In this day and age, everyone's looking for a way to stand out online. With so many different businesses and websites jockeying for users' attention, connecting with them can seem like an impossible task, particularly since the overload of advertising has become an annoyance for most experienced web users. Content marketing is an effective way of engaging with web surfers who are burnt out on ads (and often use software to get around them entirely) but are still interested in reading thought-provoking and original writing.
The Importance of The Audience
Good content can attract readers to your site, grow your email list, and ideally push consumers toward your sales funnel if you're trying to sell a product or service. But how do you know what content is going to attract attention? Furthermore, how do you know what kind of attention is best to attract, and will result in positive user interactions and sales outcomes? This all begins with understanding your audience and catering your content to pique their interest and suit their needs. Identifying your niche can make your content marketing efforts more efficient and effective.
The Right Kind of Readers
Not everyone who navigates to your website is going to make a purchase or share an article, and that’s OK. But by identifying the types of people most likely to do these things, you can create a content strategy that generates more sales and shares per click. This is the intersection between market research and content marketing. Gather data from people purchasing your products about how they learned about them, and track which articles are generating the most purchases. Once you understand who buys your products and how they learn about them, you can work backward from there to identify how you can better appeal to other people in the same niche. One way of doing this: create user personas.
It’s important not to view your audience as a monolith. The one thing they all have in common is that they can benefit from your product, but within that group, there’s a lot of diversity. A user persona is a representation of a particular type of customer. One type might be a person with a lot of discretionary income who buys things on impulse, who you can target with an eye-catching article about almost anything that also mentions your product. Another type is a smarter shopper, who will do a lot of reading before deciding on a purchase. This persona can best be appealed to with articles clearly explaining the advantages your product has over competitors’. Build these user personas and cater your content to appeal to each type, and you’ll see your numbers increase in no time.
Know Your Enemy
One way to identify your target audience is to look at who buys products from your competitors, and why. Check out user testimonials about your competitor’s products and keep an eye out for personal details about the people purchasing them. This can help you build your user personas and focus your content to appeal to these groups, and ideally, steal them from your competitors. Learn from their marketing efforts: most social media platforms allow you to see how many times a post has been liked or shared, so you can identify what content is most effective both on your end and on theirs.