How to Identify your target audience and create content that matters to them

As a content creator, being able to clearly identify your target audience is one of the first steps to creating content that will deliver the right outcomes for you.

Unfortunately, a lot of content creators are not even aware there’s such a thing as identifying your target audience.

But yeah, there is.

And for many years, it’s been helping a lot of creators to generate even better results for their effort.

Like most content creators, when I started out, at some point, I was more concerned about creating content. Getting something published on my blog, just for the traffic.

Instead of missing a day in my publishing calendar, I’d rather postpone what matters most to my target audience…

As I gained more experienced with content marketing, I began to realize that sometimes getting your outcomes achieved with a limited audience is far better than achieving nothing with a large audience.

But even at that, I also reckoned that no matter how hard you work, you can barely achieve anything if you’re yet to identify and target the right audience with your content.

This realization changed a lot about my content. And in no time, I was able to sort out my audience and then create content that’s suitable for them.

In turn? I got improved ROI.

Search engine visits soared. More inquiries about my services started coming in. And there were lots of changes.

Have you also had difficulties identifying your target audience? In the following paragraphs, I’ll be showing you some of the important questions you need to ask in order to find the right target audience for your content…

What do you want?

So, what do you want to achieve with your content marketing? This is one of the first questions you have to answer.

The reason behind the importance of this question is not farfetched. Before you can find out the right audience for your content, you have to figure out exactly what it is you want to achieve with the content itself.

Let’s take for instance; your goal for a particular piece of content could be to create a better traffic for your website, drive more sales or get your brand some exposure as a thought leader.

Whatever it is, you need to be very clear on what you want to achieve with your content before you work on finding an audience.

Who can help you get it?

Like we already mentioned in step one above, as a content creator, you’re out to achieve a specific goal with your content.

Now, let’s assume that after reading step one above, you’ve been able to figure out the exact goal you want to achieve with your content.

Now, no matter what it is, for you to achieve this goal, a specific person or persons will have to take some kind of action after coming in contact with your content.

So, now that you already know what you want to achieve, it’s time to find out this person whose contact with your content will help you to achieve the desired result.

With the above in mind, you can then go ahead to ask yourself the question; Who is this person that can help me to achieve the thing I’ve spelled out in step one, after they come in contact with my content?

To get this right, you’ll go on a market research.

Social media, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, gives you insights on user data like;

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Interest

Considering you’re creating content for the social media. With such data as this, you’ll be able to segment your target audience into these demographics.

After that, you can go ahead with identifying and targeting the ones that’ll be useful to you, during the process.

PS: To be able to access this data on the social media, you’ll have to create a business page. Alternatively, you can create a page and set up an ad. This will give you an even more targeted audience.

For blogs and websites, with tools like Google Keyword Planner tool, Similarweb, Alexa site info tool, you’ll get to find out the audience demographics for a particular website.

Using the data generated from these tools will give you some insight on your target audience. And with these details you’ll know as much as the right kind of words to use in your content, in order to create the right results.

Where are they?

At this point, the next step to identify your target audience is to know where they are.

The reason you need to know this is so you can take your content to them, right where they are.

To make this quite easy, we’ll divide our audience into two sections, based on targeted content platforms viz: social media and websites for a better result.

Social Media

If you’re creating content for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin etc, the easiest way to locate your target audience is to look through sub groups and forums on these platforms.

For example, platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn specifically have niche group functionalities with a good number of highly targeted audiences based on specific niche areas.

For a start, search for a group with your targeted niche key word.

After that, work on making yourself a member of the groups most related to your area of interest, sign up for the particular group, acquaint yourself with their content styles and then create engaging content just as it’ll be suitable for them.

Over time, begin to build a natural following from these groups and this audience is going to be highly targeted.

To make it more effective, repeat the process and join a handful of other related platforms.

Website and Blogs

For websites and blogs, you can start your research right on blogs and websites offering similar content like yours.

So, if you’re creating content about African food for instance, your research will be about websites creating content about African food.

Find out, how do they create their content and where do they get their audience? The tools I mentioned in step two above will be very helpful for your research at this point.

Specifically, Alexa, Wordstream, Semrush etc. will give you insights on a website’s audience, demographics, their popular keywords etc.

How can you reach them?

Of course by now, you have been able to identify your target audience; it’s time to find out about how you can reach them.

Now, the number one way to meet your target audience is by creating a piece of content. And taking this content to the platform where you can find them. That’s what content marketing is all about.

But wait. You don’t know the specific content that can work with them right?

There are both conventional and unconventional ways to know this.

The conventional way involves going back to your market research under step three and four…

Find out, the social media platforms and website you researched respectively, which type of content had the most likes, shares, comments and engagements?

Research as much websites and social media platforms as possible within your target niche.

Doing this, you’ll see a clear pattern on the kind of content, length and even the kind of words used on the popular content. This knowledge will shape your content, in relation to your audience.

What words makes sense to them?

As a content creator, words are important to you, both as a content creation tool and as a tool for creating a compelling result for your goals.

And for this reason, you need to understand how to use them effectively if you want to achieve your best outcomes.

Starting from your title, you need to understand how to combine the right adjectives, verbs and other power words to create the effect that matters to you.

Now, considering that you’ve already been able to identify your audience, you also understand their demographics and the kind of words they easily relate with, it’s time to put this knowledge to work.

To make things easier, ust like you did with the other research, begin to dig deep into other successful content on related niches or social media platforms, find out what stood out in terms of words used throughout the content and the writing style?

Is there a way you can adapt this to your content?

Remember, the goal here is not to copy the words verbatim. You want to adapt and customize it to be suitable for your content.

What Keywords Matter to them?

As a matter of fact, one of the reasons why people get to see content online is through Google search.

Every day, billions of people are consistently using search engine platforms like Google to search for certain things on the internet.

And just as you’d guess, your target audience is part of these searchers.

Now, after identifying your audience, you need to make your content visible for this audience.

In order to do this, you’ll have to optimize the content for visibility. And for this to be possible, you need to know the search term that’s frequently used by your target audience.

How’s this done?

So, if you’re creating content on a blog or YouTube for instance, for your content to be easily visible to search engine users, you need to optimize your content with the right keywords.

To do this, you don’t need to make a guess. With tools like Google Trends, Google Keyword tool, Wordstream, Ubersuggest, you can run through the keyword you would like to use.

These tools will show you the number of people that are actually making online searches using that keyword.

With this result, you’ll be able to decide whether creating content around the keyword will drive in the right results or not.

On the other hand, if you’re creating content for social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. for better visibility, you have to know and use the niche related hashtags used by this audience and other creators in similar niche.

This will group your content alongside other related content in that niche, making it easier for a greater visibility.

Conclusion

As you can see, identifying your target audience is very critical to your content marketing effort, especially if you really want to create a content marketing strategy that will deliver a successful outcome.

Instead of working on creating content without identifying a specific target audience, you need to clearly figure out your target audience before creating your content strategy.

Doing this will help you to create the best content for the right audience while driving your ROI.

So, there you have all the important questions you need to answer in order to create the right target audience for your content.

Want to learn more? Join the Smart Content College and become a content marketing expert in 5 weeks.

It’s your turn now! What’s the biggest step you ever took towards identifying your audience? Let’s hear you!

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    Victor Winners

    Victor Winners

    Award winning Blogger, Author, Web Developer, Senior Digital Strategist and Founder of Africa's most widely read blog on Content Marketing and Digital Strategy, VictorWinners.Com.Named as one of the top 50 design influencers globally, since 2014; Victor Winners has helped over 2 million readers to understand and use digital technology to transform their lives and businesses.

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