Why It's a Bad Idea to Only Create Content for Your Specific Target Audience - Rainmaker Media Solutions
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Why It’s a Bad Idea to Only Create Content for Your Specific Target Audience

Why It’s a Bad Idea to Only Create Content for Your Specific Target Audience

By: Rand Fishkin

Knowing what content to create is one of a marketer’s most difficult jobs. It’s all too easy to imagine your target audience and what they already appreciate, then create more of that. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand discusses why that’s a bit short-sighted, and we should have a broader vision.

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This one comes to us via submission from email. This is a question from Michael Cassatt. He wanted to know, since he’s working on a content strategy, working on a new blog and having conversations with his manager and his team about, “Hey, should we be writing only extremely focused, narrowly focused content for our specific target audience, or should we be trying to branch out and broaden so that we can reach a bigger audience or a new audience?”

I think this is a fair question, a great question that happens all the time in content strategy and actually in link building strategy discussions around the SEO and content world. So I think it’s actually a pretty bad idea most of the time. Not all the time, but most of the time it’s a pretty bad idea to be extremely narrowly focused on exclusively your audience, your paying customers or the audience that you’re trying to get to pay for your products or services, and I’ll explain why.

General goals of content in SEO & web marketing

So general goals that we usually have around content marketing and content as it relates to SEO and web marketing more broadly is that we want something that potentially

  • Directly converts some customers, convinces people to buy from us, convinces them that our products or our services or our knowledge, or whatever it is, is the best in our field.
  • Helps us earn press, amplification, and links, certainly so that we can rank higher for all sorts of things, so that we can reach new audiences, so that we get influencers on our side.
  • Reach brand new audiences, broad, hopefully new audiences so that we can capture among that new audience some segment or sliver which is going to turn out to be great customers for us, now or in the future, or might be influential to our customers now or in the future.
  • Grow our brand’s awareness and authority. We’re just trying to get seen by more folks, more people aware of us so that we can do all sorts of clever things in the future, like have higher click-through rates because people are familiar with us already so that we can do retargeting and remarketing, so that we have more brand credibility of all kinds in all sectors.

Usually, most content goals fall into one of these or several of them.

Now, there’s overlap between them. I haven’t perfectly illustrated this with a great Venn diagram. But in here there is lots of overlap between these different goals. You could have a piece of content that is both designed to earn press and amplification and links and is reaching a broad new audience. Or you might have some content that is directly converting customers that maybe also has some link amplification sorts of overlap. It’s pretty tough to overlap anything else with directly converting customers, but the other three definitely easier to do overlap.
However, most of the content you’re going to produce is going to have a hard time doing anything more than maybe one or two of these. If you’re trying to do three or all four at the same time, you’re going to struggle significantly. This is why folks who say, “I want content that’s going to go viral, that directly converts my customers, that also reaches influencers and helps me reach a broad new group of folks,” you’re asking too much from the same piece of content. It’s going to be a real, real challenge. View Full Article >>

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