One of the first things you need to know before you can create amazing, engaging, and useful content is, ‘who exactly is your target market?’
You might also come across the terms, ‘buyer persona’ and ‘ideal audience’ but they’re basically the same thing.
Discovering your target market is the first step before you can begin writing your content marketing plan.
Before we get started with this, it’s time to dispel a rather persistent myth – your target market is NOT everyone. The scattergun approach might work wonderfully if you’re trying to hit a target and you’re a terrible shot, but it really won’t do when marketing your business. The more you focus in on the people who will connect with what you do and who you are, the more your content will hit the target (pun intended!).
Knowing who your target market is will inform the content you develop more than anything else, and it can also help you create products and services much more easily.
Today, there’s a bit more work to do than in previous lessons, but I promise you, it’ll be worth it!
To define your target audience, please answer these questions:
What Are Their Demographics?
Knowing your customer’s gender, how much they earn, where they live, and so on is very important.
If you aren’t sure, you can choose the audience you want to target by developing an audience persona that you believe you’d like to work with:
Give them a name, pick an actual age, not a range and write about who they are, their hopes, likes and dislikes, their family life – anything you can do to get to know who they are and make them as real as possible. You could even find an image to go with your persona.
Then, when you write your content, instead of writing to the mass of people on your mailing list and perhaps getting nervous about it, you’re just writing to good old Jenny or Pete, who you know really well.
Not only is that trick great for getting over nerves, but it’s wonderful for helping you to write well. If you have a ‘real’ person to write to, you can talk to them as if you were talking to a friend, and your posts will be far more natural and full of personality.
If you have already sold products and/or services then check your analytics and you should be able to find out your audience demographics.
What Are Their Values?
This can be harder to determine but it’s an important question because it will determine the type of people your target market wants to buy from. You don’t want to be fake, because people will spot it, but if you want to attract a certain crowd you’ll need to ensure that you share their values and that it’s demonstrated by the content you share.
Where Do They Get Their Information?
This is a “where do they hang out?” question, which we’ll cover in much more depth tomorrow.
Which publications do they read? What groups do they hang out in? Who do they look up to and follow on social media?
You can find your audience faster by going straight to where they are and distributing the content you create, rather than simply waiting for them to find you.
What Type of Content Do They Prefer?
Does your audience like written content, video, podcasts or a combo of the above? Do they love infographics or something else?
You may not be sure right away and to find out, try repurposing the content you create into different formats (we’ll come onto that later) and then look at your stats from Google Analytics (see yesterday’s lesson) to see which types of content your audience likes the most.
What Are Their Problems?
If you know your audience’s problems you’ll have an easier time creating products, content, and solutions for them.
You’ll be able to get to their level and talk to them as human beings and not just as faceless people. You’ll then be able to refine your voice and language, and the way you approach your audience, too.
When you answer these questions, you’ll have an easier time understanding who your target market is. And that’s so important, because this is the audience you’re going to create all your content for, as well as every product and service.
You’ll also eventually create subsets of this audience (segmenting) which will make content creation even easier.
Want to go really in depth with this exercise? Check out Optin Monster’s amazing post on creating buyer personas. They’ve even provided templates for you to follow: https://optinmonster.com/how-to-create-a-concrete-buyer-persona-with-templates-examples/
Answer the questions above and put as much detail in as you can. Use the Optin Monster template if it helps. The more you know about your audience, the more you can tailor your content.
Want to share what you’ve come up with or ask a question? Comment away, and I’ll reply!
That’s it for Day 4. Tomorrow we’re sticking with your target market, but looking more closely at where they are.
Don’t want to wait? Prefer to get all of the 30-Day Content Marketing Challenge posts in one place, so you can work through at your own pace? Here’s a link to all of the challenge lessons: https://creativeblueberry.com/30-day-content-marketing-challenge-catch-up/
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