Develop Content That Puts Your Audience First
By Miriam Bookey, CSO
Today, the most effective content creators know that in order to produce the most authentic, compelling, and authoritative content for brands, you must put the audience first. Here’s how to walk their walk—and talk their talk.
Sure, it’s super helpful if you’re an expert about the same things that ignite and excite your audience. But let’s say you’re not remotely versed in taht audience’s passions. Let’s say you’re simply a great content marketer who has been charged with promoting a brand, message, or service to an audience that’s new to you.
You’ve got this!
Here are three tips that will help you immerse yourself in your audience’s world, however particular or niche. Give yourself time time, and you’ll learn their likes and dislikes, their moods and musings—even their vocabulary.
- Find your audience. Take the time to get to find and know your audience. Kick off every new content marketing campaign with a discovery stage designed to illuminate where they are, the competitive marketplace for your audience, and, of course, what the audience really looks like. This is the key that holds your entire content strategy together. Ask questions like: How do your audience members use each of the social media platforms you’re looking to create content for? What challenges do they face in their daily lives that your content could help solve? Who, or what, influences their digital activity?
- Listen. When you’re reaching out to a new audience, it’s tempting to jump in, join the conversation, and try to create your content that adds to it. But if you immediately dive into content creation without taking the time to know who you’re making it for, you’re putting yourself — and your readers — at a disadvantage. Once you do create content, take note of the comments you receive (or don’t receive, as that’s a signal, too!). Respond accordingly.
- Revise, revise, revise. Your strategy, that is. What your audience loved in September may likely no longer be relevant in June—and if you’re not flexible, you’ll lose their attention. Stay nimble with your content ideation and editorial calendars with regular check-ins on what’s trending. If it dovetails with your strategy and your audience, look for ways to authentically incorporate it into the content calendar.
Now that you know who your audience is and where they are, one last tip. Add to their world. Strive to become a valuable asset within that community—to be welcomed into it—via the content you create, curate, and co-create. You’ve heard it before and I’ll repeat it now: Give before you get.
True audience understanding is an important step in the path toward stellar content creation—one that will pay dividends in how your brand is received and discussed by the very people it wants as customers. Use these steps as your guide, and your team will generate better engagement—and ultimately, brand goodwill.