How to Identify Your Target Audience for Content Marketing

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018
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Building a content marketing campaign can help you to create more effective online and marketing communications. However, the first step in building this strategy actually has nothing to do with planning or writing content. Instead, the first step is to get to know the people for whom you will be creating your material. Called your target audience, the preferences, pain points, and personalities of this group of people are what will inform your decisions regarding what type of content you create. Content that speaks to your target audience will translate into more people engaging with your brand and purchasing your products and services. As a result, you must have a clear idea of who you want to reach before you begin developing a content marketing plan. Here are a few tips for doing so.

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Identify your target audience for content marketing by analyzing your current customers.

The first step in identifying your target audience for your content marketing campaign is to look at the people who are currently engaging with your business. Current customers, and, in particular, repeat customers, will give you a glimpse of the kind of people who are currently finding your business to be appealing and useful. Use the data you currently have on customer demographics and evaluate who the people are who are buying from you. Are they young or old? Are they wealthy or budget-conscious? What characteristics do they have in common? And why are they choosing your company to buy from?

If you want to identify the target audience who will bring in the most business, focus your analysis primarily on the customers who currently bring the most money into your company. Data might not be enough to give you all of the insights you need into your current customers. Consider taking the time to meet with these customers in addition to looking at your data. Mingling with them in your store, sending out surveys, or encouraging online responses can all give you direct information from your customers about who they are and why they buy from you.

SEE ALSO: 5 Tips for Creating Search Engine Optimized Content

Identify your target audience for content marketing by finding the pain points that your company addresses.

The term “pain points” refers to areas of discomfort, need, or desire that customers have. For example, a pain point for customers looking for mechanics is honesty…many mechanics have a reputation for being dishonest and many customers are concerned about finding a mechanic who is trustworthy. When creating a content marketing campaign, and identifying your target audience, one of the first steps you need to take is to identify the pain points that your company addresses. For example, is a mechanic trustworthy? Is a restaurant providing vegan or gluten-free options for the health conscious customer? Where your company’s brand and offerings meet specific pain points is where you will find your target audience, and where you want to focus your content marketing.

That honest mechanic wants to advertise to concerned families, while that health conscious restaurant wants to target health conscious customers. You can also evaluate pain points in reverse. Find out from your current customers what pain points are being alleviated by your brand. Then you will know where your company is already benefiting customers and you can develop a content marketing campaign focused in part on your ability to address those pain points.

Identify your target audience for content marketing by looking at your competition’s customers.

Before you can definitively identify your target audience for your content marketing campaign, you should first analyze your competitor’s customers. The audiences they are targeting can give you insights into the people you should be targeting as well. For example, you might find that they are targeting a segment of people you had not considered. From there, you may be able to develop your own outreach to this group. Alternatively, you may find that your business’ unique value propositions lead you to target a different audience. Either conclusion will inform your decisions regarding how to proceed with your content marketing campaign. You can usually find information about the audiences your competition is targeting by examining their website and social media sites. You can also visit their brick and mortar stores for a more direct look at who they are targeting and what they sell.

Identify your target audience for content marketing by gathering data about your business and customers.

In your search to understand your target audience for your content marketing campaign, information will be your friend. The more data you can collect, on both your business and your customers, the easier it will be to build a clear picture of who your target audience should be. For example, Google Analytics can tell you which pages your customers are frequenting. This data may surprise you. You might think that your business is appealing to your city’s vegan population, but discover that many people are checking out your gluten-free offerings or exploring your dessert options. Other data you might consider using are surveys, purchasing information and trends, customer feedback, and social media interaction. Use whatever data helps you to build a clearer picture of what your business offers and who might be interested in it for your content marketing campaign.

Identify your target audience for content marketing by building customer personas.

Once you have all of your data and have developed a clear idea of your company’s value and the pain points you can address, you can begin to build personas of your target audience. Personas are detailed descriptions of every segment in your target audience. They list the age, physical appearance, financial state, health, and important thoughts, feelings, and opinions of every part of the target audience. For example, if you are a health conscious restaurant, you might build a persona of a 20-something female, socially conscious, interested in exercise and being vegan. Or you might build a persona of a 45 year old male with a dairy allergy.

The key is to get as detailed a description of your target audience as possible so you can build a content marketing campaign that speaks to the individuals you want to reach instead of a faceless and impersonal crowd of people. Identifying your target audience can be an important step in creating an effective content marketing campaign. When you can identify your current customers, identify pain points, identify your competitor’s customers, gather data, and create personas, you can build a content marketing campaign that is meaningful, effective, and directed at the people you most want to reach.

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