If you are at the start of your content journey then this is where you absolutely need to begin: audience. If you don’t know who you are talking to, then you are going to struggle. If you want to target your audience and grow your influence then you need to start right at the beginning. It’s a well-used metaphor, but gaining an audience for you message really is like making new friends.
Who are your people?
You might think you know this, but it is surprising how many people don’t really know their audience at all. Get this right and the rest should flow. If you were looking to make new friends in a new city you might start by thinking about what qualities you want in a friend. When thinking about your dream audience it’s important to think about the sort of people you would like to spend time with. What do they like? What do they value? Where do they hang out?
Target your audience – it’s not all about you
The next step when you target your audience is to flip things around and think about who wants what you’ve got. Who has bought from you in the past? Do you have a network that you can survey with an online questionnaire or poll? What needs does your product or service meet? Who has those needs? Sometimes this can be obvious. New parents, for example, need clothes for their child. Often it can be harder to define. Famously, Avon cosmetics made a product called Skin So Soft that was originally targeted at women as a moisturiser. A large number of the people that actually bought the product did so because it is an excellent insect repellent. There is only one real way to know who wants what you’ve got and that is to ask, both before and after sales.
Once you know, broadly speaking, who wants what you’ve got, focus down further. What sub-groups might exist within your audience? Can you separate these sub-groups into further groups? Serving everyone with what you’ve got is tough. Making a smaller group of people feel special and then serving them something that’s actually tailored to them is much easier. Use what you’ve already thought about in terms of your dream audience to help guide you. At this point you can start looking for where they might be and how to reach them using Google Analytics, FACEBOOK Insights and Instagram Insights.
Work on your small talk
A sales funnel is essentially a cone shape with a wide part at the top where your potential customers go in and a narrower part at the bottom where your actual customers end up. Most businesses are competing for customers so a key way to separate your business from others is the experience you offer potential customers at the top of the funnel. Your audience wants to feel valued. They want to feel that you are interested in what they need. This is how knowing your audience really well let’s you know how to shape your product or service and develop your marketing. This is the ‘small talk’ phase of engaging with your audience and your content should reflect this. Use those skills you need when meeting someone new. Smile, ask questions, give people the ‘headlines’, show that you are interested in them and that you have something in common.
Be a real friend to your audience
So, you know who you like and you know who wants what you’ve got. You’ve even focused down even further to a very particular group of people. You know what they need and what they enjoy. The small talk is over, now is the time to target your audience and really be their friend. This is where you give them the content they need and want. You are generous, enthusiastic and respond to their needs. Show your worth and you will become the voice they will listen to and trust. Vary the content you share with them and the questions you ask, but remember that video is just about the best choice to build trust quickly and effectively online.
You might also like this post on small business videos.