Do you know the biggest mistake some businesses make when it comes to content?
They post that content on every single social media platform they can imagine, and hope for the best. But this scattershot, one-size-fits all approach doesn’t work, because it ignores something very valuable in the marketing process: the audience.
You can’t put the right content on the right channel without knowing and understanding your audience… and that’s just step one.
Let’s take a look at some strategies that willensure that the right content is reaching the right people at the right time.
1. Identify Your Target Audience
Before you create your first piece of content or even consider what social medial channel to post that content on, you have to identify your target audience.
This is the group that is most likely to want to buy the products and services your business offers, and knowing the common characteristics of your ideal buyer can yield a treasure trove of information to help you create content that they would find appealing.
Far from being just a collection of random information about a prospective buyer, a buyer persona is a combination of emotional, psychological and practical characteristics that drive the wants and needs of your customers.
It will include the things that inspire, motivate and frustrate a customer, and often also includes a personality profile.
In this example above, the persona provides a comprehensive snapshot of ‘Steve,’ including his pain points, which simply means challenges this person faces, his wants and needs, and most importantly why he would engage with the business that created the persona.
2. Find Out Where They Hang Out On Social Media
The next step after you’ve identified your target audience is to figure out where they prefer to hang out on social media. But you can probably already tell that your audience will have one or two primary channels that they like as opposed to being active on all of them.
For example, if you own an ecommerce site that sells designer skateboards, you’re probably going to have a target audience that is young and active. Your ideal customer probably likes to be outdoors, and probably doesn’t have as much time to consume written content.
So if you’ve done the proper research, you will likely find that your target audience would hang out on social media channels that are more heavily focused on image-driven content, whether that means short videos, images or the ever-more popular ‘stories’ features on Instagram and Snapchat.
So you would target those two channels when deciding where to post your content, and your content would have to conform to what these channels do best, which is to provide highly visual content that is delivered in bite-size, entertaining pieces.
But if you’re having a difficult time figuring out where your audience is most likely to interact on social media, you can use tools such as Pew Research Center, which has analyzed the main demographics for the most popular social media platforms.
And by comparing your buyer personas with the demographics particular to each social media channel, you can gain a better understanding of where to direct your social media marketing efforts.
3. Create Content That Solves Problems and Fulfills Your Audience’s Wants and Needs
Now that you know your target audience and also know where they hang out on social media, you have the tools necessary to create content that can attract their attention.
Well, let’s continue with the example we used earlier about the ecommerce site that sells designer skateboards.
That company knows that its target audience is young, so the age range of the ideal buyer is probably 13-22. This puts the audience squarely in two major groups: Millennials (18-30), and Generation Z (5 to 20).
Due diligence tells us that Millennials and Generation Z are all over Snapchat and Instagram. In fact, 60 percent of Snapchat users in the U.S. are younger than 24, and they ravenously consume at least half-an-hour of content every day.
So if you owned that ecommerce skateboard company, you would want to focus on these two image-driven platforms and deliver video content that is flashy, entertaining, loud and attention grabbing.
But your content must also solve a problem, answer a question or fulfill a want or need. So that could mean posting videos on new ways to ride a skateboard, how to design your own ramps, how to perform new tricks, and why your skateboards are faster, safer or better.
It’s not enough to simply know the right channel for your social media marketing, it’s equally important to understand what type of content your audience would find valuable.
Make the Pieces Fit
When you have identified your target audience, you can then determine where they hang out on social media, and create relevant content that would most appeal to this group. Social media marketing is not an exact science, because audience needs change, but as long as you keep mining new data and pivot to your market, you have chance to succeed.