Once you make the commitment to add content marketing into your plan the next step is to find out who your target audience is. This is important since you need to know who you are writing for and what they want. You want to be able to create the best content that will hook your readers and encourage them to stay on your site and read more.
Now, if you already have a marketing plan, you probably already know who your target audience is. However, if you don't know who your target audience is you're going to need to figure that out. Ask yourself these simple questions:
- Who do I feel my products or services cater to?
- Who may need my products or services?
- What is my ideal customer or client?
- What geographical region does my products or services serve?
From those answers, you can draw a basic summary of who your target audience is. It may be business owners who need design help all over the United States or it may be a product that targets a new mom within the Pennsylvania area where your store is. Whatever the case may be, it's important that you know who you are marketing to.
Once you know who your target audience is, it's important to see if that is who is visiting your website. You may have one idea of who may be interested in your product, but someone completely different may be interested. You need to find out and figure out the trends. Here are some ways to find out.
Analytics Is Key
Google Analytics is a great way to find out information about who is visiting your website. By analyzing your Analytics, you are able to get some great clues and compare the trends. While Google Analytics can be quite confusing and overwhelming with the wealth of information and demographics it provides, just focus on these places:
- Traffic Sources
This will help you to narrow down (respectively):
- What geographic location are your readers from?
- How are they getting to your website?
- What are they searching to find your website?
- What device or platform are they using?
Facebook Analytics is also a great way to find out who is visiting and liking your business page. Facebook has their page called Facebook Insights that will be extremely helpful in finding this information out. It gives you basic information such as:
- Countries they're visiting from
- Cities they're visiting from
- Their gender
- Their age information
This information can help you to be even more specific when finding out who is visiting your site and who is actually interested in you and your business.
From there you can figure out who is visiting or purchasing from your site and compare the trends you found to your target audience profile that you created for yourself. Are you hitting the nail on the head or does it surprise you who is interested in your business?
Next, ask yourself where does my target audience primarily hang out? Twitter? Instagram? Facebook? LinkedIn? This is very important since you will be sharing your content via Social Media. if it is not shared with your target audience, your efforts may be wasted and nobody wants that to happen!
Once you know who is viewing your site and where they are hanging out, you need to find out what they want to read. This may take a lot of trial and error on your part, but sometimes we all need to fall before we fly. (Deep, isn't it?)
- What questions or concerns may my target audience have?
- What problems might they need answered?
- How can I/We help them?
- What are they most interested in?
You can also get a basic idea from your target audience or past customers. How? Take a look at your Twitter replies or Facebook comments. Are there any questions that have been asked more than once? You can get quite a few ideas and hints from reading their feedback. Speaking of feedback, take a look at any e-mails from your customers or visitors. There could also be some hints within those emails. What are they writing about or asking you? What feedback are they giving you?
Getting ideas and hints from your audience is probably one of the best ways to create content because you know it's what they are looking for. Compile a list of all of your findings so that you can use this for reference when you are going to create the content.
If you need another way to grab ideas to use with your content marketing but do not currently have any feedback, you will have to do some research to find out. This will require a little effort and elbow grease, but it could be very rewarding.
Twitter - By searching your target keywords on Twitter, you can find out what your Target Audience is talking about and what questions they may have. Take a look at their tweets and write down any ideas that come to you from reading the Tweets. Also - Take a look at your competitors tweets. This is not wrong since you aren't copying what they are doing. However, taking a look at what your competitors are writing about may give you some ideas as to what you should be writing about. Chances are some of their target audience may be a part of your target audience. You will just need to find a way to do what they do better and stand out.
Discussion Boards - Take a look at some discussion boards or LinkedIn groups. This can also give you some great ideas as you can see what your target audience and competition is also wanting and writing about. Do not copy directly or steal their ideas but let their content give you some ideas for your own.
Keyword Research - Look at the keywords that you wrote down from your Google Analytics. From there you can do some research on what trends are stemming from the keywords that are used to find your website. This will work wonders since those keywords are already being used to find your site and will help searchers to find your content as well. You can also use the old standby that isn't utilized as much anymore as it should be: The Google Keyword Tool. (That used to be a favorite when I worked externally as an SEO analyst!)
As complicated and time consuming as that all sounds, I think the most complicated part is yet to come. Writing the content. So many people have basic topic ideas that they want to write about but writing it is the hardest part. Unfortunately, I can't tell you how to write the content but I can tell you a few things about creating your content.
- Make sure your content is optimized with appropriate keywords.
- Use creative and catchy titles that also contain the keywords.
- Write informative content that is unique, has your own voice and helps the reader.
With these tips you will be able to pinpoint exactly who is visiting your site, who you should market to and come up with some great ideas on what to write for your target audience. If you still don't know who your target audience is and are sitting there like a deer in the headlights, we can help you. We can help you with analyzing trends, finding out who is viewing your website and also assist you with content marketing and creating the content for your target audience. All you have to do is contact us and we can work with you on making your content marketing succeed and work for you!