help your message targeting be on the next altitude, you should also tap your brand’s influencers. Influencers come from all over; they can be industry experts, authors, business partners, advocacy groups, and consumers. These are the people who are recognized in your industry. And fundamentally, these are the individuals that your target audience is looking to for stories, information, guidance, and even daily inspirations. Dedicate the right amount of time to get to know your influencers. Understand their content. Connect with them on social media networks. Examine what angle of your industry they are into. Are they talking to the same pain points and opportunities as yours? After finding out the behavior of your brand’s influencers, make it a habit to engage with them. Be with them digitally as much as possible. Talk to them. Brainstorm and laugh with them. When you identify your brand’s influencers, you instantly also become strategic in categorizing your target audience. It is more likely to be tapping few people (influencers) and gaining a bunch of your untapped target market.
4. Snoop Your Competing Suitors
This may sound a little tricky but believe me, numerous brands are doing this for the sake of initially analyzing their target market and their content positioning. Some of the key points to take into account when spying your competitors are their content goals and objectives, their previous and current strategies — what’s working and not, their strengths and weaknesses. Assess all of these and evaluate their target market’s gap and your stand on it. Fret no more because there are many tools out there to help you become a little James Bond on the web.
5. Analytics Is Here to Help
This era is a pretty phenomenal time to be in marketing because of the gift of access to more data on your consumers. Google Analytics, for example, has changed and grown from online tool to marketer’s BFFs. Google Analytics provides user-specific information to better recognize your target audience. This information include graphs and figures of what age and gender your audiences are made of. Analytics also gives us the opportunity to conceptualize a more indepth marketing analysis that will help propel your brands.
Begin With That “Special Someone” In Mind
So what now? Generate content for them. ways to identify target audience Photo courtesy of Michael Verhoef via Flickr Being able to know who they are (content persona), where they are (platform), their “want to know” rather than their cliche “need to know” (content and interest) is one step to leverage your next brand stories and your content strategy. Content that is targeted to everyone is likely too mainstream to be captivating to anyone. So the next time you post a content about things “every traveler” would love, consider being specific. Replacing it with family traveler or solo traveler would work better. With all these said and written, it’s now the finest time to turn off that non-targeted content dissemination and robot voice. Part of crafting content almost comes down to being able to read and understand your audience minds. Remember, real content can’t be found on your brand’s blog, not even on your product’s description and label, they are in the minds and interactions of your target market. How targeted is your current content marketing strategy? Got anything else to add to the list? I would love to hear them!