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Does your target audience know what they want?

As a business owner you are told over an over again, for success in social media marketing write good content and direct it at your target audience. Yes good content is indeed important but how do you know that what you’re writing about is indeed what your target audience needs? You can go around and ask them what they want and you’ll no doubt get some really clear answers but, is what they want really what they need? If you think that this is an odd question then consider this:

 If I asked people what they wanted they would have said faster horses.
~ Henry Ford

What the target audience wants

Certainly a faster horse would have taken the carriage to it’s destination a bit faster but that solution would have been an interim solution only. What they needed was a totally different solution to the problem of the lack of speed.

Target audience want vs need

The issue here is that if you really listen to what people are saying when you ask them what they want you’ll find that they most likely will tell you more about what their problem is and what they would like, not what they really need. Why is that so? Because they know that they have a problem but don’t know what to ask for because they don’t know the solution to their problem. And that is exactly the reason why they browse the internet and come to a website like yours because they hope that you have a solution to that specific problem.

Many of you are business owners because you have a really innovative solution to a specific problem. You’re writing copious pieces about it, doing regular updates on your social channels but for some reason none of it seems to get the response that you’re looking for. There are two possible reasons for this. The first one is that you’re putting all that great content in the wrong places on your social media channels. If your target audience is on LinkedIn but most of your publishing is on Facebook then it would stand to reason that you don’t get much feedback. The second reason for not connecting with your audience is that while you content is excellent technically speaking, it doesn’t address the solution to your audience’s problem properly. This is a really big mistake that many people make.

Let’s stick with the example of the faster horse vs. the car. I could tell the owner of the horse and carriage that my solution to his speed problem is the greatest. It has a four cylinder engine, ruins on gas, has brilliant headlights, comes in many colours, is rust proof, etc. That is all well and good but they’re features of the product, not benefits for the horse and carriage owner. A description of the features of your product or service does have a place on your website and the content describing those features needs to be good and convincing but your audience will only check that out after you’ve shown them the benefits.

It’s up to you to start a conversation on the social channels where your audience is and work on defining the benefits of your products or services. Continuing with the horse and carriage and the car example – write about things such as the cost saved parking a car in the garage vs. the cost of  agisting  a horse or staying dry in a car vs getting soaking wet in a carriage when it rains. Think outside the square and come up with content that is helpful and informative and that will have your audience want to know more.

You need to be innovative in your approach on content writing and find those really interesting posts that make you stand out and that make your audience take notice.  Yes, content is king, always has been and always will be but if you don’t address it at the right audience on the right platform and in the correct context of your solution then you’re wasting your time end effort. Don’t fall for the trap of believing that as long as you have an online presence such as a Facebook page you’re doing social media marketing. Social media is a platform that is an essential part of your marketing strategy but it needs to be executed properly if you want to reach out successfully to your target audience.

Have you clearly defined in your social media marketing plan what your target audience needs? Leave a comment to share with us how you approach your content writing.

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