Why you need to individualise content for your customers
Readers are confronted with an avalanche of news sources, from online publications like HuffPost and Google News to traditional radio broadcasts. Despite the advent of digital newspaper editions, youth readership has dropped by 40 per cent from 2000 to 2016 (Fletcher & Thurman, 2017), with 64 per cent of 18 â€“ 24-year-olds now accessing stories online (Reuters, 2017). These figures are just part of why it is so important to know your target customer. It’s easy to see that traditional media won’t work for 18 â€“ 24-year-olds and that social media is the best channel to reach them.
The internet’s virtually unlimited space allows newsrooms to transmit stories that cross over local, state and international borders. This means that the average reader can come across stories from local, state, national or international sources in just a few clicks of a button. The plethora of choices and geographical distance between content can make readers beg the question: Is this story important to me?
How to make your content stand out
To ensure your content reaches your intended audience, you need to ask yourself three key questions:
1. Why would my customer care about my content?
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and determine whether your headline and content will attract their attention and have a memorable impact on their day. For example, if you’re targeting users of public transport you’re more likely to capture their attention with easy to read, picture-based content posted on social media between 7am â€“ 9am and 4pm â€“ 6pm when they are travelling on the train or bus.
2. How is my customer most likely to access my content â€“ desktop searches or social media content?
Don’t forget the power of different platforms in your content creation. When a potential customer is hunting for a solution, what platform will they search first and what key words are they likely to use? Research the platforms your customers use (hint: younger demographics are more likely to seek information through social media) and then consider how your content can solve their issue by ensuring it includes some of their keyword searches. If reaching them via social media, determine whether they are more likely to notice a story that mentions either their local community, other region important to them or a relevant influencer.
3. Is my content timely and relevant for the region where my key clients are located?
Timeliness is a key value when trying to produce content which your reader may be interested in. Say that there is a major event â€“ perhaps even a Royal Wedding, or election about to occur; linking your content to these can help boost the number of views. Making sure that your story is relevant to the demographic and geographic location you are targeting is also important. You are more likely to increase engagement by targeting specific regions directly impacted by these events.
You can see this principle in action, with how many newsrooms and organisations are using the upcoming Royal Wedding to drive engagement. A simple Google search of â€˜royal wedding merchandise’ demonstrates how many different operators are cashing in on the big event, with souvenir condoms presented in boxes playing â€˜God Save the Queen’ available.
The coverage around the Royal Wedding is just one example of how location impacts what content and beliefs a reader receives, so make sure your story is relevant and targeted to ensure your customers remember your message. If you’re still unsure why your story isn’t reaching newsrooms, shoot me a message!
Dunn, J. (2018). The difference between how millennials and baby boomers consume news, in one chart. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com.au/how-millennials-vs-baby-boomers-get-news-chart-2017-6?r=US&IR=T
Fletcher, R., & Thurman, N. (2017) Has Digital Distribution Rejuvenated Readership? Journalism Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2017.1397532