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Writing for your target audience

Research your target audience and their online search trends

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Whether you’re one of the businesses that has been given the green light to reopen safely or you’re still on lockdown, communicating with your target audience has never been more important. We’re living in a time now where your online presence can make a huge difference to the success of your business. When lockdown was first imposed, footfall in retail locations across the UK saw an overall decline in excess of 34% against last year. And although we’re now seeing incremental increases week by week, focusing on your online presence should be instrumental to your business continuity strategy. 

identify your target audience

Knowing your audience, and where to find them online is the first thing you need to identify before you start creating content for their benefit. A quick customer persona session can pull together the basic information that will help you to ensure the content you create will resonate with your target audience. Start by describing your audience, what’s their personality, attitude and behaviours? Are there any challenges or frustrations they face? What needs do they have, that your business can meet? What’s important to them? What are their values? 

Creating this blueprint of who they are will help you with the next step of brainstorming the different places you’d find them online. What social media platforms, online publications or other websites do they use? Answering these questions will allow you to create a clear picture of who you’re writing for, so you can establish what they want to know.

Do the research

As much as you may think you know what information your target audience wants from you. Until you’ve done the research to back up your ideas, this knowledge is merely speculation. There are two forms of research that you can benefit from: competitor and keyword. Competitor research is always a must. It doesn’t matter whether you (or they) are the market leader in your industry or a new startup, what others are doing in your industry is important. Take a look at the content your competitors are putting out. Are they doing it well? Have they missed an opportunity? An analysis of their content can put you in a great position to improve on the content that’s already out there. 

Keyword research

Knowing your audience, and where to find them online is the first thing you need to identify before you start creating content for their benefit. A quick customer persona session can pull together the basic information that will help you to ensure the content you create will resonate with your target audience. Start by describing your audience, what’s their personality, attitude and behaviours? Are there any challenges or frustrations they face? What needs do they have, that your business can meet? What’s important to them? What are their values? 

Creating this blueprint of who they are will help you with the next step of brainstorming the different places you’d find them online. What social media platforms, online publications or other websites do they use? Answering these questions will allow you to create a clear picture of who you’re writing for, so you can establish what they want to know.

know your industry search trends

Finally, the Google Trends tool allows you to explore the trends of your relevant keywords showing the interest in the topic over a period of time and by region. It even identifies related topics and queries. This knowledge will allow you to create a strategy for your content so that you can pre-empt interest in a topic based on the data from previous years. For example, the term ‘DIY’ has consistently had a spike in interest every October for the past five years. It would therefore be beneficial to produce DIY related content in the run up to this spike to benefit from the annual interest in October. 

With a thorough understanding of your target audience and their online search queries, you’re armed with knowledge to create relevant content just for them. 

This article was first published in the Suffolk Free Press, Thursday 13 August 2020.

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