How to Write Effective Content That Targets Niche Audiences (Our Proven Method)
Sometimes, writing for niche audiences can feel like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Recently, we helped our client Avier Wealth Advisors draft some content for an extremely niche audience that had fantastic results. And we weren’t the only ones who were pleased — our work was recognized on Twenty Over Ten’s Lead Pilot blog as an example of great niche content writing.
That campaign was the result of over a decade of trial and error, working to perfect a formula that would deliver wins over and over again. Our working blueprint is our most successful yet — but don’t take it from us:
Looking to step up your niche content game? Here’s our guide for writing niche content that actually drives results.
1. Get to know your target audience
To write niche content that’s effective, you need to know your audience. Like… better than they know themselves. (I’m only slightly exaggerating here.)
There are a few ways to do this. Here, we’ve broken it down into 3 steps: Consulting the experts, creating audience personas, and using the right tools.
A. Lean on subject matter experts at your company
One of the easiest ways to learn about your niche is to talk with subject matter experts at your company. After all, they’re the ones most closely associated with the niche, and in theory, their interests should mirror those of your target audience.
Schedule some time for a formal sit-down interview with an expert, and try to get at the heart of what interests them about their niche. Ask questions like:
- What kind of information are they seeking out on a daily basis?
- What tools are they using that they want to learn to use better?
- What information would make their lives easier?
By learning their needs, their desires, and their burning questions, you’ll have a great frame of reference for the content you’ll eventually write — not to mention a vivid peek into the mind of your target audience.
B. Create audience personas
Questioning the subject matter experts around you is a great place to start. But in the end, there’s only so much they can tell you. That’s why we recommend going beyond your inner circle to identify the people and the personality types that you’ll be writing for on a larger scale.
If it helps (and trust us, it probably will), create a persona that represents a large chunk of your target audience. This persona should go beyond basic personal info to embody an actual semi-fictional person.
The idea, then, is to take that persona and write your content with them in mind.
What hobbies does that persona have? Which social media platforms do they use? What blogs do they like to read? All this information can be incredibly helpful when you’re drafting your content. In most cases, we find that writing with a specific person in mind is much, much easier than going in blind (even if that person isn’t real!).
Here are a few questions to take into consideration when crafting your audience persona:
- What kinds of professional values do they most value? Responsibility? Integrity? Honesty?
- What does it mean for them to be successful in their role? How is that success measured?
- What kinds of challenges do they face on a day-to-day basis?
Think of all this information as reconnaissance for deeper analysis. Once you identify a new audience group for your content, drill down and find out as much about them as you can. Look beyond industry and profession to find out what demographics, age groups, and personality types you’re writing for. Do the research to fully understand them, then try to speak to things that will interest them specifically.
C. Use the right tools
Understanding your target audience can be difficult, but there are a few tools that make it a whole lot easier. At Wheelhouse, we like using sites like Answer The Public and Ahrefs to peek inside the zeitgeist of our niche.
An important component of understanding your target audience is gathering questions. Understanding what questions your audience is asking can be the key to helping you get at the heart of your niche.
Answer The Public is a phenomenal resource for figuring out what questions people are asking about a given topic. For example, we plugged in “SEO writing” and got a deep well of commonly searched queries:
Ahrefs is great for the keyword/SEO side of things, allowing you to zero in on metrics like search volume and competitive traffic. Use their “Keywords Explorer” feature to determine what the top-ranking pages are writing about, which subtopics to cover, what angle to take, etc. Here’s another example, also for the keyword phrase “SEO writing.”
Once you’ve done the work to research your audience, and you know what questions they’re asking and what they’re searching for, writing the content is as easy as filling in the gaps.
2. Write content that interests them
This is the big one. If you want readers to care about your content, you have to know what’s going to interest them — even before they do.
You can do this by taking the the knowledge you gleaned from your in-house subject matter experts and combining it with the most powerful tool in your toolbox: an insatiable curiosity for all things related to your niche.
Be vigilant about reading blogs and staying updated on all niche-related news items. When something flags your interest, think about why — Who might this new development benefit? Who might it put at a disadvantage? What could it mean for the future of the industry?
Put simply: Be on the lookout for questions — even if you don’t have the answers.
This will help you with something that’s very important in niche content: originality. By positioning yourself as someone who’s obsessed with the why, rather than the what, you’re in the unique position to write content that gets at the heart of the issue, rather than a surface-level regurgitation of the facts.
Pair that with a well-researched audience persona and a healthy amount of input from subject matter experts at your company, and you’ve got a winning recipe for writing niche content that people will actually seek out and read.
