Content, as the readers of this blog are aware, is the essence of online business. More and more we’re told by the marketing professionals, that we should focus on writing for our readers’ enjoyment rather than a google SEO bot. Obviously, the latter is still incredibly important (let’s not forget we won’t have any readers if the site isn’t seen) but the overriding point is this: if the reader doesn’t like what they read, then they won’t return.
So, good content is most certainly the focus. But what if you have well-written, interesting content which isn’t relevant or slightly misses your demographic target? It’s like taking one step forward and two steps back.
With this in mind, what’s equally important to good reader-focused content, is knowing your brand and who your readers are. Without this brand knowledge, you risk wasting good content on readers that (through no fault of their own) miss its point.
Here’s King Content’s guide to discovering who your readers are in order to develop targeted content:
1) Market Insight
Whatever your business, you must know who is around you and what they are doing:
• Use free research – Government bodies such as the Australian Bureau of statistics (www.abs.gov.au).
• Look into particular industrial bodies – websites outlining recent developments in your field and competitor surveys.
• Search for presentations made by competitors at trade shows etc.
• Look for online case studies made by your competitors.
• Use research sites such as www.SurveyMonkey.com to quiz your potential market.
• Outline your top five competitors and start researching what they are doing within the market.
2) Get to know what’s making news
Knowing your competitors’ movements is one thing… but to have a thorough understanding of your market, you need to be on top of what stories are catching your readers’ attention.
• Trawl the web for blogs and social media mentions. If this sounds long-winded then use Addictomatic (http://addictomatic.com/) , which will do this for you and condense all its findings into one tidy webpage.
• Use social bookmarking (www.delicious.com) to list and keep track of trending topics.
• Set up twitter and follow all the market leaders in your area. Keep an eye on what’s being retweeted and causing a stir.
• Download Feedly www.feedly.com (available on iphone) and use it as a space to compile RSS Feeds and other new web-topics as and when they appear. Integrate this into your web browser for instant access to industry news.
3) Research your own performance.
It doesn’t hurt to test and trail content ideas – however, without analytics you won’t have any idea how your content is performing and why.
• Social Bakers (www.socialbakers.com) gives an incredible insight into what’s hot and what’s not in social media… not just your brand, but brands across the globe.
• If you’re more concerned about who’s saying what about your brand specifically then check out Social Media Mention (http://www.socialmention.com)
• Discover your online competition through Adwords – specifically www.spyfu.com – a site where you can spy on your online competition through their adword campaigns.
• Once you have an outline of who your target audience is you can use Google adplanner to define this even more – this site will show what your audience is searching for www.google.com/adplanner.