Marketing your business on the Internet is all about content, content, and dare I say it, more content! If you are familiar with any form of marketing online, you know content plays a significant role in being found, whether it’s on the search engines or on any social media platform.
Although developing a continuous flow of information about your business and industry seems to be a simple concept, there are many grey areas when defining and developing a successful content marketing strategy. Anything your organization creates can be used for content marketing; however, for a content marketing strategy to be effective, you must first define your target audience.
The Importance of Defining Your Target Audience
If you are wondering why it’s so important to define your target audience, here’s my simple response: how can you create relevant content if you don’t have a clear vision of who you want to buy your products or services? You can’t.
Once you identify your target audience, you can tailor your messages to that group of people in a clear and engaging manner.
A brand that has done an excellent job in defining and focusing content for their target audience is Cosmopolitan magazine. I know what you’re thinking, and no, Cosmo is not just about sex. In fact, the magazine, available in many versions all over the world, has done a fabulous job at empowering women and providing us with interesting and relevant content. For many women, Cosmo is…
Now that we understand the importance of establishing your target audience, we must define it. If your target audience is who you want to sell your products and services to, some important questions to ask yourself include: Who is your ideal customer? Who will benefit from investing in your company? In terms of content marketing, who is going to engage with your brand? Who will share, interact with and promote your brand?
To answer these questions and to define your target audience, it’s crucial to address both demographic and psychographic data. This will provide you with specific information, further enabling you to mold your content marketing strategy.
Demographic Information Should Include:
Psychographic Information Should Include:
Cosmopolitan’s Target Audience
Successful in defining and subsequently effective in targeting their audience, Cosmopolitan creates and shares content for their ideal consumer. Who is Cosmopolitan’s target audience, you ask?
To Summarize, the Ideal Cosmo Reader Is:
- A woman
- Between 18 and 49
- A student or professional, single or married
- Sex and Dating
- Health and Fitness
- Food and Cocktails
- Pop Culture
- A believer in advancing her career
- An advocate of being independent
- Up-to-date with current events
For some brands, their target audience may not be this specific, or alternatively, might be even more specific. Cosmo’s target audience consists of the women of the millennial generation. According to a July 2013 study by Social Chorus, the millennial generation — those born between the years 1980 and 2000 — is the most important and largest generation for consumerism.
Not every company is going to market towards the millennial age group, but as the research shows, it could be costly to overlook this influential generation, a generation Cosmopolitan clearly targets much of their content towards.
What Content Does Your Target Audience Want?
Source: The Thread Society Tumblr
After identifying your target audience, you have to figure out what content your audience wants or needs, in addition to understanding what your ideal consumer likes and dislikes. For your overall strategy, you must decide what the majority of your audience wants, which can be established through research and experimentation.
Brands must acknowledge that not every bit of content will appeal to everyone, but that’s just how it goes. If your content reaches and impacts just a few consumers, making them think about your brand and message, you’ve done your job. Obviously, the wider your reach the better, but you have to start somewhere.
Cosmopolitan has done a marvelous job in determining what their reader, listener, watcher and sharer wants and needs. They cover the latest trending topics including Miley Cyrus’ twerking and her “Wrecking Ball” nakedness. And through their other social media outlets, Cosmo provides their audience with health, fitness and beauty news, tips and tricks. Cosmo gets it right repeatedly, both in print and on the Internet. They know what their audience wants and needs, whether they’re using humor or sincerity, they’ve unlocked the key to determining what content their target audience craves.
Where Does Your Target Audience Spend Their Time?
Once you have determined what content your audience wants and needs, it’s imperative to find out where they spend their time. In knowing where your audience is, you are able to create appropriate content for each particular platform.
So how do we determine where they spend their time? We research, listen, survey, watch, interact with… you get the idea. With an endless amount of information and tools available, brands can successfully uncover the best platforms to utilize in their content marketing strategy. Determining where your audience spends time also consists of some trial and error. Keep in mind: what works on one platform may not necessarily work on another.
An established brand before the digital age, Cosmopolitan has evolved with the times and their target audience. No longer just available in print, Cosmo magazine is online and available as an iPad app.
As far as their approach to delivering new and interesting content through their website and print properties, Cosmo expertly utilizes various social media platforms to reach their audience including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube.
Just one of the many brands who got it right when it comes to defining their target audience and customizing their content marketing strategy to fit the wants and needs of their audience, we can all learn a little something from Cosmopolitan, and I’m not just talking about their dating, beauty and fashion tips.
What are some other brands that have unlocked the key to successful content marketing by successfully and effectively targeting their audience? Let us know in the comments below.