This may seem like a simple idea, because it is. But many businesses launch a blog as a part of a miraculous online overall marketing strategy without figuring out the target market for their blog.
You wouldn’t make that mistake, would you?
Ask Yourself this Question: "Who Cares?"
Who is going to read this blog? And why? What are you trying to tell the people who do read? What do you want them to walk away knowing about your business, your product, your service, your guarantee?
Define Your Ideal Reader
As a small business, you have some idea of your target market; you’d better. Who is interested in your product or service? What’s your client base?
What do you know about their demographics? What’s the gender, age range, spot in the social strata, income of your typical customer?
Remember: “Content that doesn’t serve your primary audience serves no purpose. In fact, it can create a cross-purpose, making your site seem like it’s off-strategy and confusing your users, maybe even driving them away. People like to frequent sites that clearly have them in mind…” -Lori Culwell, Million Dollar Website
Find the Readers in Your Target Market
Let’s say you know your target market; now, of this target market, what percentage do you think reads blogs on a regular basis? 100%? Doubtful.
The audience that you target with your business blog is a portion of your whole target market.
You may also want to expand outside of your target market and reach a group you know is online but isn’t aware of your service, product or business at all.
You can either focus on a portion of your target or you can expandÂ into new target territory. There’s a big difference between those two groups; one may know you, love you, and be waiting to eat up whatever you can offer. With those customers, you already have a solid trust relationship and an established, ongoing interest in your product or service. The other group of new target territory needs to start at square one.
Build an Audience Profile
So your task is to figure out who will read your blog and to be as precise as possible.
Answer this question as specifically as you can. Build an audience profile by describing an ideal blog reader in (fictional) detail.
Here’s a sample profile for a bookstore owner who wants to begin a business blog:
“My ideal blog reader is a married woman in her late 20s to early 30s. She has young kids. She and her husband are middle-class to upper-middle-class. He has a steady job. She probably stays home with the kids, maybe planning to pursue her career once they are in school, or she may be working part-time or running a home business. She’s smart, she’s a reader, she’s well-educated with a college degree. She’s just gotten past the intense baby stage and is getting back into reading, and she’s looking for a blog that will catch her up on the latest books, the ones she missed, what the literary trends are, what people like reading, and where she can find it all.”
If all you can come up with is a very basic “men in their 30s” or “teens interested in sports,” then you need to find out more. How can you do that?
- Analyze your best customers.
- Create a customer survey.
What do your great customers have in common? Find those points and you’re on your way to building an accurate audience profile.
Use a simple survey to get more information about the customers you do have.
Send an email out to your list, asking for input on what they want to read about your topic.
Make It Happen
These are starting points. You can dig deeply into demographics, and there’s a point where too much information becomes useless. But for most of us bloggers, too much information about our readers isn’t the problem. We need to know our audience so that we can write for them. Otherwise, we’re producing content that is just another echo in the vastness of the Internet.
So get out there and do it. Spend an hour or so brainstorming. Ask questions, do some research, and put together an audience profile. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just needs to give you a starting point for content that attracts and serves your target market.
Annie Mueller enjoys creating a personal yet professional voice to render complex topics understandable. Her passion is helping home, small, and micro businesses succeed. Read more about Annie here.