Creating your own content is an effective way for a business or brand to create the opportunity to tell their story. But when content is developed without consideration for the audience you want to target, how exactly do you expect to make an impact?
If you want your story to matter, don’t just build it, spray it — and pray it sticks. The key to creating good content is to make sure you have a strategic approach to identifying (and catering to) your target audience. When looking to utilize content, articles, tips and social media as part of your communication plan, first spend time getting to know who you are trying to connect with.
Communication programs are often started simply as a means to get your name out there for a chance to become known, but a good communication plan should be to get known by the right audience. If your company doesn’t sell to or benefit start-ups, it doesn’t make much sense to get coverage in The Start-Up Magazine or Home-Based Business Magazine, or even in Entrepreneur.
The best approach is to work with your communications/PR firm to identify who is buying your product or service; or, if you’re doing your own outreach, work internally to determine that audience. Consider utilizing a media database to research what the top publications are in that field. List the media targets and then dive deeper into evaluating how and what that publication covers. Get to know the editors a bit by offering tips that would serve their unique audience and figure out what each editor writes and is interested in.
Too often PR programs use content to target a wide range of media outlets in hopes of securing coverage for the sake of securing coverage. That might work in the beginning, but it will only take a communications plan so far and once this approach doesn’t turn into an increase in sales or collateral for the company’s marketing plans, the program will die.
To alleviate that pain, here are the top three tips for creating a communications plan based on audience targeting:
- Target your top five customer profiles. Do you mostly sell to government agencies, airlines, women over 50, purchasing agents or CEO’s? Look at your top five customer segments and create a profile for each of them. What do they like, where do they consume their information, what would be of interest to them and how can your company or service make their life better? These are all questions to ask and answer before moving forward.
- Who cares the most about what you are talking about? Think about what you do and why it matters to the person you are talking to or trying to help. This is a great way to make sure that what you are saying is going to resonate with that audience. Editors don’t want to waste time being pitched something that their readers won’t care about. This is how you should approach the content you are producing. Make sure it matters to the right people.
- Once you know you are targeting the right audiences and your message will matter or help them, it is time to build relationships with those editors and influencers and get feedback on things that are happening in that space. Track trending news stories daily in the sector you want to target and evaluate if your story fits within what is being covered. Do you have something to say about it? does your business deal with this issue? It’s a great way to have a say in a conversation where your target customer lives and will be reading.
After you have a strategy in place for engaging your target audience, it will be easier to determine how effective your message and content is. If you are just taking your content out to the collective masses without an idea of who you are talking to, there is really no point in a communications plan or content creation at all. Save your money and spend it on something else.