One of the most essential steps you can take to crafting an amazing content strategy is getting ultra-clear and super focused on who it is you consider your target audience.
I wish this was something I pinpointed earlier in my journey as an entrepreneur. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that I didn’t know about it, it’s that I didn’t devote the time to nailing it down. I consider this one of the biggest fails when it came to my own content marketing strategy.
Please, don’t let this happen to you.
I wasn’t you to be able to avoid this major content pitfall because I want to see you succeed, and nothing is better at starting your strategy off on the right foot than identifying your target audience.
To help you do this, I put together the top 10 questions to ask your audience and your team in order to paint a clear picture of who it is you will be crafting messaging for.
The Basic Questions:
1. What is your persona’s age range?
Age is an important thing to keep in mind because it will help you to craft what tone of voice you use for communicating to your audience.
I recommend you break it up into smaller segments. This will be helpful, especially if you ever get into Facebook advertising to amplify your content, you will have this info to help make that much easier.
Here is an example of how you should segment your audience by age:
2. What is your target audience’s gender?
Do you focus on a specific gender? If so, write it down. If you target both men and women, then document that. The point I’m trying to get across is that you should be striving to document who your ideal persona is and what they look like in as much detail as you can.
3. Where do they live?
If you have a business that speaks to people in a specific, you will want to make that clear as this will give you the ability to craft content that will connect with them right where they’re at.
The Fun Stuff:
4. What interests or passions does your target persona have?
When putting yourself in your audience’s shoes you will want to think about what they are passionate about.
- What they like
- What they dislike
- What pain points or problems they face
- Their hopes and dreams
- What keeps them up at night?
This is one of the most important things you can map about your audience as they are most likely seeking the solution for resolving a problem or achieving their dreams.
5. What does your avatar desire over anything else?
You can also refer to your persona as an avatar. However you refer to them, you will want to zero in on what they hope to achieve above anything else.
If you have a product or service that can help them do that, then you have to learn how you can communicate how what you have will help lead to the transformation they desire in their lives.
More Lifestyle Questions:
6. Where does your audience spend most of their time?
This could be in the digital world or the physical world…
In the digital world, you will want to nail down which social media channels they scroll through every day, which niche forums they participate in, and which blogs or online publications they read.
When it comes to the real world, note what types of places they frequent such as, coffee shops, sporting events, recreational activities, and other social hot spots.
7. What conversations do they participate in?
Being able to enter into the conversations that your ideal clients or customers are having in their heads is an incredibly valuable skill as a content marketer. If you can understand what they’re chatting about and why they’re taking time out of their day to do it, you will be able to craft content that will allow you to grab their attention.
After getting their attention, do all you can to get them engaged in conversation about the topic that they’re passionate about and that you have an expertise in. If you can do that they will identify you as a thought leader in the niche and keep coming back to you for more wisdom on a regular basis.
8. What types of products are your customers buying?
If you sell a physical product or a service, you will want to be mindful of what your audience is purchasing on a regular basis. If it’s a product that you compete with, you can take a look at what others are saying about it on Amazon.com or any other eCommerce sites with review features built in.
This will allow you to see what it is that your customers like about a product, hate about a product, or what they’re looking for in a product. Use this feature to help give your audience what their asking for and tell them a story about how you’re different and how your product will make their life better. Learn how to do this in a genuine, “non-sales-y” way and you’ll have fans for life.
9. Who would you consider your top competitors that have a similar audience?
This question is not directly about your audience, but more about who has a following that is similar to yours. You can look to your competitors to see what they are doing right to serve their audience.
Do they create content that teaches them how to do something? Do they focus on content that makes their audience laugh, cry, or think? Try to focus on what it is that your audience craves the most from your competitors and see if there is a gap where you can enter the conversation and see if there is anything they left out.
10. What content format does your audience consume most?
Now that you know what type of content your persona enjoys consuming, it’s best to ask how they eat it up. Does your audience read blog posts or watch videos? Do they like short blog posts or 65 page eBooks? Do they like micro clips like on Vine or Instagram, 1 to 2-minute clips on Facebook or YouTube, or are they documentary junkies that prowl Vimeo.
No matter what they may like most, you want to make sure that’s clear in your persona outline, and that you pursue producing that content with the best of your effort. You don’t want to spend time and energy creating something your audience will never want to consume.
The best way to discover what types of content they would like to read or watch is to ask them. Ray Edwards always says,
Make your audience a part of your content creation process and always plug them before creating your next piece. Not only does it take stress off of you to come up with something completely new, but you will be sure to provide immense value because you’re delivering what your personas are asking for.
So, now it’s your turn to ask the questions. Have you had trouble mapping out your target personas? If so, what do you struggle with most?
Drop a comment in the section below!