All businesses who are producing content share one goal: to increase their following. Whether it be on social media or through blog posts, businesses everywhere struggle to organically increase their reach to consumers. There are numerous ways to address this reach-issue, but there is one step in particular that businesses often overlook—and it so happens to be the most important.
Before you even begin to think of things like SEO or social media ads to increase your reach, your first step should be to accurately and clearly define your audience. Even if you would like your audience to be every person on planet earth, that simply is not possible. Every business has a specific audience, and they must first figure out who exactly that audience is before they begin to release content.
Many businesses make the mistake of assuming they know who their audience is without ever explicitly defining it. These assumptions almost inevitably result in mis-targeted content, and so long as your content—however exceptional it may be—is reaching the wrong people, it will be impossible to organically increase that reach.
To “organically” grow your following means to provide consumers with content useful and relevant to them, for only then will they 1) absorb your content, and 2) spread your content with others. It is easy to think of content solely in relation to your marketing objectives, but in reality, content should be thought of in relation to its audience. No matter how great your product or service is, you will not be able to grow your following if you are not effectively crafting it toward your optimum audience.
In order to determine your audience—not the one you wish you had, but the one you realistically have—you have to first be honest with yourself. Not everyone will be interested in your content, which is why you should direct your time and energy towards those who should be (key word: “should”).
Even your ideal audience may be disinterested in your content, but that is a good problem to have because it has a solution. Producing content for people who will more than likely never be your target audience is a doomed endeavor, but producing content for people who actually are your target audience means that there will always be a possibility of reaching them—you just have to figure out the best way to achieve that aim.