It doesn’t take a lot in order to build a connection with ones’ audience. When you’re creating content for your company, you just have to pay attention to a few key things in order to make sure your content is compelling enough and on point. In this article, I will go over these key point that will help you connect and resonate with your target audience.
Define your target audience
You must define the audience you will be speaking first. Otherwise, you won’t be able to connect to them as you’ll be speaking to the wrong people, or in the wrong way. As a company, you must have a well-defined target market and you must know who your target audience is. Knowing your audience inside and out will allow you to sidestep many pitfalls that cause startups to fail – such as a poor product-market fit. Additionally, it will allow you to confidently create content that’s on point and connects with your target audience too.
The purpose of this is to establish a few key pieces of information. Where do they hang out online? What kind of content do they consume? And what kind of language do they use?
If you need help with this, Quick Sprout has a detailed guide that will walk you through it.
What Many says also includes connecting with your audience as well. As a business, you don’t want to be targeting ‘anyone who is willing to buy.’ The more specific you are the better. This way you are not wasting your money at shots in the dark but on a specific market with a specific need.
Create unique personas for unique platforms
Once you have your audience defined, stick to addressing that one group of people directly. You can go a little deeper and based on the social networks your target audience uses the most. Create a persona for each network based on your target audience.
People use different social medias differently. They expect different things from each one of them. People also have different experiences consuming blog posts than they do podcasts. We expect different things from Facebook Live than from Snapchat stories than from Instagram photos. We use these each one of these platforms just a little bit differently. Targeting them appropriately will increase engagement.
Furthermore, the different social media will attract different kinds of people within your target audience as well. That’s because women and men use social media differently, people of different age groups do too. These things matter for getting your content right. When you cater to these different expectations, you will be creating better connections.
A persona will narrow your focus. That’s a good thing. A narrow focus will create stronger connections. Vague topics aren’t going to attract as engaged and interested people are niche topics would. Thus, they won’t allow you to connect with your audience with the same intensity.
Just be yourself
Today, people don’t have time to see if they want to pay attention to you. We avoid plastic connection especially from companies because we know they only want our money and we get nothing in return. Most companies make people feel like a number or just another wallet. That’s why it’s best to be yourself. There are some corporate companies that are making strong connections with individual people because of who they are.
Take for instance Taco Bell’s and Wendy’s Twitter accounts or Danny’s Tumblr. One of the reasons celebrity accounts are so liked is because we get to see a glimpse of them as a real person. We get to experience part of their lives as they share it with us. We connect with them so easily!
Find your voice, albeit it funny, witty or anything else. Find it and stick to it. Be true to yourself. If you’re not the funniest of people that’s okay. It’s better to be real than to force yourself to be sarcastic when you’re not. We crave connections! Being genuine is the first step in creating one.
Don’t try to please everyone either. Focus your effort on the specific group within your target audience that’d get you the most excited about working with them. This way, your energy will show and you will be even more authentic. However, it will also allow you to get a greater understanding of that particular niche. What is your unique take on XYZ?
Empathy is for connecting with your audience
Empathy is the only ingredient necessary for creating personal relationships (especially intimate ones). There’s no reason that a company cannot express empathy within its content as well. After all, actual people do create it. When empathy exists, people feel understood and seen and that is so powerful. Being seen and understood makes us feel safe, makes us trust and open up too.
People bond in a verity of ways but it will not happen without empathy. We must feel like we are seeing eye to eye on something we both care about.
If you know who your audience is, you’ll also know what they care about. So your job is to create content that makes them feel heard and understood. Whether it’s a joke to acknowledge their struggles or a detailed piece about a solution to a problem they are facing, make sure the content you’re creating is empathetic.
If you can make a joke that will resonate with them, go for it! If your audience is keen on sarcasm, go for it too! Whatever floats their boat.
Additionally, I love when companies show the real people behind them. That’s one of the fastest ways to gain credibility and interest among an audience. Share the actual humans that are running the show behind your company. It’s a lot easier to relate to ‘Megan from Marketing’ than any company.
Be the expert
As Dorie Clark suggests in her book Standing out, a good strategy for gaining influence when you don’t really have any yet is to find a commonality between you and your audience. In the book, Dorie profiles Robbie Kellman Baxter who explains that forming genuine relationships with your audience, as a business, is crucial to your success.
Being seen as an expert gives you a lot of weight and authority. It will help people trust you and seek you out for help right away. I don’t mean you need to proclaim yourself or your company the best in its field, or call yourself a guru and call it a day. That’s not going to work.
You can call yourself an expert all day long but if the value you’re supposed to be providing ain’t there, no one is going to take you seriously. Being an expert is an external perception. The best and easiest way to be seen an expert is to regularly put out valuable content. No fluff, no clickbait, but researched and tested ways to address a problem your audience needs help with.
The solutions don’t have to be big or complicated. They just have to work!
Always keep refining
No more guesswork. The best way to know what’s working and what isn’t is based on data. Most social networks come with basic analytic tools that give you a decent idea of what kind of content or posts get the most engagement. However, there are also plenty of independent social media analytic tools out there. Buffer wrote a post about 26 free social media analytics tools. I’ve recently started using Planoly for keeping track of my business Instagram account.
Sadly, your website – nor your blog – doesn’t come with basic analytic tools. If you’re looking to add some too, I’ve written about finding good website analytics tools for my own site as well.
Data will tell you how effective your current efforts are, guide you in a direction of the most compelling content, and show you how efficiently you’re attracting your desired audience.
It’s never a great feeling to be sidetracked by surprising or undesirable results but this way you will be able to quickly bounce back and know exactly what you need to work on.
Additionally, using these insights will allow you to expand or grow your reach into related audiences or topics. For example, you might be targeting young men who are into fitness but somehow your topics also spark interest among the middle age men as well. You will find that these men are also interested in a related topic (like dieting) or a more specific topic (like the ketogenic diet) too. You’d never know this without analytics. Let them guide you in connecting with your audience.
Know it’s going to take time
Creating engaging content doesn’t have to take long; anyone can put together a thorough blog post in a couple of hours. But building a loyal audience does take time. It will take time to nail down the topics and figure out your voice. That’s okay! Don’t get discouraged! I know it can be frustrating at times but little by little you will gain a solid, reliable and loyal following that will hang on your every word. And once you’re there you will realize all this effort was worth it because this loyal audience is going to hang on your every word and buy all of your products.
Figure out who you are and who your target audience is. If you need help with that I’ve got a handy printable for you that will walk you through that process. That’s the foundation that’s going to help build you up.
Next, you’ll have to put in a lot of effort into figuring out what content will best resonate with your audience based on who they are and what they care about. The best way to do this is to just start and tweak it over time. You’ll have analytics for that so you’ll know where to take it from there!