Poignant, share-worthy content starts with knowing your audience. Different consumers have varying expectations when it comes to your brand’s content. Tailoring your efforts to fit your ideal target audience helps your message resonate, striking a chord with the right people at the right time. It’s critical to know what type of content speaks volumes to your audience – otherwise, you may not be speaking to anyone at all.

Get to Know Your Audience

At the heart of good content is a writer who knows his or her audience. As a content marketer, you probably already have a customer persona in mind. If not, start by identifying your target audience. Once you know who your audience is, step into their shoes. Create a persona of your ideal customer, asking yourself what he/she looks for in a brand. Hammer out details such as the person’s age, gender, income, hobbies, and lifestyle.

Find out what type of customer you want, and learn as much as you can about him or her. Create a short survey to find out what your audience likes, use data (try Google Analytics) to learn their browsing and sharing habits, and see whom your competitors are targeting. Do some research and find out what type of content your perfect customer responds to. The more detailed you can make your audience personas, the easier it will be to create content that will captivate them.

Find Out Which Type of Content Meets Your Goals

Once you know your audience, make a list of goals for your content. A few common content marketing goals include boosting brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, generating leads, sealing conversions, and retaining existing customers. Know what you’d like your content to accomplish before sitting down to write. Some forms of content work better for different purposes than others. Here are some examples of appropriate content for different situations:

  • Brand awareness. You need to grab your target customer’s attention. Create relevant blog posts, exciting social media content, simple yet informative how-to videos, interesting infographics, and SlideShare presentations. Many brands are even creating memes to hook people with humor.
  • Website traffic. You need to drive people to your website and keep them there. Consider long-form content, how-to guides, whitepapers, eBooks, case studies, infographics, and videos. Offering original information, research, and data will mark you as an expert in your field and keep the visitors rolling in.
  • Lead generation. You need to motivate your customers to fill out a contact form with their personal information. The best types of content for this task include contest submissions, eBook downloads, product demos, and podcasts.
  • Customer retention. You need to keep buyers coming back for more. Get personal with your content, using data to tailor your content and make it relevant for your existing customers. Update your blog regularly, send email updates, and offer coupons for existing customers.

People learn differently. Some people are visual learners, while others are more hands-on. Similarly, certain types of content will appeal more to different people. If you have more than one target audience, mix up your content to meet the needs of different consumers. Consider rotating the content on your blog or creating different landing pages for certain people.

Make it Personal

No matter what your content marketing goals look like, your audience wants to know you care about their individual needs. Your content needs to be personal and speak directly to the type of people you want buying your products or services. Make your content hyper-relevant, staying up to date on the latest consumer trends and demands. Once you know what type of content you need to create for your audience and goals, add a personal touch for that extra something.