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How to make your online content work for your audience

Some of you might have heard of #ContentClubUK on Twitter. If not, I think you’d like it.

To explain what you can expect, you’re basically encouraged by other professionals to eat biscuits for half an hour every Tuesday morning from 11am. That, and a bit of chat about content.

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All set up and ready to host. You’ll note that biscuits are at the ready, and as hosting counts as a special occasion, I even got the teapot out.

I was lucky enough to host the chat recently (at the time of publishing it’s almost two weeks but hey, things have been busy), and I didn’t want all those nuggets of goodness to be lost in the depths of Twitter-ness, so I’m compiling some of them here.

The theme was making content work for your audience, and the chat was intense. Thank you each and every one of you who commented, and if you’re not mentioned here please forgive me. I couldn’t possibly include everyone (I had over 300 notifications when the chat finished).

So here goes, #ContentClubUK in digested form (sounds a bit icky, might need to work on that).

Q1: How do you identify the target audience for your content?

The chat began with plenty of solid advice on where to start in defining your audience. In a nutshell, if you’re writing a piece on your client’s behalf, grill them about their audience. And if you’re writing for your own readers, grill yourself.

You might need to turn the grill up if there are people involved who don’t understand content marketing and audience targeting all that well…

And of course, you can (and should!) turbo boost your targeting by pairing up your existing knowledge with research of the cold hard facts.

Q2: Apart from your choice of topic, what other ways can you tailor your content to fit your audience?

The short answer to this is ‘so many ways’.

And with lots of writers taking part in this particular chat, we can say that in so many ways.

And the result of that experiment, Emily?

A lot of votes there for adapting your content to suit your audience – but there were also voices of caution wisely reminding us not to make too many assumptions along the way.

A special mention has to go to every copywriter’s favourite ‘write how you talk’ advice. This comes up all the time, and it’s sound advice. But it’s important to remember that people don’t all talk the same way, so you need to think about tailoring the tone further than simply going ‘informal’ or ‘chatty’.

Q3: How can content be used to involve and engage your audience?

Sometimes we (copywriters, I mean… and not ALL copywriters, I know) can get carried away and forget that content is more than just words in a blog post.

Words in blog posts don’t exist in isolation. They’re surrounded by design and (hopefully) graphics.

And content can take all sorts of forms, not just blog posts.

And content of all kinds is affected by the context it’s promoted in. You get where I’m going with this, I trust…

And as ever, it’s important to test.

And finally…

I’m giving the closing tweet to Richard Steele, who I think sums up the essence of good content perfectly.

If you’d like to join in the fun, you’ll find us, or at least some of us, on Twitter on a Tuesday at 11am. Bring biscuits.

And if you’d like to find out more about me, you can do that here.

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