How do you know what content to create for your audience?

It's easy write stuff that you're interested in. It's pretty easy to write stuff you *think* others will be interested in. But what you need to do is create content your audience will want to consume.

So, how do you choose what's right for your audience as part of your content marketing activities?

First, think about what you're trying to achieve - are you sharing content to inform about something, to engage, entertain, showcase your credentials, aid your visibility or to generate leads? The content you create should always have a purpose.

Now, with that in mind, consider that your audience is most likely going to want to consume 'valuable' content. That means content that either helps to overcome a pain or that provides some sort of gain.

This knowledge article you're reading is an example of content designed to inform readers and help them fix a pain - the pain of not knowing what kind of content to create for their audiences.

What kinds of pains are the potential and existing customers in your audience feeling, and that you're ideally placed to help with?

One way to find out is to ask current customers and extrapolate to 'lookalike' audiences. Another, more subtle way is to do some online sleuthing - for instance, Google Trends can tell you about search volumes for any given topic; if the number of people searching for information is going up, that's a sign it's something people want to know more about. Another way is to do some 'social listening' - are people mentioning specific issues on social media that indicate a concern, knowledge gap or other pain point? How about bespoke research, asking a sample of people what their biggest challenges are? What content are your peers and rivals creating, and which of it gets the most likes, comments and shares

These are just a few examples.

Once you've identified the topics that are likely to resonate, it's then time to get creating - remember, there's room for lots of different formats to suit individual preferences, from blogs, written downloads and e-books, videos, audio clips and podcasts, infographics, slide decks and more besides.

We're fans of an approach called 'divisible content' creation where you start by authoring some long-form content (like a report) then break this down into smaller and smaller component parts that are each released as separate pieces of content (so you effectively create once, then sub-divide and spin out).

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