Creating Content to Reach Your Target Audience

There are many factors to consider and decisions to be made when content for a website or social medium use is being developed.  Considerations include what type of content to develop.  Where the content should be published. And who the target audience is the content is attempting to reach.  The identification of the target audience  you are attempting to reach should be at the forefront of decisions to be made.  This is critical for multiple reasons.  Ben Sailer shares that defining your target audience enables you to create the right content for the right people, have a better understanding of how to create content that connects benefits to needs, and increases conversion.

Know Your Product and the Demographics of Your Target Audience

Having a clear understanding of your product is a first step in defining your target audience.  Identifying what the benefits are of your product and why someone would want to consume what you have to is critical.   A definitive answer to these two questions is especially relevant as you take the next step on the journey to define your target audience.  This next step is determining the demographics of the audience you would like to target.

Top customer demographics to look for include:  gender, ethnicity, age, household income, home ownership, disabilities, education, employment status, children, location, type of car(s), marital status, and savings.  Use these demographics to make a clear identification of who your target audience is.  As a result of clearly selecting your target audience, you will be able to create content that is relevant and engaging to them and will connect the benefit of your product to their need.  If these two things are accomplished, increased conversion should follow.

Create Content That Makes Sense for Your Target Audience

There are multiple ways you can create content. AudienceBloom lists 101 Content Ideas For Your Website or Blog.  Suggestions include regular series features, memes, photography, calendars, influencer interviews, questions and answers, testimonials, general quotes and proverbs, stories, and “ultimate” resource guides.

Demographics of Your Audience Identified

There are many ways these suggestions can be put to use.  To demonstrate a real world example, assume your product is hiking gear.  Items such as bags, packs, water bottles, poles, etc.  From your careful demographic research you determine that you have a target audience of 18 – 25 year olds.  They enjoy the outdoors as a casual hobby.  Consequently, you are not going after hard core thrill seekers.  Further target audience breakdown shows that your target audience lives near the mountains, has an income of $25,000 – $45,000, has no children, and is single.  With this in mind, you are ready to begin brainstorming the type of content you feel would best reach your target market.

Examples of Content to Match the Demographics of Your Target Audience

A regular series feature such as a hike of the week or best practices and tips for safe and fun hiking is one idea. Inclusion of  links to various hiker’s blogs allows users to easily access supplemental content.   Making maps of popular hiking trails in various geographical locations accessible is another idea.  A photo gallery where users can post pictures of a recent hike, such as shown in Figures 1, 2, and 3, could be a fun way to engage your target audience.  Those who post photos could also share where they were at and submit a review of the hike.

Target audience hiking views

Figure 1

Target audience hiking trail

Figure 2

Target audience hiking trail views

Figure 3

Quotes by famous naturalists, such as John Muir, may enlist interest as well.  Memes can be made using nature photographs and famous quotations, see Figure 4, that users can download and share.  Additionally, links to meme makers can be made available.  This would enable users to create memes using pictures they have taken themselves.

Target audience meme

Figure 4

Another option is to have client testimonials.  Asking clients for testimonials is an effective way to look credible.  A satisfied customer sharing a positive review of how your product benefited them on a hike would build credibility for your product and brand.

Share Content for Maximum Target Audience Impact

With content created, the next question to answer is where to share it.  The answer to this question is contingent on the target audience the content is intending to attract and engage.  Especially relevant is an understanding of where the target audience you have identified goes for their information.  Jayson DeMers lists three motivations for publishing or sharing content in a particular place.  These include:  the brand name lending you credibility with a wider audience; your website benefiting from their high rank and relevant topical approach; and your potential customers or existing customers reading or watching the publication.

Available Mediums for Sharing Content with Your Target Audience

There are many mediums available on which your content can be shared.  These include magazines, newspapers, websites, social media, blogs, TV, etc.  It is critical that you know the audience you are targeting when making the decision of where to share content.  Most of all, know what sources will provide the best chance to reach the identified audience and which will not.

Do not send created content out to every medium available with a hope the content will catch on somewhere.  The target audience for newspapers will be different than the target audience of Snapchat or the target audience of Facebook.  The same content shared  across newspapers, Snapchat, and Facebook consequently may not reach your targeted audience.   As a result of poor medium choice, the content may confuse the audience that is using the particular medium.  This confusion may harm your brand.

Opposite of this, the target audience of LinkedIn may share similarities to the target audience of the Huffington Post.  Consequently, created content shared across both of these mediums maybe effective in reaching the audience you are targeting.  Creating content that matches the characteristics of your target audience, and where they go for information, is a key factor to the success of any plan.

Returning to the previous example, consider where a target market with the identified demographics will go for their information.  As a reminder, the characteristics are:  18 – 25 years old, lives near mountains, has an income of $25,000 – $45,000, has no children, and is single.   This demographic most likely spends a lot of their time on social media sites. Sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram.  They probably find most of their news online.  Therefore, these mediums, and similar apps and sites, along with your website should be the focus of content distribution.

A Final Thought on Target Audience Selection

Target audience selection can, and should, require careful thought, consideration, research, and time.  Developing content and determining which mediums to share content on also requires careful thought, consideration, and research.   Most of all, don’t let the result of your efforts to create effective content fail by taking short cuts or not putting in the effort needed to identify your target audience.