Who Are the People in Your Audience?
Okay, fellow Gen-Xers — hands up if you remember the Sesame Street classic “People in Your Neighborhood!” Feel free to sing along:
As fun and whimsical as this little clip is, it’s a pretty good representation of how we content marketers need to approach the people in our audiences. We need more than a general idea of who these folks are — we need to know them.
With that, I’ll let you enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 9 of The Content Marketing Coach: Everything You Need to Get in the Game … and WIN, now available for pre-order!
When many clients come to me for help with their content marketing, they want to go straight to implementation:
- “Should we be blogging? How often? Which platform should we use? WordPress is good, right? I heard WordPress was good …”
- “Should we do videos? I don’t know how; should we outsource? What kind of camera do we need? How can we make sure our videos go viral?”
- “How often should we send an e-newsletter? Is Marketo good, or should we go with AWeber? How long should they be? What about spam filters?”
That’s when I blow my virtual whistle and say, “Whoa, whoa, sparky!” All those are important questions, but there’s a lot of information we need to look at before we can even think about that stuff.
And that process starts with getting to know your audience.
Please, please, please promise me that you will not take a single step in the direction of creating a content marketing strategy—do not choose your media, do not start looking at platforms, don’t even set a budget—until you’ve done this one thing: Make sure you understand your customers through and through.
There’s Knowing … And Then There’s Knowing
Knowing your customers—and I mean really knowing them— is not just a matter of demographics. Yes, of course it helps tremendously to know age range, gender, levels of education, income brackets—all that census-type data—of the people who need your content. But that’s just the beginning.
Here are a few questions to consider as you begin your deep dive:
How do they like to get their content?
- Do they read blogs? E-newsletters? Curated publications (roundups of third-party content)?
- Do they watch online videos? Listen to podcasts?
- Do they prefer e-books (more engaging and conversational) or white papers (more factual and research-based)?
- Are they visual learners? Do they gravitate toward infographics and presentations over text?
- Do they attend webinars?
What length of content do they prefer?
- Are they looking for a series of content “snacks,” or do they prefer the equivalent of an eight-course meal?
- Would they respond better to a quick tip, a more in-depth article, or an e-book?
Where do they hang out online?
- Are they active on social media? What are their preferred networks for finding and sharing content?
- Do they refer to social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Digg, or StumbleUpon?
- Do they visit content curation sites like Alltop?
- What are their favorite websites (aside from social media networks)?
Which topics attract their attention?
- What are their primary interests?
- What are their hopes and dreams for the future?
- What makes them laugh?
- What frustrates them?
- What worries them? What drives them crazy?
Remember, if you pre-order The Content Marketing Coach by August 31, you’ll get our exclusive MVP bonuses:
- Bonus #1: Exclusive on-demand webinar, Taming the Monkeys: 8 Time Management Hacks for the Busy Content Marketer
- Bonus #2: Complimentary phone consultation to discuss your biggest content marketing challenges and discuss some winning strategies.
- Bonus #3: Free copy of The Content Marketing Coach Playbook, a treasure trove of platform-specific tips for amping up engagement on your blog, on social media, in your emails, and all across your content marketing presence.
About the Author
A self-described geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker has had a passion for content ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon (purple, please).
As Founder and CEO of Resonance, Rachel helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations. To learn more, download our complimentary audio 5 Things You Must Know About Content Marketing.
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