In a recent post, we highlighted the importance of understanding what your target audience thinks about when considering your product or service, and the importance of knowing where they research (sites, publications, asking friends) as part of their buying process. So how do you know where to put your content to attract your target audience? Here are some tips to get you started:
Research your channels
Once you have identified your target audience, it’s time to start researching the online channels they are most likely to use. Find out the audience size and demographics for each channel — it makes a huge difference! For example, if you’re targeting upwardly mobile people in their late 20s to early 30s, Instagram should be a focus for you. If you’re targeting gamers, Twitch or Discord should be added to your list. Look at social media platforms, industry forums or group pages (see LinkedIn and Facebook primarily here), online communities, or even specific websites that cater to your target audience.
Consider the type of content
Different types of content will perform better on different channels. Be sure to understand what works best on the platforms that you are leveraging. For example, short form video will boost engagement on Instagram and Facebook, while longer-form articles or white papers may be better suited for industry forums or group pages.
Focus your message
To really appeal to your target audience and build engagement in your content, be sure to focus your message to speak to your audience in THEIR language, not yours, and to address THEIR unique needs and pain points. Conduct keyword research to identify the words and phrases that your target audience is using to search for information online. By incorporating these keywords into your content, you can increase the chances of your content being found in search.
Use your content to hit the big three goals: Know, Like, Trust
Effective content marketing helps the reader know, like and trust the author. To do this, you need to share some of your story, how you learned how to solve the problem that your target audience has, and how you can take them where they want to go.
Optimize your headlines
Your headlines are one of the most important elements of your content. They need to be attention-grabbing, while also including your target keywords. Make sure that your headlines are clear, concise, and accurately reflect the content of your post.
Visuals are worth a thousand words
Visuals can help to break up your content and make it more engaging for readers, and the right image can stop a reader from scrolling past your message. Make sure that you include engaging images or videos in your posts. You can also use alt tags and captions to include your target keywords.
Experiment and track your results
The only way to know for sure which channels are most effective for reaching your target audience is to experiment and measure your results. Test different headlines, visuals, calls to action, times of day and content formats to see what best resonates. Understand what is fueling engagement, and what is driving traffic to your website. What you measure moves!
By following these strategies, you can optimize your posts online to reach your target audience and be found in search. Remember, it’s not just about creating great content — it’s about making sure that great content is getting in front of the right people.