Whether you’re writing an article to post to your blog or a sales page on the front end of a website, it’s useless if nobody sees it. Your mission whether you’re a blog writer, ghostwriter, fan page content writer, or poster anywhere on the web, is to get eyeballs hearts and minds to see and feel its message. Those eyeballs belong to a consolidation of people that need or want that information- and you need to reach THEM, ignoring the rest (for now).
What is an audience?
One of the main concepts many marketers (including content marketing) tend to neglect is truly comprehending the concept of an audience and especially how to market to their needs (format).
Many an eCommerce entrepreneur has ventured to sell things but more often than not they don’t understand “why” they need to have a niche, segmented, and focused audience (as in all people share a lot of the same qualities that show potential for them wanting to buy your product/service).
Many neophytes in marketing come in with the “let’s put it in front of everyone and see who wants it” mentality. This is often due to lack of experience in actually doing the work neccessary and paying for marketing in a meaningful and consistent way. There is a very real reason you will want to talk to just a segment of the population MOST LIKELY to buy or patronize your site; absorb your message (then buy).
The United States is an Audience
Let’s think of a scenario like being the president of the united states. When something happens he (or she) has to address the nation. The United States of America is his audience. Imagine the pure responsibility involved in being the President over roughly 300 Million people.
People with a lot of different opinions, views, comprehension in a large variety of things exist within this larger audience (USA). Imagine that there is the president, the vice president and congress, that’s the overall oversight. They deal with things AFTER the states deal with and initiate a list of things to process, do, plan for, and concerns etc… (most gets automated and checksummed but still form the synergy.
In every state, there is a hierarchy of leaders; (government below congress), businesses, charities, etc… All who have to break the state into audiences (law and order, variable laws for different levels of business, planning, real-estate, and so on) and approach them differently from other audiences (i.e. different states’ concerns).
You can see how this would break down to cities, then neighborhoods, all the way down to your household (consensus for example), and then down to YOU (including all your online Facebooking, posting, etc…).
Much like the hierarchy of the USA Audience in the infrastructure of government, the internet follows roughly the same pattern. Let’s take this backward this time from YOU to the web overall.
YOU want to share content to the web (for any reason)…
It all starts with you (and everyone else it starts with them). You have a specific need, talent, or information that would help specific people.
You have an experience, which can include or just be reading a series of articles to figure something out. You feel an overwhelming feeling that you should share this information. You have specific things in mind that tell you they could benefit from it.
Think of when you bring over friends for dinner. Some of them may love your sharing about a diet, while others are over the diet thing, others still have negative memories of failure when trying other diets, but are listening none the less. Depending on how many people want to hear it, the information could be shared and shaped. You don’t want to offend even one other person at the table so in this case, your target audience is 2 of your friends out of 5.
If you were to discuss the information, your 2 friends would appreciate it and want to know more, enthusiastically.
If your information makes sense right away or they can relate to it and see the missing piece in their own research/awareness. But the other 3 will become visibly irritated the more you talk about it or the conversation steers towards it. But what if you, after dinner segregated to different parts of the house where you and the two friends could talk and explore, interact, and fully consume into the information?
The other 3 could still talk and hold their own (niche) conversation. The web is like a much bigger version of this scenario. The audience is segmented into like groups called Niches. Niches can have sub-niches. One of the other 3, the one whose had failures, but is at least interrested, could lead the questions, discuss the part she wants to know (and the other 2 do too), and leave after she’s aquired what she needed. The other two take it deeper (and likely in a direction beyond the comfort of the third friend), and all is good. They regroup after a while and mingle.
This third friend would be like a sub-niche, where she’s interested in one part of a system that has many parts (i.e. she wants a purse but not a sweater, two different sub-niches of the clothing and accessories category, and there is also a purse sub-category and specific brands of purse category, and even down to just one specific purse, then one specific purse made of leather, cotton, and so on…).
Many audiences are part of multiple niches even if they land on a sub-niche post talking about a purse they could be upsold or made aware of a sweater that would go with that purse. If you think about it, if you saw a pair of boots to go with a sweater, wouldn’t you want the link to point to ONLY those boots, a page dedicated to everything those boots? It’s about working within people’s focus efficiently to help them with their research or shopping mission!
We’ve covered the Audience and Niche Marketing intersections. Now you may want to cover more about the niche marketing strategies, explanations, and broad brushstrokes of taking care of your audience through proper formatting of your content for synergies.
Now that you understand the basic audience mentality and the system, let’s dive deeper into Niches and why they are the overall titles, subtitles, and Table of Contents of your Marketing to Audiences mission. Read more about that in this article (Part 2 of 2): Here “Why Segmenting Your Niche into Sub-Niches is Useful, Powerful, and Organic“.