February 22, 2016
Why you should target your audience by branding your content
Attracting a specific audience with content can work in a variety of ways. Most content that gets published has a main focal point or category which depicts what the entire article may be about. This article, for instance, deals with branding.
Knowing what your audience is interested is a tough challenge to understand but it is possible to learn. Often times you will need to find ways to validate this. Writing content that is branded towards your audience often yields the best results in promotion of whatever it is you are trying to sell, produce, or teach. In this article, I’ll dive a little deeper at some techniques I’ve learned over the years to author more engaging content that is focused on your audience specifically.
Get To The Point
Face it, most users of the internet have super mega short attention spans. Not very many people want to spend their precious time reading a lot of mind-numbing content that doesn’t relate to them or their problems. In fact, I predict before long, most content of the web will either be spoken or video based but that’s a topic for another time (check out a cool new project from Cameron Moll called Spoken).
In the end, you should write what you would want to read and do so in a more personable approach as if you were talking to the person you’re targeting directly. If a person thinks you’re a human this is good!. The best advice I received was when I wrote for a popular blog a few years back. The advice was simply
“Just be yourself...”
This advice applies almost anywhere. It’s so simple but it really is the way to go about any interaction with other people be it virtual or in person.
Why target your audience with branded content?
It’s fairly safe to say that most content is authored with other goals and wants in mind from the publisher. In the marketing world, authoring content that is steady and relevant to whatever it is you or your company offers gives your audience a look behind the scenes. Marketers then measure what content gets the most attention with analytic tools. From there they reassess their efforts and narrow down more efficient ways to spread the word of their products or services.
People want to hear from professionals on topics that they can learn from and hopefully use to support their own business efforts and goals. If you aren’t targeting your specific audience directly your content has less of a chance reaching the people it should. This professional content ultimately represents your brand.
In my past, I wrote on my own personal blog (which doesn’t exist anymore sadly) about ways I worked to achieve the results I came up with as a freelance design professional. Potential clients could visit my website and gain a better understanding of my process as well as decide if they wanted to pursue working with me or not. Being a bit transparent through my own branded content offers some reassurance to anyone in need of design.
I also wrote about some commonly asked questions that I could later refer new prospects to if they wanted a well-rounded answer to a common question asked. This saves me a boat-load of time having to reply to emails, answer calls, etc...(not that I wouldn’t take the time to do so).
Writing with your audience in mind helps you promote yourself. This tactic also gives some free consultation to hopefully attract new business. In essence, you are creating a funnel that hopefully drives customers/clients to contact you directly. You need to be sure to lead them on the right path.
If you want clients, you need to write in a way that positions your brand to their eyes and ears exclusively. They will see the connection and value you represent through this content. That value will keep them coming back as well as telling their friends.
Make It Easy
Your content should always provide a clear call to action. These actions can be anything from a newsletter signup form to a simple link to a contact form. You need to give your audience a reason to opt in. Don’t force it or use annoying tactics. Unless you are writing just to write you almost always need a next step for the user. This next step can even be a link to the next article.
People also like free stuff. It would probably be worthwhile to offer some sort of freebie or trial-run to your audience in exchange for a little attention. Doing this provides the user a reason to opt in as well as a reason for them to put more trust in your efforts. Don’t overuse this privilege. Free content is great but too much will leave your audience never wanting to opt into anything that monetizes later on. Depending on your angle you need to beware of this as time goes on.
Writing content for your audience is essential in offering an inside look of your business process. Countless case studies and articles have been written to promote a brand or service to all people around the world. In your own efforts, you have to decide what market to target and keep your focus strong. Eventually, you will gain traction by using the right marketing efforts as well as offering quality insight on any user’s own goals.