In order to be successful in the world of paid content, the information you share must be personalized to your stakeholders. It must address specific needs at a specific time. The only way to develop targeted, relevant content that people are willing to pay for is to know your audience and understand their motivations for buying what you have to sell.


Diving Deeper Than Demographics

Basic demographic information is important as you seek to understand your audience, but what does age, gender, ethnicity and geography really tell you about the people you are trying to connect with? In truth, not enough. To develop content that people want to buy, you must know your stakeholder attributes. Those insights include information and data like:

  • Priorities – What influences someone to allocate their precious time and financial resources to your knowledge?
  • Success Factors – What benefits would they like to receive from consuming your content?
  • Potential Barriers – What obstacles could prevent someone in your target audience from consuming your content?
  • Driving Questions – What questions do they have about your subject matter? What would they be searching for in order to find you? What do they need to know to achieve success?
  • Key Problems – What keeps them up at night? What problems are they trying to solve and how can you be there at the right time to solve those problems?
  • Decision Making Criteria – What drives them to make a purchase? What factors will make them say, “investing in this is worth my time and my money”?

When you know these insights about your stakeholders, you are able to generate content that is truly relevant to them – and that which they want to buy! The more you know about your audience, the more relevant and tailored your content will be. You can never know too much information about the people you want to reach.



Where Does Audience Knowledge Come From?

You cannot simply make assumptions about your audience in order to develop relevant, engaging content. In fact, making assumptions will set you up for failure. Discovering your stakeholder attributes requires a two-fold process of research and conversation.

Research will provide you with the hard data behind a stakeholder’s motivations. It will tell you their demographics, psychographics, how much they spend in your space, and the factors that go into their buying decisions.

To fully round out your understanding of your audience, interviews are extremely effective. If you want to learn what makes a stakeholder tick, just ask them. Conduct short interviews with the stakeholders you have identified to see if and how your research stacks up, and to uncover insights your research may not have uncovered.


Your Goals + Your Audience’s Goals = Success

When you embark on a content monetization journey, you will begin by setting your own goals. Those goals will drive the purpose of your content, but they must align with the goals of your audience, as well. Your goal may be to increase revenue for yourself or your business, but their goals might be finding a service that will help them achieve something in their personal or professional life. Success lies at the intersection of those two objectives.


The number one critical success factor in content monetization is knowing your audience and creating content that is tailored specifically to their needs. Diving deep into the things that drive and motivate your stakeholders lays the foundation for successfully selling content online.