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Creating Content to Reach Your Target Audience

Content is only as effective as the audience it speaks to. For content to go viral and drive conversion rates and sales it needs to be directed at the right people. Once an audience has invested their time and built a connection with your content this effect will only extrapolate over time. Here’s how to ensure all the effort that’s put into content marketing yields profits.

Determine Your Audience
The first step to making awesome content is targeting the content. The most important aspect of inbound marketing is determining the target audience. This will provide a direction for all the content ideas that are brewing.

Before creating content, decide whom it’s meant to reach and be very specific. The audience should be as easy to describe as a close friend or family member. Here are some basic questions to kick-start the narrowing process:

Demographics:
· How old are they?
· What type of home do they live in?
· Where do they live?
· Are they single or married?
· What’s their typical income range?

Psychographics:
· What are their top three favorite interests and hobbies?
· In their free time are they relaxing or trekking through the wilderness?
· What’s their first pet’s name or at least what kind of pet do they have?
· What’s their fashion style?
· Do they keep up with current events?

This list can extend well into the inconceivable abyss of the human mind, which is a good thing. The more we know about an audience, the more we know what interests them, inspires them, makes their life more enjoyable and, truly, why they should care about your content versus the rest.

Once all the information is gathered and questions answered, create a brief customer profile. Then ask one more question before moving on: Does the product still have an appeal to the target market? The answer must be a resounding yes.

Ensure the Topic is Specifically Geared to the Proper Audience
Once the target audience is confidently established creating content is much easier. Every time there is a proposal for new content simply evaluate its relevance by using the customer profile.

For example, let’s say the goal is to reach conservative urban-based millennials with disposable income to invest. It’s proposed to create content based off a new study published on the effectiveness of an S&P 500 Index Fund. While the topic has an overall connection, the customer profile can be used to determine if that investment follows their values. With the information it’s easy to determine if the audience would prefer to use their income in a higher risk higher reward investment or something fairly risk averse.

Even manipulating content for existing customers plays a large role. Consider a $50 vacuum and a $500 Roomba. They’re both vacuums but the information the owners of each one find valuable are highly distinct. An audience who does their own cleaning compared to an audience that has a robot do it for them won’t have the same interests. The benefits of cleaning versus the benefits of cleaning a certain way may seem trivial and highly specific, but it’s a paramount distinction in reader interest.

To stay true to the product and market, you should always use the customer profile as a standard of content value.

Style To Meet Style
The next step beyond honing in on the target audience is styling the content to their personalities and backgrounds. Tone, grammar and word selection play huge roles here.

The content should be distinct and recognizable. Depending on the reader, they may enjoy content that grips them with a relatable story or prefer a jarring fact to kick things off. The audience should feel it’s written for them. Basically it needs to appeal emotionally to readers in order for them to keep coming back for more.

There are a few general styles to follow, similar to holiday decorations. Some people may prefer a very simplistic traditional layout like white icicle lights. Others might like to see a few bold highlights without the fluff such as a few blow-up characters in the front yard. Finally the extravagant detailed décor that leaves no stone unturned appeals to the critical analytical mind that starves for detail.

How the content is consumed affects the structure and layout of articles as well. Using phones instead of computers and reading at home instead of on the subway are important factors to consider.

Evaluating and Aiming Content Reach
The target market has been well developed, the right content is appropriately styled and now comes spreading the content to make sure potential customers see it. Aside from the home site and search engines, social media has become the most prolific way to spread content.

Knowing the audience plays just as much of a role here. With the profile, determine which are the most appealing platforms, the times to share content and how to grab attention. Using visual and infographic content has been shown to be very effective. Visuals are making up a huge percentage of posts and are more likely to be shared by your target audience to your target audience. Social media also tracks the reach and spread of your content, even breaking down the type of people that engage in it. This makes an excellent tool for constantly evaluating if the content is reaching the right people and engaging them.

Content shouldn’t solely be judged by the amount of people who read it, but by who reads it. Reaching 5,000 readers that fit the target audience and will continue to click through content is much more valuable than 15,000 readers who only spend 20 seconds on a page before closing it.

To make the most of content, you should develop a specific target market, mold the topics and style it to their personality. Then spread the content through specific mediums in a thoughtful manner and watch the fruits of your labor grow.

 

 

By Raphael Konforti MS

Connect With Your Audience Through Recurring Content Events

Churning our copy day in and day night can not only get a bit redundant, but it can make it hard to keep up your motivation and inspire your audience. Copyblogger suggested a great way to mix things up by hosting recurring content events that readers would sign up to read. A content event has a few specific qualities, it should happen on a specific date, be sent out through an invite, require an RSVP, offer a replay, have some sort of follow up with the attendees after the event, and most importantly be a live event.

There are three different types of content events: live teleclasses, live webinars, and live presentations. To host a teleclass, first decide on a date and the technology to use. There are plenty of free options like FreeConferenceCallHD.com. Next create a compelling title to get people interested, and then think of what your goal for the invent is. You might be trying to add more people to your email list, build your own authority in the market, or get people interested in your product or service.

Make sure and set up a separate email list for the event so that you can stay organized, and follow up immediately after the event with the replay and any additional information you promised during the event. To maximize the amount of people that sign up for your event, try emailing, writing blog posts, and sending out social media invites. To take it a step further you might ask other people to share the info on their own social media sites, purchase some ad space, or write guest blogs and put the invite info in your bio.

The presentation itself should have an introduction, an overview of the information to expect during it, the main points, and a summary. Always put the call to action at the end if there is a follow up you are hoping the listeners will act on.

A lot of the process of creating your content event is going to be planning and the build up to the event, while the event itself is going to go by relatively quickly. When it’s done properly a content event can make a huge impact, inform more people about what it is you have to offer, and secure some more customers or readers of your blog. Webinars and the like can appeal to a slightly different person than the one reading your blog, so doing this at regular intervals is going to increase your audience greatly. Be authentic and personal yet in control of your authority for the event yourself and you’ll almost certainly boost your numbers.

Have you hosted any sort of online content event? Let us know your experiences and how it changed the way you do business, or if you’re planning on trying it in the future!