Defining the Audience for Your Curated Content

Discovering the Target for Your Intelligence Adds Value to the Content Curation Process. Part 4 of 5 in a Series.

Before you can transform your curated content into targeted intelligence, you need to decide whom you want to target. Will your audience be everyone at your organization, or will you create content for a specific group, team, level, position or discipline? Alternatively, will you create targeted intelligence around a topic, subject area, product or market?

Targeted Intelligence is the practice of delivering timely updates from a team who curate content using various technologies to select the appropriate information. The goal: easily digestible updates that can be pushed to a variety of channels, such as portals, widgets, mobile applications, email briefings and more.

Strange as it may seem, curating content for one part of an audience may improve the results for everyone. As in public speaking, focusing on one segment improves the experience for a larger group.

By asking several key questions, you can pinpoint the who, what, when and where of your organization’s information needs. From there, a powerful information strategy falls into place, customized to your users and your organization.

The 4 Key Questions You Need to Ask

To pinpoint your target audience, you must ask four critical questions. Try to define as specifically as possible:

  • If your organization has more than one location or employees working remotely, who will have access?
  • Is this intended for any specific branch, division, department or other group(s) within your organization?
  • Are there specific job titles or positions for whom this is intended?
  • Do you have access to organizational charts, directories or other lists that can help you determine your potential audience size?

Asking these questions will allow you to determine the size, scope and function of your target audience. Knowing who needs information, and in what context, enables you to assess user needs and design solutions that are user-focused.
Assess Your Users’ Information Needs

Once you know for whom you want to create targeted intelligence, you can start assessing their information needs. To discover what the underlying purpose behind your updates will be, consider doing the following:

  • Determining where potential users get their information, including questions to determine the most popular sources.
  • Determining if there are any observable readership patterns by looking at information usage records, such as web analytics. Try to identify high-usage and low-usage resources. Some under-used resources can be the most useful—it may just be an awareness problem.
  • Determining the most important and least important issues for potential readers. For example, you may want to ask potential readers to rank a handful of topics or series of representative articles on a scale of one to five, based on importance.
  • Determining which categories of targeted intelligence match up with the issues that matter: competitive intelligence, business information, financial information, regional information, product-specific information or any combination of these.

By using these tips, you will be able to discover who your target audience is, and what value this audience is expecting from the intelligence you will deliver to them. Armed with audience information and targeted intelligence strategies, your organization will be prepared to deliver high-value information to users wherever they may be.