Creating quality content for a specific, targeted audience doesn’t happen by accident. I write regularly for a wide range of clients, and over the years I’ve learned a few handy tricks for crafting content aimed at reaching a particular target audience.
Choose a Segment
To target the market as closely as possible, serious content marketers need to select an audience segment for each piece of content you write. It doesn’t have to be a public announcement; just an idea in your head of exactly who you are writing for, which will help you to focus your approach.
Think of the advertisements for laundry detergent. Sure, you might think they are targeted at anyone who does laundry—and they are—but look at how each ad specifically targets a narrower niche group, such as mothers with young children or the wives of sportsmen. The targeting isn’t necessarily obvious to other consumers, but to that group it’s a direct call straight to the heart!
So instead of writing that piece about cleaning your jewelry with a new jewelry cleaning kit, target women in a particular age range who wear a specific type of jewelry that needs cleaning.
Find the Pain Point
General copy never did anything for anybody. To produce quality content that people will actually read, it’s necessary to address a problem, need or want they have. Just cleaning your jewelry ain’t going to get anyone excitedly rushing out to buy your product; no sir! But if you identify what the issues are that face your target market when they’re cleaning their jewelry, you might come up with something like these:
- Removing ingrained marks
- Eliminating sweat stains
- Avoiding discoloration
To deliver real quality content, you need to pick one. One! Don’t try to be everything to everybody, or to cover every aspect in one piece. You’ll just be falling back into the trap of Too Much Generalization!
Drill Down Deep
Website content has a nasty habit of skimming the tip of the iceberg. Often, the reason for producing it is simply to drive traffic through the use of keywords and metatags. This has led to an invasion of shallow, often less-than-meaningful material all over the internet. If you want to offer your readers real quality content, you have to drill down deeply into your topic to get to the heart of the matter. Drilling down means forgetting about trying to cover 4 different aspects of the issue. Select one and focus your entire blog post or article on that one point.
For example, let’s stick with the topic of avoiding the discoloration of jewelry cleaner. Once you identify the “pain point” that you’re going to address, cover that aspect alone. Don’t try to mention all the reasons why your target audience might need to use the product—just what the product can do to avoid discoloration.
The tone you use is important when it comes to crafting quality content for a specific audience. When you’re speaking directly to someone, you employ facial expressions, body language, voice pitch, eye contact and other cues to convey your meaning. When you’re writing online content, it’s impossible to communicate using non-verbal cues. It’s imperative to ensure that the tone and voice used in your content are distinct, clear, consistent and relevant to the chosen segment of your niche audience.
Whether you’re using first, second or third person, choose active, direct speech as much as possible and write as you would speak. Not as you think a college professor would speak.
We live in a litigious society, where companies—and individuals—regularly get sued for giving advice that’s less than perfect. This has resulted in a wave of online content that simply doesn’t “go there” when it comes to delivering solutions. Hello, people! Users aren’t going to read your information if all it does is identify the problem. At some point, quality content needs to take a stand and offer answers to the questions. Just make sure they are real answers that come from industry experts or official spokespeople and are authoritative enough to pass muster.
Providing quality content that reaches your target audience isn’t rocket science. It just takes due diligence and a bit of effort to identify a niche segment, tailor the information specifically for that niche and then present it in a way that appeals to the readers, offers workable solutions and covers true-to-life problems and questions.