Let’s talk about content. More specifically, how to create content that your audience will love.
We often think we know EXACTLY what our audience wants to read, yet we end up being so far off the mark.
By sticking to a few key methods, you can generate content your audience will love, share, and engage with again and again.
What is the best way to accomplish that? Begin by knowing your audience.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE?
There is a pretty important aspect of growing great content that people will love, and that will make your audience go crazy for.
What is the issue? There are so many people that try to please everyone with their content, but it’s just not possible. If you throw your net too wide, you won’t catch anything. Actually, you’re doing a disservice both to yourself and to your readers.
To create a dish that is loved by vegetarians and meat eaters is impossible. You will not please anyone.
How do I figure out my ideal audience?
It’s important to be very, very specific down to the smallest detail. When you are done with the process, you should have one single person in mind, and you should keep this person in mind when you create any content (you can even draw them and stick them above your computer).
BEGIN BY ANSWERING THESE QUESTIONS:
- Male or female?
- Are they location specific?
- What are their 3 main interests?
- What makes them tick?
- What makes them happy?
- What kind of lifestyle are they trying to create?
Your focus can be narrowed down if you answer these seven questions. You should now have a “persona” in mind. It’s like having someone you know every detail about, including their age, gender, location, lifestyle choices, and interests.
Having identified your ideal audience, the next step is to tap into their pain points.
OFFER SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS
It isn’t enough to guess what the problems of your ideal audience are. While answering the questions above was pretty much a shot in the dark, this is where you need solid facts.
If you don’t have solid facts, you’ll miss the mark over and over again. Many people make this mistake at this point. Although they THINK they know what their ideal audience wants and needs, it’s even better to KNOW, isn’t it?
How are you supposed to know? Pay attention to what they say.
Identify the places where your ideal audience hangs out. For instance, if you’re targeting photographers, Instagram is a good place to start. Twitter might be a better option if you wish to reach small start-ups.
Don’t forget about forums and real-life venues, either (want to draw stay-at-home moms? Try coffee shops on a weekday).
Your next step should be to listen to their conversations. Facebook freelancer groups, for example, are a great source of blog content ideas. Read what freelance writers ask, and answer them on your blog. Easy, right? But it’s successful!
TRY TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS AS YOU LISTEN IN:
- What are they talking about the most?
- What topics do they share the most?
- What questions are they asking?
Your answers here are the skin and bones of your content. Afterward, you’ll need to elaborate with anecdotes and solid advice.
SPEAK TO THEM ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE STRUGGLING WITH
Reach out to a few members of your ideal audience and ASK what they’re struggling with if you’re having trouble picking up on the cues they’re offering.
I see this all the time in Facebook groups and on Twitter: content creators ask something like “what’s the one thing holding your business back right now?” or “what’s the one thing you find most confusing about social media?”
These responses allow them to create posts that answer questions, concerns, and struggles relevant to their lives. So, if someone replied “I’m confused about how to use Facebook groups,” you would write a post entitled “Everything You Need to Know About Using Facebook Groups.” Simple enough, right?
THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS YOU CAN ASK QUESTIONS:
- Make use of Twitter and Facebook shoutouts
- Get a few results by running a survey
- Send personalised emails to a few selected individuals
- Use relevant forums to find out
Having figured out the type of information people need, it’s now time to start creating content that will make them go crazy.
SPEAK TO YOUR AUDIENCE IN THEIR LANGUAGE
Many people overlook something that seems so obvious. By language, I don’t mean to say English, Spanish, or French, but rather to use the same words as your audience.
In a real-life conversation, which people do you gravitate toward most: those that use words you wouldn’t utter in a million years, or those who use your own lingo? Right, I’m guessing the second option.
The same applies online. You can easily create connections by using the exact same words your audience uses.
Okay, but how?
- Get a feel for where your audience hangs out (you should already know this by now).
- Pay attention to what they say (you should already know how to do that too!), and note any words or phrases that pop up frequently. Do they use words such as “good,” “great,” or “fab”? Even small differences like these don’t seem significant, but when combined, they can have a significant impact.
- Include these words in your content. The EXACT same words.
- So we know where our audience hangs out, we know what their problems are, and we know what language they use. But, how do we make our content stand out?
GO THE EXTRA MILE
You probably already know that every day there are millions of posts published on the Internet, so it is highly unlikely that your idea is original. That does not mean it cannot succeed, though!
In fact, it’s quite possible if you put a little more effort into it. Here’s how you can go about it:
- Use real-life examples and stories to make your message more relatable.Do you prefer content that provides only cold, hard facts? Or would you rather read about a person’s personal experience along with those cold, hard facts?
- Completing the picture.Try a quick Google search of your topic and see what the top results are before hitting publish. Are there any missing elements? Use these pieces as a guide and then apply the answers to your own work.
A BONUS TIP: ALWAYS THINK ABOUT THE READER
If you are planning to publish any content, read it and ask yourself, “What will the reader gain from this?”. Revise your piece until you can give a decent answer.
If you really want to create content that your audience is going to love (and, believe me, it’s possible! ), you have to think about them at every step, from choosing the topic, to selecting the title, to choosing the format, to figuring out how and where to promote it.
It’s so, so much easier to get readers to engage with your content and share it when they KNOW you’re thinking of them.