Most businesses have multiple customer segments, so taking the advice to prototype a typical reader becomes a challenge.
The problem is, trying to write content that would satisfy all these groups would only result in half hearted content created for the mass market.
To have premium content, it must be created with a specific audience in mind.
Why Narrower is Better
The way to grow is by looking inwards into your audience and growing deeper.
The narrower your focus, the more specific your topic is to someone. If your content marketing is a response to specific problems faced by people in your industry, then you will have a hard time writing to satisfy every segment.
Pick an angle you want to take your topic from and stick to it. That way, it becomes easier to define a segment and completely cover their interests, needs, and problems.
So by narrowing your focus on one specific segment of your audience, you create and design everything with them in mind.
Let us take the unique example of American Express who created the Open Forum to cater to small businesses.
Instead of going after all of their customer type, the opted for a specific subset and have created an integrated content-rich web resource that adequately caters for that segment’s unique needs.
In 2010, Open Forum had over 10 million page views. If they had to get that level of targeted readership from traditional advertising, how much do you suppose that would have cost them?
By leveraging audience specificity and attention to detail, Open Forum has attracted one of the largest following for a small business website.
Something else should strike your interest about them.
Most of their content is tailored on the challenges of running a small business, not in leveraging direct sales of their core products.
Why is that so?
Think Solutions, Not Products
When you are building a blog for your company and your industry is not so exciting, you will bore people by trying to focus on your company and or your products.
A better way would be creating a content rich site that fills a gaping need, which, in the case of American Express, was on the topic of small businesses.
So a lighting company may create a blog focused on decorative lighting and show their audience how to create.
By imposing yourself on the internet as the ‘go-to’ authority on decorative lighting – a segment of your market – you will find that your blog would grow much faster, and the referral business you will get from your blog would extend to all other product ranges you offer.
That makes sense, because the person interested in decorative lighting will most likely be interested in other lightening products.
Identifying a subset of your audience and focusing on providing valuable content tailored to their needs is the fastest way to get results from content marketing.
Do not waste time writing feature-rich content around your products.
Create content that provides solutions to the problems of your audience.
Surely, it makes sense that in helping them solve their problems, they would help you solve yours.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net