No matter how much experience you have writing copy, content marketing and understanding your audience is completely different. And combining all three of these will absolutely generate the most effective result.
Knowing who your audience is, what they are searching for, answering their questions, solving their problems, and writing in their tone is how you will turn traffic into qualified prospects and ultimately into new customers.
Follow these five steps and you will definitely have a better understanding of your audience.
Step 1. Your Ideal Client
Think about who your readers or customers are. What are their needs, pain points, wants and goals?
You can expand on this by creating a personality profile or buyer persona based on the information that you believe is relevant for your target audience.
Find out what they’re searching for, gear your content and topics around this, and then give it to them! Figure out where they spend most of their time. Who do they trust or look to when they need help?
Step 2. Interviewing Potential Leads
Start by asking yourself questions. Then, ask questions to people you know or work with and write down their feedback. Next, ask people who you think your potential buyer of your product or service is.
Ask your interviewees their demographics including their age, gender, occupation, job title, interests, location, etc. Anything that you feel would help you get a better understanding of them and help you reach them later on when you're ready to sell.
Create a simple charts with statistics based on the information that you found. Don't keep it in your head! It's always better to have a visual of all the data you collected and a documentation of it, because you will be updating this over and over again.
You can also get to know your target audience better by looking through different types of media, such as websites or social media. See what your niche group or competition is saying or answering online via tweets or comments or reviews.
Step 3. Know Your Competition
While it is unfair (and sometimes illegal) to copy what another company is creating, it is okay to grab ideas from what we see on their website, social media posts, review platforms, and many other places. After all, it's thrown out there for public view and you should pick it up and know it.
By exploring their online presence you will get a better understanding of what their audience enjoys learning about, what they dislike, and then you can make an educational determination how their audience can relate to your content. What differentiates your product brand or service from your competitor's?
Another strategy that can help in the long-run is networking with your competitor and possibly working together in the future. Obviously, not something you both offer, but the one offs that complement each other and don't compete.
You both can share resources together and even guest post on each other’s blog, so that both of you receive more traffic and revenue. It's a win win!
One example is a locksmith and a CCTV specialist. A locksmith might not handle CCTV security systems, but they get asked a lot about adding cameras to upgrade their current security in the office. And a video surveillance expert might offer the camera aspect, but not the access control part where employees scan a key card to gain entry to the building. These are complementary services that don't directly compete. Win win right?
Step 4. Engage in Niche Forums & Blog Discussions
Join discussion groups and forums online that are related to the interests of your niche. You will not only be able to see what they are saying or looking for, but you can also engage with them in conversations related to the topics.
This could even give you more authority with those followers as you continue future discussions online.
Even within your own blog, you can engage with your readers who comment or ask questions related to articles. This can be an advantage in the long-run, because you are building trust within your online community and it allows your readers to get to know you on a more personal and direct level.
Let them know that you are listening to their questions, needs, and you are the go-to for education on that topic.
Step 5. Use Tracking and Research Tools
Analytics, insights and keyword trends can provide you with more in-depth information about what your audience is searching for. Also, what they think about certain topics, services, brands or products.
Look for these key indicators when researching you audience:
- Comments – are your readers giving negative or positive feedback to a specific topic?
- Demographics – what is your average reader like, statistically speaking?
- Relevancy – why are people actually visiting your site or blog, and is it relevant to your content?
- Backlinks – can you gather audience information from those who are sharing your links elsewhere?
Do You Understand?
Walk through these five steps when brainstorming and you’ll have a better understanding of who your audience members are and what will provide them with the best content to answer their questions.
For more information on creating compelling content that will turn your readers into paying customers, download our new eBook for free.
Ready for the next step or you want to get there faster? Checkout our ultimate compilation of content marketing resources and tools or give us a ring at 773-680-6952. We're here to help.