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Why knowing your target audience is key in content marketing

As a digital marketer, you're likely convinced you know your target audience inside and out. But how often do you do a data-based audience research?

If your answer is "rarely," it's time you look deeply into cross-channel audience data, as this is the only way to make your content marketing efforts successful.

Social media, audiences, and content marketing are all connected

If you're like many marketers, you're associating content marketing with social media marketing. While these two terms might appear similar at first sight, they have key differences.

Content marketing is a broader approach focused on creating meaningful content online and offline for a variety of channels, such as websites or blogs, to appeal to a particular target audience. Social media marketing is one of content distribution channels which marketers use to reach users on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Building an audience online is impossible without understanding the communities on each social media platform separately and across the platforms as a whole. Social networks are a source of a huge amount of granular audience data - including audience demographics, interests, or education level - that can help steer your content marketing in the right direction. How exactly is this accomplished?

How audience analysis can help you plan a better content strategy

Social media audience analysis allows you to understand which content topics and formats are interesting to your audience. You can use these insights to plan a long-term content strategy and organize your content-production teams more efficiently.

Let's say you're an FMCG company whose audience is interested in cooking videos. What can you do with this information? First, you can use it to build an effective content marketing funnel.

Many marketers today are faced with the challenge of moving their digital audiences from social media to the web. To achieve this, you need to make sure that every single content piece you put on social media and your landing pages is aligned with your audience's interests and therefore successful in moving users towards conversion.

Knowing your audience allows you to craft tailored content for each stage of the customer journey. Put in simple terms, this means serving users with compelling content at the right time, which helps you to achieve your business objectives whether they are newsletter sign-ups or product purchases.

Assuming your audience enjoys cooking videos, you could create a content marketing funnel looking something like this:

But content strategy is not the only thing audience analysis can help you plan. Understanding your followers allows you to also make a better use of your resources. Should you invest in a new video camera, purchase that video editing course, or hire a motion designer? These are some of the questions target audience insights can help you answer.

Audience analysis can be your compass in an ever-changing social media marketing world. As different content trends, such as cinemagraphs or stories, come and go, the knowledge of your audience can help you stay on track and stick to what resonates with your followers.

Use target audience insights to meet your business objectives

Planning your content marketing strategy is the first step. But what's equally important is actually publishing relevant content across your online channels.

Today's users are demanding. They want brands' content to be personalized, engaging, and informative at the same time. Marketers who fail to provide their audiences with value in an appealing way are at risk of losing both their followers and organic reach.

That's why it's crucial that each publishing decision you make is not driven by guesswork or gut feeling, but based on tangible audience analysis data. Remember - the more relevant your content, the bigger the chance of it stopping users mid-scroll and getting them to comment and click on your posts.

The result? Higher engagement, improved relevance score, cheaper Facebook ads, bigger traffic to your website, and more conversions. All it takes is investing some time into understanding your target audience.

Deliver relevant content to your target Audience

Just like the digital marketing space, your online audiences are constantly changing. Staying up-to-date with your audience data allows you to keep up with what's relevant to your audience and keep providing them with value.

Imagine a new group of users starts following your Facebook page. Running audience analysis is the best way to quickly detect the new group and find out how similar they are to your existing audience. Any differences you find are hints on how you should tweak your content strategy to appeal to the new followers. As a result, your posts are engaging a larger number of users whom you can later nurture further down the marketing funnel.

Having a detailed understanding of your target audience can also help improve your website's SEO ranking. Because you know what's interesting to your followers, you can do a related keyword research and use the high search keywords to create relevant content. This is key to ranking well in Google and driving more organic traffic to your website.

The takeaway

Knowing your social media target audience plays a huge role in setting up your content marketing efforts for success. Analyzing audience data, both across channels and in unison, should be the first step in creating an impactful content strategy that will help you achieve your business objectives.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.

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