Creating content can be difficult enough on its own, but creating content that actually speaks to your ideal audience is a step further. But that’s what makes the biggest difference when it comes to building an engaged community and growing your audience! There’s no point in posting for the sake of posting - we want to make sure we’re posting stuff that our audience is going to enjoy and engage with, right? So how do we do that?
Let’s walk through exactly how I do it and 8 different techniques for creating content that speaks directly to your audience.
Before you can create content for your audience, you need to decide who they are. First things first, do some research and think about who you really want to talk to. Learn about their interests and passions, and figure out what topics get you excited to discuss with them. Don't worry about who you "should" target or talk to, focus on the people you actually want to connect with.
So, step one is to decide who your ideal audience is and learn more about them. Maybe even chat with them and find out what they're into!
Now you know who your ideal audience are, its time to come up with some content ideas that will speak directly to them so that you can attract their attention and engage with them on your social media platforms.
This is the best way I've found to learn about my audience. I interview them for different reasons - like when I'm researching for new offers, tweaking my branding, or just trying to learn about what content they're interested in. There are so many reasons why it's useful to interview your audience!
During the interviews, I asked about what my audience is struggling with and how I could help them and then went through the transcripts and highlighted the parts where they talked about their pain points, questions, frustrations, confusions, and overwhelming aspects. These are the things I can create content about that speaks directly to them.
I copied those snippets word-for-word into Notion and used them as ideas for social media posts, podcast episodes, newsletters, and more. By doing this, I can answer their questions and solve their problems, connecting better with my audience. You can do the same!
Another way to create content that resonates with your audience is to take a trip down memory lane and revisit past conversations. You might be surprised by how much inspiration you can find just by looking back at chats with clients, customers, or even friends and family!
So, go ahead and dig through your emails, messages, and Zoom recordings to find those hidden gems. Look for topics, questions, and comments that could be turned into compelling content that addresses the concerns and interests of your audience.
If you’re making use of email marketing in your a business, a fun way to connect with your newsletter subscribers and create compelling content is to ask your audience a question in your welcome email!
When you sign up for my email newsletter, Moxie Musings, my welcome email asks you about your biggest goal for your brand. Lots of other creators do this too, asking their audience what they're struggling with, what their goals are, or where their business is at.
So why should you do this? First, it can help your emails land in your subscribers' inboxes if they reply. Second, it gives you insight into what your audience needs and wants. Third, it starts conversations and helps you build a relationship with your subscribers. And finally, it gives you ideas for future content that speaks directly to your audience.
So don't be afraid to add a question to your newsletter welcome email. It's a great way to engage with your audience through your email marketing and get some awesome insights!
The fourth way to gather information is by asking on social media. Social media is all about being social and engaging with your audience so it can be super useful to ask your audience, either through your Instagram stories or as a question on other social media platforms like Twitter, Threads, or Bluesky. Send a message or post a story asking, "Hey, I would love to know what you're struggling with right now, what topics you're interested in, or what you're learning."
Ask your audience what's on their mind and what they want to learn more about. Engage with them and learn from their responses. If they provide information, thank them and ask if they can tell you more about what specific questions they have or what they need help with. Start a conversation with your audience and ask for their input on social media to learn what content you could create that would speak to them and what they want to hear from you.
Another way to understand what content to create for your audience is by searching social media for what people are already asking or talking about.
Take a look at people in your audience or community on social media and see what topics they discuss or questions they have. You can also join groups related to your field and see what people are talking about or struggling with there or scan forums and pages to identify popular frustrations, questions, or complaints.
You can check out what people are searching for on Google to get ideas for your content too. For example, if you search for "branding" on Google, you'll see some questions that people also ask, like "What are the four steps of branding?" and "What are the seven principles of branding?". If you click on one of these questions, it’ll load even more related questions. This can help you figure out what people are interested in and what's popular.
You can also search for your specific audience and see what they're looking for. So, for example, if you search for "branding for artists," you might find questions like "Do artists need a brand?" and "Should an artist have a logo?".
Just keep in mind that if you use really broad search terms like "branding," you'll get a lot of results that might not be super relevant to your specific audience. So, try to be as specific as you can with your search terms to find the best content ideas for your ideal audience.
There are a couple of helpful tools that can get your creative juices flowing when you're stuck for content ideas. I personally like AnswerThePeople.com and AlsoAsked.com. These tools show you questions that people ask about a topic, which is a great way to come up with fresh ideas.
For example, if you search for "branding" using AlsoAsked, it will show you the top four related questions and then more questions based on each of those four. AnswerThePeople does something similar. It's a quick and easy way to get a lot of ideas and see how they're all connected.
Using these tools can help you come up with new content themes or expand on the ones you already have. Plus, they make sure you don't miss any obvious ideas.
Lastly, make sure to also check out other places where your people hang out and talk about stuff *other than* social media. You can look into blogs, magazines, podcasts, newsletters, newspapers, books, forums like Reddit or Quora, TV shows, movies, documentaries, and other places where your area of interest might be talked about.
Of course, social media is awesome for getting in touch with your audience, but don't forget about other ways to learn about your topic and get inspiration from others. There are loads of ways to hear about stories and experiences, find out about struggles, opinions, and insights that can help you create kick-ass content that's truly useful and relevant to your audience.
Now let's talk about what to do next. When you have done any or all of these different ways of finding content ideas, you want to store, track, and create content with them!
Firstly, you need a place to store all of your content ideas. I use Notion and have a database set up to store everything, but you could use whatever tool works for you.
All you need is somewhere you can list ideas, whether that’s Google Docs, Airtable, or just the Notes app on your phone.
It can also be super helpful to categorise and tag each idea so you can keep track of what kind of idea it is, where it came from, and any other information you might find useful.
As I copy and paste each idea into my Notion database, I categorise it as either a problem, a frustration, a question, a desire, an idea, or feedback.
I also track where each idea came from if I want to revisit the original source, or know overall what’s the most fruitful way for me to get these ideas. I tag each idea with either social media, forums, interview, or newsletter reply.
You could also track whether you’ve used the idea, the date you sourced it, the name of the person you got it from, or any other information that’s useful for you.
Last but not least, it’s time to create content that addresses the questions and topics you’ve gathered.
One sentence, question, or quote could spark several content ideas, so take a look at what you brought into your document and see what you can turn into content.
This article you’re reading right now was inspired by a note I took from an interview I did with a creative that said “What to create to attract the right people” and I thought I’d share the process I use to do just that!
September 6, 2023