Let’s face it: No matter how hard you work to create the best web content, you’ve got competition.
Just about every problem your customers face has been written about – thousands of times. Heck, some people spend all day rewriting key points of content they find online so they can get a piece of that traffic.
To make sure your content has the impact you want, you need to connect with your audience.
Making a connection is essential – once visitors have gotten informative, helpful content from you, they’ll tend to stop looking for the same content elsewhere. That’s the first step in building a following: inoculating your audience against the competition.
The question is: How? If your content isn’t reaching the intended audience, you’re not getting the value you expect. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to boost the visibility of your content.
1. Start With a Clear Definition of Your Audience.
On the Web, the most important step to getting an audience is defining the people you want in it. Every content marketing decision you make is built around what you know about your audience. What are their pain points? What keeps them awake at night? Where do they live? What is their average age, and what gender is most represented? This basic information is essential.
2. Build a Base of Content You Can Be Proud Of.
If you start your project with only a few pieces of strong, well-developed content, your earliest efforts to recruit an audience will be an uphill battle. Before you get too concerned about your visibility, be sure there’s lots of content – including blogs, videos, and more – plus offers that connect with each of the pain points you identified. That will make your job much easier.
3. Connect on the Platforms They Already Care About.
Where does your audience hang out? What sources to do they go to when they’re looking for the kind of information you provide? Odds are there are brands and online platforms your intended audience is already in love with. Either focus some ads on those channels or find ways to gain free exposure – by participating in a forum or submitting a guest blog, for example.
4. Talk to the Influencers They Listen To.
These days, some of the most effective industry insiders bring their take directly to the audience using social media, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. You can build trust with these individuals by sharing their tweet and sending a @mention, but don’t be coy: Look for ways you can collaborate and build value. It’s often possible to share an audience rather than compete with it.
5. Create a Complete Content Ecosystem.
The backbone of Web content is the blog post. However, if that’s where your efforts start and end, you’re leaving opportunities on the table. Every blog can have an associated video and an infographic. A group of posts on the same subject matter can become a case study or whitepaper. You can share out different content pieces to SlideShare, YouTube, and more, raising visibility.
6. Incentivize Sharing With Your Existing Followers
Your core followers – those who are most enthusiastic about your offerings and brand – may be few, but they are mighty. Odds are good that they know people just like them who are facing very similar problems. Incentivize sharing by providing coupons for them to gift to others and special bonuses they’ll get when those coupons are turned in. It can create a domino effect!
7. Mine Your Current Customers for New Opportunities
What’s the best way to find out what someone might want or need from your company? Just ask them! Even though many customers don’t like parting with detailed personal information, they are getting more comfortable with it as time goes on. When people feel like they’re an important part of shaping your next generation of offerings, they are more likely to answer questions.
Good Content Has Gravity: Be Consistent and Let it Do Its Work
For people to get deeply involved in your content, it has to answer their questions or solve their problems. That alone is a challenge, but ensuring you always have something to new to offer will make it much easier. Content marketing, like SEO and many other digital pursuits, demands a long-term strategy with consistent investments. Combine targeted content with traffic attribution and persistence and you’ll get results.