Do You Really Know Your Audience?

So how does one put pen to paper, or rather, fingers to keyboard, and create content that is appropriate for their audience?

Until now, editorial guidance is limited to the persona of the audiences’ age, income, or social status, which provides a valuable but limited view of the audience.

What if there was another way to group people in an environment based on something other than their age, income or social status?

When it comes to content creation as well as ingestion and connection, there are better filters for your content.

One filter that you may want to consider is your audience’s knowledge around a specific topic. 

When engaging with a topic for the first time, we learn at a level appropriate for our knowledge. We seek concepts that are easily understood and shy away from things that we do not yet have the acumen for. We all have different needs that guide our individual interests, but when learning, we gravitate to content that is appropriate for us based on our knowledge level around a specific topic.

Some of us become avid fans of a sports team and learn all there is to know about the specific sport, the athletes, or even the business around the team, while the others may avoid that kind of in-depth analysis and prefer just very general information about the sports teams in their town.

Content that targets the audience by age, income or social status is less likely to connect. The same goes to content that does not match the audience’s level of understanding. No matter what the circumstance, knowledge around a specific theme based on experience and interest will create better engagement with the audience.

When your content matches the knowledge level of an audience, the story and brand message will better resonate with the audience because it is inherently more meaningful and relevant.

Have you considered your audience’s knowledge around the content you are creating for them? Perhaps they are not as knowledgeable around a specific topic and are coming to your blog or publication to learn more about your product or service.

It may in fact not even be about the topic. It might be about the way in which the structure of a piece of content compels an audience to connect with an article. Consider the impact of content with language that is  too advanced for their level of knowledge.

The words one uses, the length of sentences, and the size of paragraphs all become increasingly important when considering the knowledge of an audience and how content will resonate with them.

Examining reading behavior can also be a valuable method for a marketer to gain insights about an audience. Are they skimming content on a smartphone or deeply immersed on a tablet?

In this context one must not only consider the linguistic structure of content (a knowledge match), but also the device the audience is using to engage with the content.

There is a direct correlation between the content’s structure relative to the way an audience reads content.

Here are some simple proven suggestions to consider. Deliver the topic using language that is appropriate for the audience and structure content in such a way that makes it easy to understand in driving a much deeper connection with your audience.

This is the second chapter from our eBook: A Complete Guide to Creating Quality Content by Ira Haberman

If you want to see results for your own content efforts, learn more about how to create awesome content for real people in our ultimate guide.  

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