Who Is Your Audience And Why Do You Need To Know?
You've done a bunch of marketing research.
You have all this awesome data about your customers - who they are, how old they are, where they live, how many years they went to school...you know, a bunch of numbers.
Cool. But your customer isn't a number.
They're a human. (Unless this is 2035 and the robots have taken over.)
I run into this often with health tech companies. They think they know who their customer is and they're ready to start creating content. But when they do, their content falls flat, and their message doesn't get out to the world.
That's when you need to go back, evaluate who your audience really is so you can create content that drives them to buy and turns them into raving fans.
Who are you currently creating content for?
Do you know your current audience? Evaluating your existing content is going to give you all kinds of insights. Often what I find is health tech companies think they're writing to their customer, but they end up writing to other people just like themselves...people who want to change the world. Or they write to a mass audience of anyone who will listen.
Content directed at these people not only ends up being a mishmash of topics just so you have something to publish, but it also entirely misses the mark on reaching your ideal customer.
So go back to your existing content and ask yourself...
1. When you create content who do you create it for?
Do you have a person in mind each time you create content? Does everyone on your content team know who this person is and create content for them as well?
If not, you're likely missing your ideal customer. Your content is either written for a mass audience or it's written for people just like you. To create more focused, mission-aligned content, I always recommend you find one real-life person that you can help and put them at the center of your content.
Create content for a real person
Every time you make a video, write a blog post, or post on social media, you should have one person in mind that you're speaking to. And by one person, I mean someone you actually know and understand at least to some extent how they think.
When you have a real person in mind every time, you can evaluate each piece of content through their eyes. Will Jim understand this? Will he care about this? Will he just scroll past it in his news feed or will he actually click and read more?
If he couldn't care less, if he wouldn't even click on the read more button, then you need to go back to the drawing board. If Jim, your ideal customer, isn't going to read or watch or engage with your content, then what's the point? If it doesn't drive him to buy, you're throwing money, time, and employee resources down the content drain, creating stuff that sits, dying a slow death, in your content cemetery (i.e. your blog).
2. What's your motivation for creating content?
Often, when you don't evaluate your content through the eyes of your ideal customer, you end up having the wrong motivations for the content you create. Instead of being all about your customer, it ends up being all about you.
Typically, most health tech companies don't do this on purpose. After all, the whole reason they exist is to help people. When they don't take a strategic approach to content, however, they default to wrong motivations without even thinking about it.
These are the motivations I often find when I look at their content, and luckily because these companies are so mission driven, it's an easy fix to put the customer front and center.
To make me or my company look good
Ugh, this one drives me crazy, and it happens more than you would think. I really don't believe people know they're doing it, either, because if they did, they would know this kind of content wouldn't work for them. I mean, no one likes hanging around that person that toots their own horn, and content is no different.
When you have this motivation, your content ends up being about how many millions of dollars you've raised, your recent leadership retreat to a rustic cabin on the top of a secret mountain, or your new brilliant engineer and how they love to watch Game of Thrones every Saturday.
NO ONE CARES.
This type of content won't do a thing for you. And while perhaps there is a time and a place for those messages (for investors or partners), they won't attract your customer to you, much less get them to buy and turn them into champions of your tech.
The fix? Go back to your customer. Learn what they want and need to read and create content for and about them, not about you.
Because everyone says I need to
If you're creating content just because someone told you need to, then stop. When this is your motivation, you're just on the content hamster wheel to keep someone else happy or meet external expectations.
Before you ever create content again, please find a different motivation. If you're only trying to create content just because everyone else is and everyone says you need to, your content will end up mimicking every other piece of fluff content out there that has no business existing (really, not trying to be harsh here, but this is one reason why there's so much crap on the internet).
Fix your motivations, THEN AND ONLY THEN should you start creating content again. Create content with the end goal of helping your customers, not just to keep up with marketing trends.
To sell stuff
This is, in my humble opinion, by far the worst main reason to create content.
And now that I've said that, let me back track a bit.
Obviously, one of the reasons content is so powerful is because it DOES sell stuff. When done right, it works. It funnels new leads into your email list or CRM or whatever you're using.
However, if you're creating your content trying to sell something to your customers, then I can almost guarantee that your content isn't going to sell them anything.
Why? Because no one likes a sales pitch. And your customer is savvy enough to know when they are being sold to.
So yes, create content that drives customers to you. But don't create content with the motivation to sell. Instead, be authentic. Be human. Share your stories. Share your customers' stories. Be helpful. Offer value. Give them a reason to love you. Once you've built the relationship, selling will happen naturally.
Why do you need to know your audience?
Because your customer matters. And your message matters. If you don't know who your customer is, you won't be able to effectively get your message out to them.
Your customer is more than a number, a demographic, or a statistic. They are human. When you only know them as a number, you won't be able to create content for them as a human.
They won't hear your message. It won't resonate with them, it won't make them think "wow, this company really gets me." It won't drive them to adopt your tech and become a champion for your brand.
And that, in my mind, is a tragedy. Because, while for other industries, the worst that could happen is low customer acquisition and maybe in the long run, a failed company, for health tech, however the stakes are much much higher. If a patient doesn't have access to your product because you didn't reach them or you didn't reach the middle man (hospitals, providers, etc), then they don't get the treatment they need. And that can have life altering consequences for them.
You owe it to them to break through the noise and get your message out to the world.
Do you know who your current audience is?
WHO IS WHITNEY?
Whitney is a consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help life-saving, life-changing technology break through the noise and achieve mass user adoption. Learn more about her here.