It doesn’t matter what you’re writing content for – whether it’s to demonstrate your company’s knowledge and experience, promote your latest product, or even advertise a job listing – understanding your target audience is crucial.
Think of it this way: imagine asking an estate agent to search for properties for you without telling them any of your requirements. They won’t know your budget, which areas you prefer, or how many bedrooms you need – and as a result, they’re probably not going to be able to find you homes that you’re actually interested in.
It’s the same story with content writing. If you don’t have plenty of information on your target audience, you’ll just be guessing. Do you want your digital strategy to be built on guesswork, or would you rather it be built on knowledge?
How To Produce Content For Your Target Audience
Now that we’ve well and truly hammered home the importance of understanding your target audience, let’s turn our attention to the main focus of this article: how to adapt your content to suit. Knowing your target demographic is one thing, but actually delivering content that matters to them is quite another. To help make the process a little easier, we’ve put together a list of handy tips and pointers to nudge you in the right direction.
Let the data guide you
Knowledge or, in this case data, is power. The more of it you have, the better you’ll be able to understand who you’re actually writing for. We get it – data can be overwhelming, especially if you’re more comfortable dealing with words than numbers! But you won’t be able to create content that truly works for you without brushing up on the facts and figures first.
Where are your readers living? How old are they? What have they searched for in order to land on your site? All of these tidbits of information will prove critical to your digital strategy – and the whole is more than the sum of its parts. All of these parameters in isolation might not mean much, but added together, they can help create a vivid picture of who your target audience actually is.
Use the likes of Google Analytics and Search Console to get the data you need, then compile it yourself in a document or spreadsheet. And don’t forget to keep it up to date: your target audience will evolve over time, just as your business does.
Speak to your audience
Data is great, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of understanding your audience. Sometimes, there’s no substitute for the old school approach: speaking to them. From engaging with people face-to-face at industry events to sending email surveys and scouring social media comments, there are so many ways to get to know your audience better. And the more you know, the better you’ll be able to tailor your content to meet what they’re looking for.
It’s important to understand your target customer’s wants and needs. Work out what their pain points are: what’s going to stop them from converting? The more you know about these potential sticking points, the better you’ll be able to address them in your content. It’s all about working out where there are barriers and learning how to smash them down, creating the smoothest possible route to a conversion – the path of least resistance, if you will.
Do your research
Unless you’re a true trailblazer, you’ll likely have competitors who have written similar content before. Why not take advantage of that fact and study their content before you write your own? Sometimes, reinventing the wheel isn’t necessary: you just have to work out how to improve upon it.
If a specific writing style or content approach seems to be working for your competitors, don’t feel like you have to do something completely different. Instead, work out how you can build on what they’ve done.
Consistency is key
It doesn’t matter who you’re writing for; your audience will appreciate consistency – because consistency inspires trust. This is why style guides exist. If you’re serious about creating the best possible content for your business, we’d recommend creating a style guide of your own. From establishing rules on punctuation to nailing down your tone of voice, the importance of establishing a clear house style cannot be overstated.
Put the time in
Great content won’t write itself. Crafting a well thought out, well researched piece takes time – and you’re unlikely to get results overnight either. Like other SEO strategies, content can be a slow burn, but the payoff can be significant. So, if you’re investing hours of your time into high-quality content but aren’t yet seeing the fruits of your labour, don’t throw in the towel just yet. As long as you remain guided by what your target audience wants, your content will eventually begin to work for you. Perseverance is the name of the game!
Don’t rely on AI
Although it can be tempting to rely heavily on AI tools like ChatGPT, this technology simply isn’t foolproof. If you’re writing for an audience that knows and understands the subject matter inside and out, they’ll be able to sniff out factual inaccuracies and misguided statements a mile off – and AI tools still pack plenty of these into their content.
We’re not dismissing the power of AI. That would be foolish. We’re just saying that there’s no substitute for well researched content written by a knowledgeable human being. If you really want to prove that you know your stuff, you’re going to have to do exactly that. There’s no shortcut.
You’ll need to experiment
Content writing is not an exact science. Data can help you write effective content that will work the majority of the time, but you’ll always find that some pieces outperform others – sometimes by a significant margin.
So, even if you know your audience extremely well – and know how to write quality content – there’s still an element of trial and error to contend with. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. It will take time to get the balance right and understand exactly what it is that makes your audience tick: numbers can’t tell the whole story.
If you’re writing a lot of email or PPC content, consider using A/B testing to more quickly establish what works and what doesn’t. This can help speed up the process significantly, taking even more of the guesswork out of writing content.
Quality is king
When it comes to generating results, quality will always win out over quantity. It’s not just about how much content you produce, it’s about how useful that content is to actual human beings – so if you’re going to make real headway, you may need to brush up on your writing skills.
Even if you feel you’re a good writer already, you can always improve. Spend time fine-tuning – work on writing attention-grabbing headlines and intros that pull the reader in. Try to make your writing informative and valuable, but not overblown and needlessly verbose. Demonstrate your expertise. If you can do all of this while keeping one eye on SEO, you’ll be on the right track.
Need a helping hand?
With more than 12 years’ experience working with businesses in an array of different sectors across the UK and internationally, Echo can help your business define – or redefine – its digital content strategy.
From writing blogs and knowledge base articles to creating tailor-made content plans and producing marketing content that really works, we offer an all-encompassing content writing service that could transform your company’s online presence. To find out more about how we could help you, visit our Digital Strategy page or get in touch today.Contact Us Give Us A Call