If You Want to Make Money, Make Content For Viewers, Not For Yourself
Many years ago, I was at a startup pitch with a founder and he was so adamant about the fact that he was the greatest of all customers of his company. He used the product all of the time and was still trying to figure out why more people weren’t using his product. I asked him the simple question, “how many people in the world are like you?” He was dumbfounded to come to the realization that his target audience was really small. As you build your content and think about an audience have you ever wondered, ”I am posting on my many passions on social media but not really generating the following or engagement I need to gain prominence as an influencer?” The vast array of content you’re sharing that is interesting to you might be getting some supportive “likes,” but you’re not likely to gain much traction unless you’re able to commit to the one specific niche that makes you stand out to your audience.
Let’s say you’re really passionate about a few popular niches on social media, such as fashion, food and parenting. As you begin creating content in these areas, you realize you start to gain the most engagement from your posts about your favorite food recipes. But since you notice other influencers you follow have been successful in the fashion and parenting spaces, you continue posting photos, or uploading videos, about your wardrobe, and your kids, to try to get more attention there too. Now, you’re likely to notice you’re actually losing followers, and not receiving the same level of engagement as you did earlier on with your food content.
You might think you just have to improve on how you present all this different content to get the same level of engagement out of everything you post. But this is wasted time and energy that should be spent on the one area where you were initially more successful.
While there are some influencers who do see lucrative outcomes from a more general “lifestyle” niche, stick to what your followers are telling you they want to see from you. Your unique personality, background or experience may be what’s empowering you to convey meaningful content about a specific subject that your audience finds incredibly valuable. But an audience becomes confused when it starts seeing content from an influencer that is irrelevant to the topic that drew initial interest (bizpop.media). And a confused audience is likely to stop following an influencer altogether.
So continue doing more of what you did to shine in the space where you have proven to have the most natural talent. If you can continue to do your daily research and showcase your expertise in your niche, you’re more likely to gain popularity and grow your following and engagement, which can lead to monetizing your content through influencer marketing deals.
How can you make sure you’re creating content that your audience actually wants? Try these methods:
- Use Google to research your niche: More specifically, you can learn a lot of new topic ideas through Google Trends: This tool helps you understand the trending topics that your niche audience is searching, so you can improve the relevancy of your content.
- Read Reddit to see what your target audience is talking about: Reddit consists of community message boards, which contain real questions people are asking. Once you start scrolling through, you’ll notice which questions are being asked again, and again. These are the best inspiration ideas to use for your content because you know a lot of people will be looking for the answer you provide. You can also filter by popular posts over time, such as today, or over the last week, month or year.
- Check social media analytics: If you’re a YouTube creator for instance, check the analytics section to understand what’s been happening on your channel over the past 28 days. See what days of the week, and times of day, you got the most views. This helps you understand when your audience is most active and what time of the day you should be uploading your videos. You can also see which videos have gotten the most views within the last 48 hours, or within a 90 day period, so you know which topics are generating the most traffic. You can also track how your viewers are finding you, and which keywords are driving them to your videos. The analytics also provide demographic information about your viewers, including geographic location, age and gender, which helps you target your messages even more accurately
- Read your comments and create polls: Let your viewers tell you exactly what they want to see. If you’re an Instagram influencer, asking a question in the captions of your posts sparks comments, conversations and other questions from your audience that could guide the content of your future posts. Also, in your Instagram stories, you can add “Yes/No” poll questions that ask your audience if they found what you shared interesting, or if they would like to see content on a certain topic.
After deciding to streamline your content based on what your audience and the analytics are telling you is your strong suit, you might be asking, “Am I selling out if I’m more focused on what others like and want to see, rather than what I like and want to share?” You definitely don’t want to lose your passion, because that’s what’s going to validate your authenticity. Your audience can read your energy, so you should always be posting about something you love. You just shouldn’t be posting about everything you love, especially if it’s irrelevant to anyone but you