• Sarah Bhatt

All About The Audience

As of January 2020, 3.8 billion people around the world actively use social media. That’s 3.8 billion sources of content being fed through online platforms. So, how do you cut through the content clutter? How do you make your organization stand out from the billions of other social media profiles? While there’s several different ways to do this, one of the most important methods centers around the audience.

Social media engagement is a conversation between a profile and an audience. However, brands often make the mistake of using social media as a monologue, not as a conversation. Instead of engaging in two-way interaction with their audiences, brands will use social media as a podium to announce who they are and what they do. I don’t know about you, but as an audience member, that sounds like a speech I’d fall asleep listening to. The goal is to engage the audience, not bore them. You can do this by making the audience the main character of your social media story.

The first step to creating audience-centered content is simple, but crucial: Get to Know Your Audience. Here are five questions to ask yourself (the 5 W’s) when completing this step.

1. Who?

Identify your audience. Who follows or engages with your content? Who do you hope to connect with on social media?

2. What?

What does your audience care about? What do they like? What motivates them to follow or engage with your content?

3. When?

When does your audience want to see content? When are they engaged online?

4. Where

Where is the majority of your audience geographically? Which social media platform do they use?

5. Why?

Why are you creating this content? Why does your content matter to your audience?

Content should be tailored to your answer for each of these five questions. It should fit your audience’s identity and interests, giving them a reason to give your content their attention, rather than the boundless other sources of content available on online platforms.

The next step to creating audience-centered content is to understand where your audience is on the content marketing funnel.

At the top of the funnel, the audience is trying to solve a problem or meet a need—a need that you can solve. Here, you’re not selling to them; you’re simply making them aware that you exist. This means that content catering to a top-of-the-funnel audience has an awareness focus.

At the middle of the funnel, the audience is evaluating their choices and doing research on how to best solve their problem. Once again, your content should not be salesy, but it should convince your audience that you are the expert on their problem and, similarly, the best solution.

At the bottom of the funnel, your audience is at the conversion stage. This is when they decide to make a purchase. At this point, content like testimonials and recommendations do a great job of encouraging audience members to convert, becoming members of your brand’s community.

Once you’ve tailored your content to your audience’s interests and their placement on the marketing funnel, you’ll notice them begin to take more of an interest in your brand. Sometimes, dedicated followers will become your strongest advocates, as is the case with makeup brand Glossier. Glossier has cultivated a strong fanbase of social media users that love its products, to the extent that a large percentage of Glossier’s Instagram content is user-generated.

Yesterday, the brand posted an image of Glossier user Rebecca Scher and noted in the caption which of its products she was using. Rebecca, in turn, posted another photo on her own Instagram account, singing Glossier’s praises. I’ll take this moment to note that Rebecca is not what you might label an “influencer.” She’s just a bottom-of-the-funnel user of Glossier products who loves the brand so much that she’s willing to advocate for it on her own profile.

When producing social media content, aim to achieve the same kind of audience dedication that Glossier has achieved from Rebecca. By centering content around your audience, you’ll develop a community of brand advocates that are willing to tell their own audiences about you.

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