Content marketing is king, but it simply doesn’t work if your content isn’t geared towards the right market. What’s more, the most successful content marketers put the needs of the audience ahead of the company’s need for sales. At the same time, even household-name brands didn’t build their following overnight. How do you go about finding your audience and producing content for the right market?
Finding Your Audience is One of Your First Jobs
For brands who are just starting out, the target market is defined by both the reason for the brand’s inception and the selection of products or services offered. But it goes deeper than that. Brands’ target markets are further defined by their brand story, values, and positioning. To that end, two brands selling seemingly identical products may have fundamentally different target markets.
As an example, take a look at Petco and Chewy. On the surface, they’re both providers of pet care products. Look deeper, however, and you’ll notice different customers prefer one or the other. Online customers flock to the latter while in-person shoppers prefer the former. Brands develop their reputations and customer perceptions through myriad ways–among them content marketing.
Producing the right content, however, hinges upon a fundamental understanding of who that content is created for. Whether it’s videos, blogs, whitepapers, or anything else, it has to resonate–and add value–to those consuming it.
How to Find Your Audience
As mentioned, your brand story is a part of finding your audience. Why did you start your business? What challenges does your brand help people overcome and who specifically are those people? The answers to these questions will help define your target market.
At the same time, like most parts of successful digital marketing, data is your most valuable asset. With that said, customer relationship management (CRM) technology will help you build a customer database. Not only can you manage your interactions and relationships using CRMs but you can analyze and label who’s behind the interactions, engagements, and most importantly, purchases.
Feedback channels are another way to glean invaluable feedback from your audience. Not only do these earned media channels help boost your visibility but you can gauge what’s working and who it’s working for. The more you can encourage feedback and reviews, the more you can see who’s interacting with your business. You can then leverage this data to fine-tune your customer experience and produce more meaningful marketing content.
Finding Your Audience is an Ongoing Job!
Finding your audience is a mission that never ends–unless you’re content with how many folks you’re currently doing business with. In other words, there’s always an opportunity to boost your brand awareness and find more customers. Whether geographically, demographically, or psychographically, there are new markets to tap into.
Two particularly effective ways of leveraging increased visibility into finding your audience are via savvy social media and strategic event marketing. Boosted posts containing valuable, insightful, engaging, content can reach a larger audience, propelling your brand into the minds of more potential customers. Event marketing can help customers interact with your brand, try products first-hand, and put a face to your brand name.
At the same time, your products or services probably aren’t for everyone. It would be nice for everyone in the world to be a potential customer, but that’s just not a reality. That also means you can’t create content that pleases everyone. Focus on the most valuable customers–the thought leaders, influencers, and repeat purchasers–and let the rest follow.
The most important thing to remember is finding, growing, and maintaining your audience requires constant work. You have to be consistently producing valuable content, keeping tabs on trends, and delivering on your customer experience. The work is never over, but with tenacity, creativity, and data, you can deliver the right experience to the right audience.