One of the biggest challenges for small business owners when they start to create online content is making sure that it matches what their audience wants to read. The reason for this is pretty simple – business owners and target audiences have different priorities when it comes to knowledge of their industry.
The Wrong Audience
Take for example a software development company. Their target audience could be business owners who are looking for custom software to help them run their businesses. Therefore, the online content could be written with advice on different computer languages or what devices are best to use with which software. However, is this going to be of real interest to the target audience?
It is likely the content would be very challenging for certain readers as it is too technical. In reality, does a potential customer need, or want, to know about those technical issues? Probably not.
On the other hand, your main audience might be interested in these types of topics:
- How long does it take to develop software?
- How to decide whether to choose a custom or off the shelf program.
- What is the likely cost of a custom-made software package?
It isn’t just technical industries that can suffer from this. Imagine a farmer wanting to use online content to sell food online. They could write topics about how to get the largest yield from a field or how to stop pests eating crops, but are these topics going to interest those looking to buy their food? Instead, they are far more likely to read recipes that will inspire them to create great meals from the food you have supplied them with.
The Same Applies To You
So carefully consider what online content your audience will want to read. If your topics are too challenging, then you might find that you have high website bounce rates and low conversions on your website.
At the same time, the only shares on social media of your online content will be limited to those in your industry, which can be devastating to your PageRank and online visibility.
Ensuring Your Online Content Is Right For Your Audience
To get the most from your online content, you need to align it to your audience. This might mean that you need to lower the complexity of your content and think about what your audience wants to know about. There are a few techniques that can help, these include:
- Listening to the most commonly asked questions customer ask.
- Acknowledging common problems customers experience.
- Seeing what other reputable bloggers in your industry are writing about.
You can even test your content with customers. Ask them to read your content before you publish it and provide you with feedback. If they don’t like the content, then you can find out why and make adjustments.
The Top Of The Funnel
It is also important to remember that audiences now take longer than ever over their purchasing decisions. Research has shown that 80% of sales now take between 5 and 12 interactions. If you are limiting your content to subjects that relate directly to your products, then you can limit the time you have to sell to your audience.
However, if you have online content that is related to your audience, then you can attract them before they have need of your brand. Then when the consumer does need your product, they already have a relationship with your brand and are more likely to buy from you.
Take, for example, a local accountant. A small business might not need an accountant straightaway. However, they do need advice on marketing, sales, operations, etc. immediately. By creating content on these topics, business owners will become familiar with the brand and when they’ve expanded enough to need an accountant – they already know and trust one.
When you want to create online content, you have to be sure that you publish copy your audience will want to read. They aren’t going to be interested in technical content. They want online content that they can relate to, understand and use. So ensure your content is aimed at your audience and not at your own interests.
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