What's up next?
Many of you will have your own idea of what ‘Content Marketing’ is. This intro will make sure we’re all on the same page and ready to dive deeper into content marketing!
Welcome to the first chapter of EC’s Content Marketing:...
20th August 2018 / 4 minute read
Be warned, this chapter is not for the faint hearted. This is an in-depth look into your target audience – where every marketing strategy should start.
As explained in chapter 1: “Content Marketing: Its Definition & Why it’s so Important!”
Content marketing covers everything and anything to do with content, copy and wording. Every word written and associated with your business is part of your content marketing strategy. Whatever the content – brand messaging, web copy, social media posting, print or video content – it must incorporate your content marketing direction/theme.
Now the quick definition of content marketing is out the way, let’s get down to the point of this blog. Defining your target audience!
Before jumping straight in and writing a range of straplines and content for your website, you need to sit back and define your target audience.
Rome wasn’t built in a day – effective content marketing takes time. Its success starts with knowing your audience and how you can appeal to them.
Some of the questions you need to ask yourself when identifying your audience:
Once you have an answer to all of these then you’ll be able to gain a much better insight into your target audience.
Outlining the meaning of your brand will allow you to refine your audience. Assessing the answers to the questions above, which individuals do you want to get your content in front of?
By creating a customer profile, you can identify your target market’s demographic and psychographic. This means you can pinpoint:
That’s not to say that your conclusion to all of this will be defined on the first attempt. As your content marketing progresses you will learn more about the market and your target audience. You may even see that you have different target audiences on different platforms. E.g. social media audience is young adults aged 23-30, whilst printed media is aimed at a much larger audience of 28-63 year olds.
Once you have your typical target audience profile, you can then focus on your own brand. Your content is an extension of your brand. Therefore, it needs to coincide with your brand’s identity. To achieve this, you will firstly need to be absolutely clear on what your branding is in the first place.
Questions to ask yourself about your brand!
Once you know all of this you can really hone in on the language, theme and approach for all content, wherever it may appear.
ContentSparks mentioned a cool exercise you could have a go at to define the voice of your content – “write out the emotions you want your customers to feel. Then decide if your logo, tagline, and content reflect these emotions.”
Once you have your target audience that’s when you can begin to focus on the language you use and the way in which you appeal to those like-minded people.
Now that you have a general idea of who your target audience is, you will now be able to:
But that’s not the end of it. Not only will you adapt your content to suit your audience, but you’ll have to consider which platform you plan to reach them on and adjust to the platform’s content requirements. E.g. Twitter is typically concise and conversational. How will you produce content to suit?
That’s another element, defining where your target audience is most likely to be.
Once you know where they’re all roaming around, you can explore the ways in which you can interact with them. We don’t just mean whacking out a social media post every now and then with a load of hash tags and hope they find it, we mean get into their community, comment, answer questions, join discussions. Your own content needs to resonate with them, but that’s not the only way to interact with them…
Whatever your industry, social media will be a place where they’re all hanging out. Explore Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, even YouTube. Add fresh content and interact with other people in your industry, and of course, answer potential customer questions.
Social media isn’t the only place online though, make sure to find niche forums and Q&A sites too for your industry.
Digital is obviously a big deal, but there’s more you can do without sitting behind a computer screen. Depending on your industry and target audience, you can attend relevant store events, focus groups, networking events and conferences. You’ll meet like-minded people and you might even find a huge proportion of your audience that you would never have found online.
At the end of all of that, you’ll truly understand your brand, its tone of voice and the language it uses to appeal to your target audience.
You probably get this by now, but all content should be focussed on your audience. Everything you produce and distribute must be of value to your audience.
Many brands, businesses and content marketers can become short sighted in their strategy and go on about how wonderful they, their service and products are. Focus on providing a solution to your audience’s problem or need, not on yourself.
Content marketing for a specific audience doesn’t just rely on producing bulks of content (written or video) to bombard them with all the information they need, it’s about providing them with relevant and impactful information they can understand, take note of and most importantly, learn from.
By all means produce highly detailed articles and blogs if that’s what your audience is interested in, but don’t just stop there. Turn that in-depth, valuable content into easily digestible snippets too.
Marketing is impossible without strategic and quality content behind it. Most marketing projects start with content. No matter the type of marketing tactic you’re set to employ, content marketing should be part of the process, not separate to it.
Content is that pretty little blue ribbon which ties everything together.