1. Audience Identification
You can’t create outstanding content without first understanding who’s going to be reading it.
It’s time to stop viewing your audience as one large entity, and take a closer look at exactly who they are in relation to your brand.
Segment your audience into four separate categories:
- The customers – those who will purchase from you.
- The sharers – those who will share your content, as well as content related to your brand.
- The bloggers – those with the capacity to link to your work.
- The influencers – those with genuine reach and influence on all of the above groups. These are the ‘industry stars’, the respected experts, outspoken voices and popular publications within your sector.
By separating the people you are targeting into different categories, you’ll be able to target specific content types to certain groups for maximum impact.
Identifying customers is easy (simply check your own records), but if you’re unsure of how to find the other groups, you can use tools like Buzzsumo, Uprise.io and Followerwonk to analyse the people who are sharing relevant content related to your brand. Simply input topics or key phrases related to your industry and record who’s sharing the top-performing content.
It doesn’t stop there though.
It’s time to get as specific as possible with audience profiling.
Use social tools like Facebook Insights, Pinterest Analytics, and LinkedIn Groups (especially for B2B audiences) to gain valuable insights into your audience’s likes, dislikes and other interests. These are rich resources of information, so ensure you spend time exploring these channels further.
You can also use tools such as the YouGov Profiler to flesh out your profiles even further.
Knowing who it is you’ll be targeting, and what makes them tick, will allow you to better develop winning ideas that will actually click.
2. Seeding & Outreach
Once you’ve uncovered who you’ll be targeting, you can begin interacting with, and [cliché alert] ‘building relationships’ with relevant people.
It’s never too early to start outreaching to your audience. You can build interest and awareness amongst your existing fans by teasing content via email newsletters and social media.
Become an active member of relevant communities
There are a number of ways to connect with your audience, including engaging with communities.
If you’re planning to create an amazing piece of content, you should use the following opportunities to connect with your audience, both online and off.
- Online: Relevant blogs/forums, social groups, Reddit and Quora
- Offline: Relevant meetups, conferences and lectures
However, this can take months of planning and effort, and you’re probably wondering whether there’s something you can do immediately to help increase your chances. Well, you’re in luck.
Ask your target audience what it is they want to see
Before you begin any work, contact those key influencers and publishers you’ve collected together and discover exactly what it is they’re looking for content-wise.
Larger publications might even have an editorial calendar that they can send to you, detailing exactly what topics they’ll be covering over the next year.
Clarifying what content key influencers are interested in, will give you a strong indication of the kinds of topics, formats, and platforms you should be covering and using.
Developing ideas for amazing content.
It can be hard to come up with awesome ideas without first researching what has worked before.
Carry out industry research to discover what has, and hasn’t, worked in the past:
- Search Buzzsumo using keywords related to your industry and discover top content.
- Search Subreddits relevant to your business for top upvoted content.
- Use social monitoring tools, like Mention, to stay on top of industry updates.
- Use Followerwonk to analyse your key influencers and view word clouds of their followers’ bios, giving you an even better idea of your audience’s interests.
Once you’ve found all of this inspirational content, and identified top themes and topics that you should be following, ensure you record it all.
Collect together all your findings in one handy Excel spreadsheet, so you can easily refer back to them later on and use your information to further influence future content plans.
Another great way to come up with ideas is to find a problem to solve…
Solving Issues With Content
You don’t suddenly have to try and solve every problem at once, simply identify small issues within your industry, and develop content that solves these dilemmas.
This doesn’t have to consist of simple ‘How To’ articles either (although those are always helpful), there are plenty of different ways to solve your users’ issues.
Let’s take a look at a quick example:
Problem: First-time homeowners need a way to calculate the mortgage costs on their new property, but many of the online calculators are too technical and off-putting.
Solution: A back-to-basics, first time homeowners’ guide, complete with a simple interactive calculator and walkthrough containing everything you need to purchase your first home.
An example of this method in practise is Simply Business’s ‘Small Business Guides’. These are a collection of interactive resources that teach SMEs everything they need to know about establishing a presence online.
Detailing how to get set up and started with everything from Facebook to Google My Business, these guides are the ideal solution to a problem many businesses face.
Simply Business clearly identified the needs of small businesses who were looking to expand their brand on the Internet, and developed these easy to follow, flow-chart guides to offer their expertise.
So, how can you identify the main issues within your industry?
Start by doing the obvious, listen to your customers.
Remember those forums, communities and Reddit threads you joined as part of your audience research? Go back through them and find out what your audience are saying about your brand, your industry, and products or services related to your business.
You can also take to social media, searching hashtags of popular topics within your sector to uncover exactly what your audience think about your brand, and identify any major issues.
It’s important to remember that at the current moment in time, any idea has the potential to be a great one. Even if it’s something that’s been done already, you can always adapt and differentiate your content by tailoring it towards your specific audience, or expanding upon certain information. It’s important to focus on ideas, not formats. Formats can change – ideas are bulletproof.
If you’re still struggling to come up with ideas call for mentorship: Stella on 08188220066 Blessing on 08168025454 Mail us at email@example.com