If you haven’t already figured it out, content and writing should be a huge part of your marketing strategy. After all, blogging, tweeting, and posting has developed into what is now known as content marketing. With content marketing, as with all marketing, it is vital to know who is paying attention to your content. You need to find out who your niche audience is, or at least who you want them to be. If you’re struggling to find those engaged readers (who result in leads and conversions), read on for four steps to discovering your niche audience.
Step 1: Ask Where Your Leads Come From
Before diving into your audience search, find out who could already be benefiting from your most basic marketing techniques. Work with your marketing and sales teams to learn where most of your leads are coming from now. By discovering who is already paying attention to you, you can work on engaging more with that potential audience rather than possibly wasting effort to finding a new one entirely. Target your writing and posting on what will spark even more interest with your current audience.
Step 2: Forget About Traditional Demographics
In traditional marketing you’ll focus on a demographic. Your demographic is typically defined by your audience’s age, race, location, etc. However, if you want your content marketing to succeed, you cannot limit yourself to these categories. Limiting yourself to a very specific demographic not only limits your audience, it limits what you allow yourself to write about.
One of the issues with traditional demographics is that they are constantly changing. If you are offering in-home care for the elderly, it’s safe to assume that your clients and potential clients will be changing every ten years or so. By marketing only to this demographic (senior citizens in your area), you will consistently need to reach out to new clients.
However, by shifting the focus of your audience from a fixed demographic to something more flexible, you can reach additional readers and potentially interested clients. So how do you target a new niche audience instead of a demographic? Focus on the values and passions of your company. An in-home care company can reach out to people who care about health, who are passionate about providing the best care for those they love, or who simply value their families and loved ones. Don’t be afraid to make the search for your niche audience a little more abstract than you have in the past.
Step 3: Research Your Competitors’ Audience
It’s likely that your audience isn’t just your audience—they are your competitor’s audience as well. Look around at what similar companies are doing for their content marketing. What’s working well for them? Are they engaging with an audience? If you’re doing better than the competition, what do you think it is that’s setting you apart? How are you succeeding more than they are?
Actually looking at your Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook followers’ pages to see what they’re passionate about can help you with step #2 as well—finding common values and interests. Explore to see what your potential audience or current audience want to know about. This will help you to truly target your niche audience and retain them as your readers.
Step 4: Be Proactive
Once you think you’ve settled on a niche audience, don’t feel like you’re stuck with them forever. Be proactive with your audience engagement and further search. Test how interested your chosen niche audience really is by asking them active questions, targeting their interests, and most importantly, seeing if your sales or conversions improve.
If your audience isn’t what you want it to be, or reacting how you’d hope, don’t be afraid to scrap the plan altogether. There are always more potential readers or clients out there, but you need to be proactive in finding them.
A niche, by definition, is not a broad audience approach. It’s a specific, targeted audience that will be interested in what you have to say. Never assume that your audience will come to you. You have to actively go out and bring that audience yourself. What has worked for you in finding a niche audience in your content marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments below.