Everyone is a publisher these days. Even five-year-olds are creating content on their parent’s YouTube channels. But what makes the type of content that your ideal audience will share? It takes understanding your market in the same way you probably conducted initial research when you began your business or decided on a career.
If you want your content to get the job done, you need to understand who you’re creating it for.
All content should be created for two groups: your ideal customer and the search engines. Creating content for search engines is easy because they lack the fickleness that your market may have but it takes constant learning to keep up with the changes in search engine optimization. In order to make the learning easier you should do one of these things:
- Hire a freelance SEO expert to keep you apprised of the constant changes
- Subscribe to an industry expert in SEO and use the free learning and updates and apply it to your content
- Hire someone for your staff who’s an SEO expert or task a current staff member to keep on the constant changes in SEO
Now that you have the “machines” covered, you only need to worry about the human eyes and ears on your content. So how do you ensure that you’re producing content that they like?
5 Questions to Ask to Produce Killer Content for Your Ideal Audience
- Who are they? Who buys from you and what do they want? Keep this information in mind when creating content.
- Where are they? Your ideal audience has preferred social media platforms, times when they are on those platforms, and preferred online places where they hang out. You needn’t waste your time on places where your ideal audience isn’t. On the flip side, you need to be where they are even if you don’t really understand why people want to look like puppies on SnapChat.
- What’s their medium? In addition to favorite sites, your ideal customer also has a favorite type of medium. Younger people often enjoy learning from video. When they have a question they’ll log onto YouTube for an answer. Readers, like me, would rather have a written description. Learn what your ideal customer turns to and produce that kind of content. Side note: even if you go the video direction, it’s good practice to transcribe whatever you produce. The search engines like it and old folks like me would rather skim written content to get answers. You can’t do that in a video.
- What’s their greatest concern or struggle? Another way of looking at this is why do they need you or your product or service? Don’t expect them to draw the inference for themselves. Find out why they need you and speak directly to that need.
- What’s their tipping point? What are the steps they’ll take to buy and how can you influence it? Is your product or service something they’ll need to consult others on? If so, reviews are incredibly helpful. On the other hand, is your product an impulse buy? If so, how can you create content around influencing them?
You may serve more than one demographic. If you do, try this same 5-question exercise for each.
There’s lots of content out there these days but the most effective kind, the kind that influences the buying decision, creates more customers, and builds loyalty around a brand, is personalized to the target market. By completing this 5-question exercise, you’re on your way to producing the kind of valuable content that resonates with your audience.
As you do so, monitor your success. Tastes change. Lengths and types of content go in and out of style. Set a reminder to conduct this research every six months to ensure you are still producing the kind of content your audience will find educational, inspiring, or entertaining.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog. Christina is a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.