Determining who your audience is and what they are seeking is vital to the success of your content and your business. Once you have produced the type of content your audience wants, you need to keep a close watch on the quantity and quality of the content. Focusing on both quality and quantity will help you improve customer relations, boost employee morale, and produce more items or services of greater quality.
Knowing Your Audience
Every business has a different audience, and in every audience, certain people have niche interests. The audience for an auto shop owner is usually comprised of people who need their vehicles repaired or have deep interests in vehicles and how they work. The audience for a company like care.com is made up of parents or caregivers searching for qualified, compassionate people to care for children, other loved ones, and pets. Within these audiences, you might find someone interested in 1950s automobiles, or a person looking specifically for an Alzheimer’s patient caregiver. Finding both your audience and their specialized interests gives your business a competitive advantage. If you aren’t sure who your audience is yet, these guidelines may help you find it.
- Determine your “prototype person.” This is your ideal audience member, the person who will be most eager to invest in you and your business. Some experts recommend imagining this person with a name, an age, a location, and a specific education level. You can add to these traits as needed; for example, gym owners might ask themselves how often a prototype person exercises, why, and what exercises are best for him or her.
- Listen to your audience. You can do this before a person darkens your business’ door or website. This type of listening refers to how your audience speaks. Do they use slang? Do they respond more to ethos, pathos, or logic/logos, and why? Your audience’s location will play into this, too; an Appalachian audience member will speak differently than someone from upper Michigan or Nebraska. Consider education levels as well. A person with an advanced degree will be insulted if your approach is too simple, while a person with a GED might feel a complex approach is condescending.
- Identify the audience’s problem or need. Some businesses speak directly to problems. We have mechanics because our cars break down, and we have doctors and dentists because our bodies sometimes don’t function as they should. Some businesses though, are built around a need or want. Maybe your line of homemade soaps came to be because someone in your family was allergic to mainstream products. Maybe you write inspirational fiction because the current selection of that genre isn’t to your taste. If you see a problem or a need, chances are your audience does, too. Identify it and find creative ways to respond.
Tailoring Your Content
Once you know your audience, especially the ideal members, you can start crafting the content they will want to see. However, at that point your business’ journey is only beginning. Content writing is a creative process, but it’s also meticulous and can become arduous if not done well. You’ll need high-quality content to draw in clients, but the definition of “high-quality” can change based on your field, the popularity of certain trends, and other factors. Having said this, there are quite a few ways to tell if your content is high-quality or not. High-quality content will have characteristics like the following:
- Useful. High-quality content is content that interests people. It contains something that someone in your audience wants or needs to know. All your content doesn’t have to fall under a specific topic to be useful, either. You might own a health food store, but all your useful content may not be about your specific products or how they react with certain foods. For you, useful content might be a post about how certain vitamins help prevent the flu, or why juice cleanses are or are not beneficial.
- User-friendly. High-quality content is not large blocks of text. Most people don’t have the time or patience for that. Instead, they want to see text broken up with engaging information in charts, graphs, videos, or links. Make your content link-worthy, and use visual, auditory, and even kinetic stimulation to help users engage.
- SEO-optimized. Search engines know high-quality content when they find it. That’s why Google’s highest-ranking websites are the ones that get the most hits and the most positive publicity. If you aren’t familiar with SEO, now is the time to seek help from a mentor. He or she can teach you how to research keywords, link-building, and other facets of SEO. You can then use them to draw more traffic toward your site, as well as specific content within it.
Focusing on Quantity
When it comes to business, quantity is just as important, if not more so, than quality. If your content is sporadic, it will disappoint your clients or customers and drive them away, even if the content is high-quality. However, producing mass quantities of content does not have to mean being impersonal or focusing only on numbers. In fact, the more personal your business is, the easier quantity may be for you.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to improve quantity is to send your clients and customers personalized emails. These can be as simple or complex as your business demands. Some people feel an email is personal enough if it includes their name in the salutation. Others love receiving a newsletter that speaks directly to their interests. For example, an animal shelter might choose to send out a dog-centric newsletter one month and focus on cats the next month. This helps them reach two huge groups of people who love animals but prefer different pets. Personalized information builds rapport over time, sending the message that you know and care who your clients are. If a few clients feel this way, they are likely to share their positive experiences with others. This naturally leads to business growth and further demand for personalized content.
Latest posts by Amie (see all)
- The Right Mix of Quality and Quantity in Content Marketing - April 27, 2016
- 4 Reasons to Outsource Your Content - April 13, 2016
- Improving the Content Your Audience Wants - March 30, 2016