Obviously, this is all easier said than done. Relevancy is a tricky thing to master and it’s going to take a lot of time and resources (plus a fair amount of frustration) to get right. But once you get it, you get it — and you’ll be on the fast track to writing interesting, enticing content that grabs eyes, ears, and clicks.
3. Know what actions you want your readers to perform
After you’ve done the work to research your audience and write content that addresses their needs, it’s important to know exactly what you want them to do after they’ve read it.
A good call to action is the lifeblood of any blog post. While informing and entertaining should be the overall goal of the post, the call to action is the big payoff — it’s what you’ve been leading toward and it’s when the reader is most likely to be persuaded. That’s why it’s crucial that, when it comes time to ask something of your readers, you’re asking for the right thing.
That starts with knowing yourself and knowing what you’re after. Are you trying to build a strong customer base or generate brand awareness? Directing readers to your website may be your best option. Or are you looking to make a sale or generate a lead? In that case, you might ask folks to peruse a product’s landing page, sign up for an email list, or give away a piece of gated content.
Either way, it’s important that you know from the outset what the ask will be, so you can prepare yourself accordingly. Once you’ve done that, a strong call to action is the biggest thing standing between you and a high conversion rate.
But how do you write that strong call to action? By being urgent, persuasive, and direct. Here are a few tips we like to keep in mind when we draft our CTAs:
- Be authoritative. Use active language, strong verbs — words like “shop,” “click,” or “join.” Know that starting your CTA with “if you have a moment” may sound polite, but it will ultimately turn off readers.
- Provide value. What’s in it for them? A promo code? Some kind of freebie? Immediately after glancing at your CTA, readers should know that it’s too good an offer to pass up. Pair that with a unique selling point (why you? what sets you apart from your competition?) for a winning combination.
- Make it low risk. Balance your high-value proposition with a low-risk approach. Readers should know that a click isn’t a commitment — rather, they’re simply finding out more about a service or product they’re genuinely interested in.
- Make it time-sensitive. If possible, your message should have a sense of urgency — if they don’t click now, they’ll miss out on the offer of a lifetime. You can do this by calling out a sale or a promotion, or by letting readers know that this particular service will only be offered for a limited time.
Follow those tips and you’ll be on your way to making your call to action the best it can be. And remember: If the CTA isn’t clear to you, it won’t be clear to them.
4. Focus on the right KPIs
Alright, here’s the kicker: Once you write your killer content, your work’s still not done. You need to make sure your content’s performing the way you want it to — and that means making sure you’re focusing on the right metrics.
For niche content, your KPIs will likely be a little different than the ones you use for more broad audiences. For example, while most marketers will look at traffic as the biggest indicator for success, your niche content will require something a bit more refined.
Time on page is often a much better barometer for whether people are actually reading and digesting your content. Shares and engagement are another good way of gauging whether your content is having the intended effect on your audience (i.e. they like it enough to pass it along to their friends and colleagues).
You should also take your own business into account when deciding on KPIs, and optimize for what matters most to you. One trick is to ask yourself which actions will drive the most value, then work backward from there.
Example: If your sole objective is to build awareness or drive more leads, you might lean more heavily on click-through rate or cost-per-lead as your main KPI. The former should tell you whether your content is engaging enough to actually drive clicks, and the latter will make sure the cost doesn’t get out of control (if you’re running paid campaigns, that is).
Conversely, if increasing conversions is your primary concern, then revenue and length of sales cycle may be better suited for the sales-minded campaigns you’re running.
No matter which KPI you decide on, be sure to follow it closely — if you lapse on this final step, all your hard work leading up to this point has been for naught. We’re of the opinion that tracking is usually the most important piece of the puzzle, as it tells you what’s working, what’s not, and why.
So remember: Writing content is a 2-way street; the writer isn’t talking to themselves, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Don’t get so wrapped up in writing the content that you forget to look at the response it’s having on readers.
Reach out today!
Speaking of KPIs — as a data-driven agency, we value results over everything. Our clients know that when they partner with us, we won’t pepper them with flowery language or waste their dollars chasing shiny new ad trends.
What we excel at is bringing innovative strategy to life, and driving real value across channels, campaigns and initiatives. That’s why we’ve worked with some of the most trusted brands in the world — organizations like NASA and Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center.
Do you have a market you’re looking to corner, a niche audience you’re trying to target? We can help. Our strategists are some of the best in the industry, and they’re well versed in punching up content and getting it in front of the right audiences.
Give us a call, use our online form, or leave a comment below to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.