Balancing Your Reader’s Knowledge When Blogging

When starting content marketing, it can be difficult to determine how “beginner” or “advanced” your topics need to be. Writing too rudimentary can limit potential customer’s interest in doing business with you (think about “I only hire people who know more than me” mentality). Yet writing too advanced may alienate or turn off your audience.

Working in Internet marketing, the knowledge of departments can vary greatly from hardcore pros to newbies (speaking of which we just developed a content offer “What is a sitemap?”). The same goes for other B2B industries. Here are some ideas to help you gauge your audience’s knowledge of a topic:

Client meetings
Our client meetings can uncover a lot of marketing struggles, misinformation and confusion. Take note of frequently asked questions or complicated services that require multiple explanations. With this information, brainstorm how to best deliver the answers—is it a blog post, infographic, video or other content tactic?

Quick surveys
If you have an engaged social media following, Twtpoll is a free tool to create quick one or multi-question surveys for your audience to answer. We recommend sticking to a maximum of two multiple-choice questions or one open ended question to avoid incompletions. You can ask your audience general inquiries (e.g. “What is your knowledge of native advertising?”) or about specific steps in their business (e.g. “How often are you implementing a native ad campaign?”)

Follow new buzzwords
Putting your spin on a new trend in your industry is a great content marketing strategy. But how can you determine which direction to go? Or what if the buzzword is already exhausted? Topsy’s social analytics tool can compare up to three keywords and their tweet volume across a 30-day timeframe. Below is an example of measuring two similar buzzwords in the marketing world. Based on this graph we could deduce that there is a good amount of discussion around native advertising, but brand journalism hasn’t received as much attention in the past month.


Sentiment analysis
Paid media monitoring tools such as Vocus, Meltwater and Cision come with qualitative data such as tone and sentiment. Evaluate a reporter’s tone by searching for articles that use keywords you want to write about. Another option is to read comments of popular articles and see if there are follow up questions. Professional reporters are already in tune with what your audience understands and is interested in, so it can never hurt to follow their lead.


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