When you’re creating content for your website, it’s crucial that you create a reader profile, especially for an online audience. This allows you to tailor your content to your audience demographic, their motivations and online presence.
Taking this approach ensures that your content is targeted, whilst maximising interactions and promoting audience engagement.
You might think that it’s strange to focus all your attention on this make-believe, non-existent individual, but the benefits far outweigh the time it might take to create one in the first place.
Once you’ve finalised your reader profiles and given them their own “identities”, you’ll soon become accustomed to talking about them as if they were real.
Before you start, there are a few key elements that make the whole process a lot easier.
Age, Gender & Circumstances
This may seem like an obvious place to start, but you need to use language, tone and writing style in a way that’s relevant for each individual. Things that will affect your content include:
- Male or female?
- Which age bracket do they fall into?
- Are they single/married/in a civil partnership?
- What is their occupation?
- What hobbies or interests do they have?
Social Media Platforms
Once you’ve established the age, gender and circumstances of your profiles, you can move onto their social media usage.
Which platforms are they using most? Which content do they interact with on a regular basis? Are they more interested in image-based posts, or are they more interested in text-based news?
Understanding where your audience hangs out online means that you can structure your content accordingly.
Now And Then
When you’re creating content, it’s important to understand the situation your readers are in now and how you want them to feel when they leave.
The easiest way to establish this is to use a piece of paper or spreadsheet and split the page into two.
The left column will be how your readers are currently feeling (e.g. confused, worried) and the right column will be how they feel after reading your content (e.g. confident, happy, interested).
Using this approach means that you’re able to create content to address each of these paint points, whilst still promoting your business or services.
If your business caters for a specific niche audience, for example vegetarian recipes or organic gardening, you need to understand what motivates them.
Why do they do what they do, what problems do they face in their lives and what do they hope to achieve in the future?
Answering all these questions means that you’re able to provide valuable information to your readers, whilst also promoting your business as a “go to” information guide.
We’ve created a small reader profile for you to have a look at, just to give you an idea of how simple it really can be.
Mark is a single 35-year-old father [age and gender] of three, whose children are in their second year of school. He works full-time as a retail manager [occupation] but wants to create his own freelance graphic design business [interests and hobbies]. He uses Facebook and Twitter [social media usage] to keep up with his family and friends who live in different parts of the United Kingdom.
At the moment, he’s struggling [feelings now] to start his graphic design business, as he currently has a small group of contact with minimal experience, and wants to win more work [feelings after]. He wants to fully launch his business as he’s always been creative and wants to be able to spend more time with his children [motivation].
So there you go, it’s not as hard as you think. All you need to do is follow these steps to create a reader profile, and soon you’ll be on your way to a successful online blog or business.
Have you created your own reader profiles? If you have, we’d love to hear from you.
Digital Marketing Summit Southampton 2017