Content that resonates with your audience and results in sharing and other interactions is the ultimate indicator of successful content marketing. Without a consistent audience, it’s difficult if not impossible for your brand to grow because advertising can only go so far. The cornerstones of “good” content that helps engage an audience would be content that they find interesting, helpful, and/or timely.
But what one audience finds interesting or helpful, another one will find boring or irrelevant to their needs. And with how much more discerning people have become with constantly being plugged into the internet, the Content Marketing Institute says that even the B2B sphere needs to put their audience ahead of their need to promote which only adds to the challenge.
So, how do you find your audience the further define it into a target audience? How do you write for that target audience?
The Difference Between Target Audience and Target Buyers
An important distinction to make when giving direction to both writers and other people on the marketing team is that there can be a difference between target audience and target buyers. “Target buyers” often refers to the traits defined by different sets of buyer personas but takes those multiple personas into account to have a broader sense of who you are marketing to. “Target audience” further narrows down those traits. For instance, your target buyers may be pet owners. But your target audience would need to be further defined like “female dog owners ages 25-40 in the New York City area.”
Creating buyer personas can add even more granularity to this by accounting for other factors like income bracket, education level, marital/family status, and other criteria that may or may not be evident in the final written content. Depending on the piece of content and its context though, this could seem like overkill! However, formulating buyer personas has proven to be integral for guiding content creation.
Keeping the Audience in Mind When Writing
Simply put, buyer personas are defined by markets, demographics, and psychographics. The above examples contained a market (New York area) which is a location, then the rest were demographics since they’re easily-defined like age, gender, and whether or not they own a dog. Psychographics are harder to define since they rely on behaviors, values, preferences, and other more abstract concepts. However, appealing to any of these attributes is why audience is important in writing.
It can be straight up impossible to have every single piece of content appeal to all of the buyer personas so it’s okay to focus on just one persona or one specific set of attributes. The writer may not necessarily have to make these “hit the nail on the head” kind of references to all of those attributes, but they should still keep them in mind by doing the following:
- Make appropriate references when it’s called for (ie, weather conditions for the market locations)
- Keep perspectives of the demographics and/or psychographics in mind as it relates to the product or campaign
- Use terms and slang that the demographics and/or markets are likely to understand
- Stop using the word “Millennial” as a blanket for “anyone under 40” when age is a major differentiator the persona
- Relate the content’s objective to why it would be interesting, helpful, and/or timely to people with the specific attributes outlined
When All Else Fails, Focus on Persona Pain
If the writer is having a hard time relating your specific buyer personas to the overall purpose of the piece, focus on the problem that the persona needs to have solved. Have the writer frame it in a way that resonates with them so the content is shown to be more problem-solving and helpful than purely promotional.
Without customers, you don’t have a business and the same is true of having content that resounds: it’s impossible without an audience. By making an effort to get to know your audience’s demography, it’s a surefire way to create content that they can relate to and will keep returning for.
Rachel P is an indie game developer, writer, and consultant. She is also a content strategist here at Writer Access and would be happy to help you with keyword maps, customer journey maps, and buyer personas in addition to writing for you. If you would to like to hire Rachel to devise a content strategy for you, please contact your account manager or send a direct message.