In order to create content that your audience wants to read, first you’ll need to identify who your audience is. This means you need to create a profile or persona of someone who would typically buy your product or service. You aren’t restricted to one profile and many companies cater to a variety of buyer types. Consider these characteristics when determining your buyer profile (thank to Peter Sandeen for the list):

1)    Age – This influences how they view the world and make decisions.
2)    Gender – This may not always apply but should be considered.
3)    Profession – Can influence how well they understand your product/service.
4)    Financial Situation – How much are they willing to spend?
5)    Purpose – Why do they want your product/service?
6)    Education – How will you communicate with them? What will resonate?
7)    Free time – This will help you understand them on a deeper level.
8)    Buying Decision – What is most important to them when making a decision?
9)    Shopping Habits – Where/how do they buy? What else do they buy?

Once you understand who you are speaking to you will need to develop a communication style that is most effective in reaching your target buyer.  Do you know what their content preferences are? Take a look at previous posts or blogs that are consistently read and shared by your target audience. Learn to recognize the kind of content that makes them engage and find a way to speak to them in a language they feel comfortable with. Ask yourself what is interesting to your audience. Do they want to know about news and trends or are they looking for how-to’s and top ten lists to solve their problems?

Social Monitoring and Listening

When trying to figure out what content your audience prefers consider using social monitoring tools and ‘listening’ for relevant keywords. Try Google Alerts to get regular updates on where these keywords are mentioned. Click here to check out other listening tool options.

Not only do you need to know WHAT to say to your audience, you need to figure out HOW to say it. In order for you to capture the attention of your target audience your website content must be interesting, useful or have that ‘wow’ factor otherwise they will click or tap away quickly. When you’re listening consider what other topics and interests are mentioned by your target customer. Are there ways that you can combine their interests in useful and entertaining ways when you craft your message? Appealing to a wider range of interests elevates the opportunity of generating likes, tweets, shares and backlinks.

Never Hurts to Ask!

It might sound obvious but sometimes the best way to make sure you’re writing content that your readers want is to ask them. Conduct an informal survey and ask for feedback. Most people have no problem letting you know what they want.

What do you do to make your content appeal to your audience?