We’ve all heard the story before about Cinderella and her prince. Evil stepmother. Fairy godmother. Ball. Midnight. Lost her shoe. Prince has to find his princess. Happily ever after.
If you are like a lot of content marketers, you may still be stuck with your own evil stepmother — and struggling to find a way to fit into that perfect, shimmering shoe.
We call this the content sweet spot.
The sweet spot is the area where you build an audience, establish trust, and goals finally happen!
To get there, you need to slip out of those rags, put on your ballgown, and find the perfect niche; and, all of that starts with the right target audience. To read our full fairytale click here.
The Content Letdown: What Happens When The Shoe Doesn’t Fit
Picture the evil stepsister and her large feet. She squeezes into a tiny sparkling shoe, trying desperately to get her prince. The shoe flies off, flops and she fails.
You can get your prince, but not when you try to squeeze your content onto too large an audience. Instead, you must find your niche and the right audience for your website, blog or product. Then, work your way out.
Your niche is your sparkling shoe, and it must fit just right. You don’t want to go too big; if you do, the shoe will never fit. Instead, you need to fine-tune your approach and look for opportunities to target that one special person that will ultimately fit the shoe.
5 Strategies For Finding Your Content Sweet Spot
1. Make Sure The Shoe Fits The Unique Attributes Of The Reader
The prince had his basic information when he started looking for Cinderella. He had the shoe. He knew that the shoe would fit the girl that would become his princess.
You too must have your basic information if you want to find the right niche. This requires you to start gathering information, mine databases you might already have, and even speak to your current customers.
You need to focus on actual people and gather demographics that concentrate on two types of characteristics, according to Kevin Cain at Convince&Convert.
- Demographic Information: Including titles and roles, company size, departments, industry, location, and budget.
- Behavioral Information: Including motivating factors, expectations of the customer, concerns and pain points, their role in the buying process, your products and services, unique selling points, and what needs you must meet for a customer to buy.
2. Focus On One Person At A Time
Not everyone tried on the shoe at the same time. Instead, the prince’s men went from house to house, allowing all eligible ladies to try on the shoe.
This, in the real world, is called developing your persona.
There should be no blurry lines when it comes to who is your target audience. While you may have multiple objectives, each piece of content should focus on one segment, according to Forbes’ Jayson DeMers.
For every persona you create, you should be able to identify the who, what, when, where, why, and how for them. You can even give each persona a name if you want (i.e. Bill, Sally, or whoever suits your taste). The more details you can provide about each persona, the more in-depth and personalized your content can become.
For example, you have created Bill. Bill is a business owner struggling to market his products effectively. He currently has a profit of $500,000 per year but wants to double that by year’s end. You’ve already created the details about this business owner, his age (so you can tailor your wording), and what he needs from a company. Now, you can write content directed toward this persona and if it helps, pretend you’re talking to Bill in person.
3. Narrow Down Who Can Try On The Shoe
Now you need to narrow down the ranges you’ve used to define your demographics.
For example, you started with all of the eligible ladies in the kingdom. But, now you are narrowing that down to those with Size 6 feet only.
Or, you are targeting small business owners that bring in $500,000ish per year in revenue.
The point is that you’re narrowing down your list even further. It sounds like you’ve already narrowed it down enough by focusing on a person at a time, but you are trying to narrow down your ideal audience as far as possible.
By doing so, you’re nestling into a better niche — which will help you stand out among the competition.
Using Bill once again, you are now saying Bill is a 35-year old business owner. He holds a degree (so he’s well-educated), he owns a brick-and-mortar-type shop, and his goal is $1 million for the end of the next fiscal year.
There’s always a way to narrow down the details even further. You should be able to narrow down the details within each persona just like we’ve done here.
Once you have a fine-tuned niche, the next step is to start using tools that help you find relatable keywords to polish that shoe.
4. Know The Others Who Are Also Trying To Squeeze Into The Shoe
You have a niche, but now you need to know what the competition is doing in a similar niche.
Most likely you know the competition, and you know them well. By taking a look at your competition closely, you can see what they are doing, what works, and their style.
Don’t just go through the obvious competition either. CoSchedule’s Ben Sailer suggests searching by keyword (or two) and seeing what companies come up that are related to your industry. Then, he suggests browsing their “About Us” page to see what they have to offer.
You can also explore what is being shared the most by using tools like Buzzsumo. Here you can enter your keywords or topics, and then see what websites/articles are getting the most shares and engagement online.
5. Know What Magic Awaits When The Shoe Finally Fits
If a customer chooses you over the competition, what do they have to gain?
You know that Cinderella gets the prince of her dreams and escapes from her stepmother’s house by fitting into the glass slipper.
So, what proverbial glass slipper do you have to offer your customers for choosing you?
You should highlight features that you offer that no one else does, or focus on what services you provide better (and why they are better).
Bottom line, your customer should know what they will gain by following through with your company over the competition.
You’ve Got Your Niche, Now Go For It!
Now that you know how the shoe fits when it comes to content, the next step is to start your research.
That means finding your target demographic, and then continuing to narrow it down until you have an intimate knowledge of your personas. We’ve already met Bill, and Bill will be the next driving force behind someone’s great content.
What will drive your content?
Whether you create a princess, prince, or a businessman called Bill, the bottom line is you must create a person and speak to that person.
Once you have your target audience, creating content that talks directly to them is as magical as turning a pumpkin into a coach and a girl in rags into a princess.
This guest post was written by Julia McCoy of Express Writers.