It’s no surprise that many entrepreneurs are daunted by the prospect of creating and posting high-quality, targeted content to their websites and social media accounts—it’s time-consuming, after all, to develop a deep understanding of who your audience is, then create targeted content that speaks to that unique population.
Yet targeted content is imperative to sustainable, effective branding—and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Some careful planning and a solid awareness of your audience will take you a long way in providing meaningful content that matters to your distinctive user base.
Why Targeted Content?
Targeted content – writing, photography, and other media that’s tailored to a specific audience – can help to educate your users about your team, your
history, and your activities as a company. You can post targeted content as a way to draw viewers to your products or offerings, or share content that
elicits trust, amusement, or friendship from viewers. There’s a lot more to targeted content than just selling something—you’re investing in
your audience for the long term by demonstrating that you value your industry, your clientele, and your team. Targeted content shows that you’re in
the business of being informed – and of keeping your stakeholders and potential clients informed, too. !
Let’s start with ditching stagey, framed stock photos. These tend to look generic, and if you’re getting them for free, everyone else probably is, too. Forward-focused brands are looking in-house instead, stocking their websites and social media accounts with photos of their own teams. Whether they’re catching the breeze at the corporate softball game or sharing a laugh over the conference room table, images of your colleagues will add a human element to your brand—and a refreshing alternative to stodgy stock photos, which your viewers and followers won’t miss one bit.
Bold is Beautiful
If you’re new to targeted content, start small. Lots of companies use blogs to promote and share targeted content on topics that run the gamut from upcoming conferences to corporate brainstorming sessions to the latest in industry news. Blogs are easy to set up and simple to maintain – as long as you commit to posting with some semblance of routine – once a week, for example, or once monthly. As entries stack up, your viewers will see that you’re invested, interested, and informed. Plus, more content on your site is bound to draw more viewers, who might incidentally stumble onto your page after Googling a topic you covered on your blog.
Social media posts can be another effective way to enhance your brand with content. If you prefer images to words, consider Instagram and Snapchat, which are highly visual and extremely popular, particularly with millennials. Pair original photography – shots from the office get-together or pictures of your products “in the field” – with creative, thoughtful captions, and your users will be all the more engaged. Embrace hashtags if you haven’t already, but don’t go overboard. A barrage of hashtags looks gimmicky, while a select few can effectively convey smarts, confidence, and panache.
Beyond blogs and social media, think outside the box. You can enhance any web presence with content, even if all you’ve got is a simple webpage: Explain who you are in compelling, convincing terms. Outline what you do and what you have to offer. Profile your team, your history—anything to keep viewers engaged on your page.
Learn Your Audience
Take the time to figure out who your audience is and what they’re looking for. Software like Google Analytics can easily identify where viewers are coming from and which terms they respond well to, though you’ll need to work harder for demographics like age and occupation. Ask around! Talk to colleagues, survey existing customers, and utilize databases to get your questions answered. Ultimately, what motivates your customers? What are their deepest concerns, and what do they care about most? How well do they understand your offerings? Welcome any and all feedback—and then put it to work.
Characterize Your Content
Once you’ve got the bones of your targeted content strategy up and running, consider how you can enhance it with personas—different voices, or characters, speaking up across your platforms. You might assign blogs to different members of your team, for example, tasking each blogger with a “specialty” to focus on. When we’re passionate about something, teaching it comes naturally, so allow your colleagues to share what it is they love about their field. You’ll create fresh, meaningful content your viewers will really engage with—don’t be surprised if they come back for more.
Back to the Drawing Board
As you’re drafting content, keep in mind a few basic rules:
Tell a story. Readers love a narrative, even if it’s just a way to introduce a more objective or technical topic. Keep it personal if the setting merits it; easy, relatable writing draws a viewer in.
Incorporate lists, bullets, and subtitles. You’ll keep your content organized for yourself and your viewer, and your material will be easier to search. Always title your content – a great title catches a reader’s eye just like a terrific book cover or movie trailer.
Go into depth – at least a little. Simple, cursory bits of content posted for content’s sake won’t earn you any lasting visitors. Today’s users are looking for meaningful content that relates to their experience, so take the time to shape your material around their needs, desires, and goals. Don’t be afraid to invest in top-notch writers and photographers if your budget allows – it will pay for itself in the end. The best web entrepreneurs know that there’s no substitute for excellent writing, first-rate photography, and professional video footage. The world of targeted content is vast and exciting, so venture in! We can’t wait to hear about your lessons and victories along the way.