This is the third post in my five-part series on creating a content marketing plan. The first installment, “The One Stop, Five Step, Quick Start Content Marketing Plan,” provided an overview of the process. The second post covered “Establishing Content Marketing Goals”.
This installment delves deeper into step 2 and 3, exploring who exactly is the right person to give you the action you are wanting and where this conversion will take place.
If you’re a business owner engaged in DIY content marketing, this is the step that can trip you up. If you misidentify your core audience, then even the highest quality content won’t be effective, because it won’t be seen by the right people.
Attracting The Ideal Target Audience With Content Marketing
Who are the right people?
They’re the people who can give you the action that you’re looking for. You want those people who have the desire and means to purchase the products and services you offer. If you’re selling Cadillacs, you want to reach people who have enough money to buy one of your cars. If you’re a child psychologist, you need to reach parents of children who can benefit from your services.
In the examples above, this may seem pretty straightforward. Yet there are some situations in which the right audience isn’t quite as clear-cut. Take that child psychologist, for example. If she specializes in counseling teens, then it’s probably not enough for her to reach only parents since the teens themselves may have some influence on the decision as to which psychologist is selected. And it’s probable that a teen will not respond to the same content that motivates his parents. So our psychologist may need to offer one type of content to teen prospects and another type of content to his parents.
What’s the right channel?
Not only will the substance of content change according to an audience, but the method of delivering it may also change. Teens are likely to respond to a video, for instance, and they are also more likely to be using YouTube or Tumblr than their parents. Bargain hunters tend to favor Facebook and Google+ pages that offer coupons and promotions, while college-educated women are often found on Pinterest.
How about the right format?
As mentioned above, video content is great for teens, but that doesn’t mean it won’t also work with other audiences. Our Cadillac dealer, for example, could probably benefit from running videos in his showroom, illustrating the cars in action and highlighting the features of different models.
A content marketer working in an urban area might develop a podcast series that commuters can download and listen to on their train ride to the office. And, of course, good old print is a mainstay format for content, and can take many forms, including eBooks, white papers, brochures, posters, flyers and direct mailers.
By carefully considering the characteristics of the specific audience we want to reach, then factoring in what type of content is most likely to appeal to them, plus researching where they are most likely to discover that content, you can boost results considerably.
Then there’s local search — probably the most potent way to reach the right people, in the right place, in the right way. You can follow my other series for more on that. I’ll discuss how to determine your offer in my next post.