To reach more people and make a deeper impact with your message, work on improving these 5 factors in your content.
Use this list as an audit of your content marketing. Make gradual improvements and you’ll see better results over time.
How do we get our audience to care about our content?
By showing that we care about them.
How do we do this?
By getting to know them more deeply, and thus, actually caring!
In the first couple of years of my audience-building, I did an audience research conversation every 2 weeks. (To this day, I still do one every month or so.)
This is where I reach out to an audience member (ideally, someone who has bought something from me, or otherwise has engaged a lot with my content) and have a 1–1 “meet and greet” conversation with them.
We split the conversation in half:
In the first part, I am asking them questions to help me understand:
- What they have bought before in my industry — things related to what I offer.
- What else they’ve bought that’s not in my industry, but is related. For example, some type of coaching, consulting, counseling, workshops, retreats, courses, books that are somewhat related to my topics.
- Of the things they spent the most money on, what didn’t work well, and why?
- Have them imagine a perfect support structure for them to grow (in the areas that I help people with) — what might that support structure look like?
- The second half of our time together is for me to help them with anything. They can pick my brain, or I can give them an experience of what I do, or help them in any way.
Another way to understand them better is to look at their social media profiles: what are they sharing? This shows me what they care about right now. What can I emulate? How might it help me improve my content topics, format, or style?
You can also care about your audience by engaging with their comments, having a back and forth conversation.
Your audience — even if they’re brand new to you — will be able to feel whether you really care, or are merely trying to get them to do something like to opt in or to buy.
It almost doesn’t matter how skillful you are as a writer, or how charismatic a speaker, or how amazing your website looks, if the topic of what you’re writing or speaking about isn’t what your audience is looking for.
If the topic isn’t a good match, you’ll have a hard time getting any traction.
Create content that:
- they are looking for
- or didn’t know to look for, but once they encounter it, they’re so glad to find it.
Have you gotten to know your audience well enough to know what Topics would excite or deeply interest them?
Even if you’re not a skillful writer or speaker, the topic will save the day.
You’ll notice this as you browse social media: people often re-share things that aren’t necessarily well-produced (though that doesn’t hurt either!), but because it’s on a topic they care about.
And, if you have already been creating content, notice which of your content they love the most, and plan to make more things like that.
Everybody has a different style, and that’s a good thing.
Some people try to copy others’ styles because they look successful. This may work for a while, but they will lose their authenticity and soulfulness. They’ll burn out, trying to be like somebody else.
Instead, commit to experimentation. Try different ways of expressing yourself. This will help you discover your own authentic style.
Imagine being with an audience that completely supports you — in their eyes you can’t do any wrong. When you’re with them, how would you behave? What style of writing or speaking?
It may help to imagine an unconditionally-loving friend, family member, or mentor. If you were talking with them, what would your style be?
This is an ongoing inquiry to find and settle into your most authentic style.
For some people it’s humor. For others, it’s having a certain gravitas. Some people enjoy formality in their communications. Others excel when they’re casual.
What colors attract you? What personality are you, when you’re being your most natural and best self? What values do you love and champion?
The more you understand your authentic style, the more you can activate your unique superpower, and your ideal audience will find you naturally attractive.
Your style is the essence of your brand.
Your style will shine differently in various formats. .
Give different formats an honest try before you judge whether it’s for you or not:
- Long video (more than 10 minutes)
- Medium video (3–10 minutes)
- Short video (1–3 minutes)
- For videos, you could try scripted vs. off-the-cuff
- Long blog posts (more than 1,500 words)
- Short blog posts (usually 300–700 words)
- Tweets (up to 280 characters)
- Podcast (audio only)
- Images (e.g. Instagram posts)
You don’t have to show up in every format. But it is wise to experiment with them all. Then you can feel into what you’d most like to get great at, and practice doing more of those.
Someone might go viral being on Twitter, whereas another person might do well with writing very long blog posts on Medium. And another person might focus on making videos for Youtube. Others might prefer image posts on Instagram.
There’s not one format that is meant for everyone.
Without understanding the strategies of Reach, it will be very hard to build an audience at all. You might as well be writing in a private journal, or making videos only for your clients (both of which can be great ways to start, by the way!)
My two favorite ways to reach more people are:
- Facebook and Instagram Ads. It’s perhaps the easiest way today to reach the greatest number of people, in highly targeted ways. You can learn how to do these things by watching Youtube videos for free. If you would prefer to learn from me, in a step by step fashion, take my online course on Facebook Ads (the Instagram course comes as a bonus.)
- Partnerships. Get started by reaching out to a peer that you resonate with, who has a similar audience as you. Trade content promotions with each other: you’ll share one of her best posts with your audience, and she’ll do the same for you. It is a win-win for everyone. I’ve written articles about authentic networking.
There are many other ways to grow reach — SEO, Google Ads, speaking on podcasts, Amazon Ads, etc. Experiment with different methods that interest you, and double down on what works best for you!
Your potential is beyond what you can imagine.
There’s no final stage for these improvements — it’s an ongoing journey. There’s always opportunity to grow.
With baby steps, you can make improvements in each of these 5 areas — care, topic, style, format, reach — and thereby fulfill the mission of your business.