When it comes to content marketing (note: read our latest guide to content marketing here), your first step should be to figure out your content marketing goals and who your target audience is. Content marketing goals could include one or more of the following:
- Positioning your business as an authority in your industry.
- Attracting new clients through informative content.
- Attaining more traffic from search engines.
All of these goals require you to first determine the specific audience you want to write for. If you’re having trouble figuring out who your content’s audience should be, then continue reading to find some valuable questions to ask to help you define a new content strategy.
Your marketing team will naturally have some good insights into who your business is targeting. But don’t forget about other team members and departments within your business, who will have some great insights into the kind of content that would be fitting for the types of people they work with.
Your Sales Team
If you want your content to be a lead generator for new business, then your sales team can help in defining the perfect customer profile as your target audience. They could tell you…
- The types of businesses and industries you could create content for.
- The level of information (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) needed to impress the decision makers at these types of businesses.
- The topics that the perfect customer would be most interested in reading.
- The blogs that the perfect customer is probably already reading.
Besides the perfect customer, your sales team could also tell you the different types of customers that you are already working with so you can tailor your content to attract more just like them.
Your Customer Support Team
If you want your content to be helpful to your current and future client base, then your customer service, help desk, and support team can help in defining the right content for your target audience. They could tell you…
- The content topics they would most likely direct their many support requests to.
- The level of information that most of the people they communicate with would want to read.
- The different ways the content could be formatted to help your customers (ebooks, video, whitepapers, etc.).
As an added bonus, potential clients might be more willing to work with your business if they see that you have lots of additional educational content about your products or services easily accessible on your website.
Next, you can use various analytics tools to find out more about your current audience. These tools include the following.
If you have goals set up in Google Analytics, then you can see some information about the type of audience that already either purchases from you or signs up for lead generation tools like your mailing list. If you don’t have goals set up on your website, be sure to read these articles in the Google Help Center (About Goals and Set Up Goals) and come back to this section after you’ve gathered some data.
With goals set up, you can go to various areas of your Google Analytics to learn more about the traffic on your website most likely to convert.
Simply click on the corresponding Goal Set (usually Goal Set 1) under the Explorer or Map Overlay tab of your Google Analytics data (as shown above) to see the conversion rate for the following traffic data.
- Location – Find out where your biggest converting audience comes from under Audience > Overview > Location. This will help you tailor your content with information specific to different regions. For example, a social media marketing business in the UK might realize most of their converting traffic comes from the U.S. Hence, they could use U.S. related statistics in their content when talking about social media networks.
- Technology – If your business is interested in creating mobile content, you should look under Audience > Technology > Devices. This will help you tailor your mobile content to the types of technology your main audience that converts uses. If your business plans on developing a mobile app, you might find that the majority of your leads / buyers use iPhone over Android (or vice versa), or iPad over iPhone. Hence, you will know which platform to build your app for first.
- Traffic Sources – Take a look at your conversions in relationship to your Traffic Sources > Sources > All Traffic. Here, you might see that Facebook traffic tends to convert the best. Hence, you will want to create content that resonates best with a Facebook audience.
- Landing Pages – If you already have content on your website, you can go to Content > Site Content > Landing Pages to see which content draws in a converting audience. Continue to create related pieces to bring in more of the same kind of audience on your website to increase conversions.
If you don’t have goals or a website where you can implement goals, then your next bet is to look at the above areas of data to see which traffic has the lowest bounce rate, most time on site, and most pages viewed. This is another good way to determine what type of audience is the right kind for your business.
Assuming that you’ve never purchased likes for your Facebook page, your Facebook Insights should give you a good look at your target audience demographics and location including age, gender, cities, and language.
To see this report, go to your Facebook Page > Insights > Likes. You can also look at demographics for the people who interact with your updates on Facebook by viewing the Reach and Talking About This sections of your insights.
Did you know you can see basic insights into the audiences of any video on YouTube, assuming the video has enough views?
This means that you can start to look at videos made by your own business or anyone in your industry and check out demographics to see the top locations, genders, and age groups that tend to enjoy the content. It also might help you determine if there is a good audience for your business’ video marketing content.
Last, but not least, there is some information that you can glean off of your competitors using the following sites. This can help you further pinpoint the type of audience you would be creating content for.
- DoubleClick Ad Planner – If your competitors have a big enough website, you will be able to see some demographics data including age, gender, education, and income by visiting Ad Planner and entering their domain in the search bar. Beneath the demographics, you will also see a list of audience interests by topic and related sites that their audience visits.
- Facebook – If your competitor has a Facebook page, visit it and click on the number of likes the page has. You won’t get the full insights data, but you will see the most popular location of the competitor’s fans as well as the most popular age group.
- The Competitor’s Blog – Want to know what content is working for your competitor? Find out by visiting their blog and seeing which posts have the most engagement. If the competitor’s blog comments allows links, you can even click through to the comment author’s website to learn even more about their community.
What are your best tips & tools for finding the right audience to cater your content towards?