Are you wondering how you can reach out to more people with your blog? Are you trying to create content that appeals to your target audience?
Part of developing a content marketing plan is taking the time to understand your market. But how do you do that?
How well do you know your audience? If you answered “not at all”, then your blog posts aren’t going to connect with them as well as they should.
Market research is neither easy nor quick, but the benefit of asking the right questions and getting responses from your target customer is ultimately invaluable.
When you really think about it, it also gives you the opportunity to turn cold contacts into leads. People like to talk about themselves, and asking for their feedback and opinion is a good way to esteem them. Moreover, it’s a chance for you to let them know what you are doing, and they may even become interested in your business as a result.
There are a variety of different ways to communicate with your target community members. You can’t underestimate the value of face-to-face interaction, but talking to several hundred or even several thousand people over lunch could prove challenging. Here are some other ways to gather feedback:
- Phone calls: the next best thing after in-person communication is a phone call. You can pick up the tone of people’s voices and get a better sense of who they are and what they value over the phone.
- Email: you can send out personally addressed emails and ask pertinent questions. With email, it’s important to keep things personal. If your message is too business-oriented, you may not get a response as it may come across as too salesy (“salesy” is not really a word, but you know what I mean).
- Email campaigns: you can solicit feedback using your email campaigns. You may not get many responses this way, but if you use effective call to actions and other tools to connect, you will likely see better results.
- Surveys: many email marketing services now allow you to attach or create surveys for your campaigns. This is a great way to get a sense of what your existing audience wants.
- Video conferencing: you can use tools like Skype, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, or other video conferencing solutions to collect data. These options are almost as good as in-person conversations.
Of course, you need to know what questions to ask. Without a fairly consistent plan, it’s going to prove difficult to find trends and commonalities in your data.
In my mind, these are the most important questions to ask:
- What is your goal/objective/dream/vision?
- What is your biggest challenge?
- What would help you overcome these challenges?
- What would it mean for you if you could overcome these challenges?
Jeremy Frandsen and Jason Van Orden of Internet Business Mastery discuss the subject of understanding your audience in more detail in episode 221 of their podcast. The aforementioned questions come from that episode.
In asking these questions, there are several important things you need to pay attention to:
- The language that your audience uses to describe their challenges. How do they communicate? What words do they use?
- The goals that your audience identified. It may seem pretty common sense, but you should note what your community members are interested in accomplishing.
- The problems that your audience identified. What pressing needs do they have right now? What is their greatest challenge?
- The solution your audience is seeking. How can you provide what they are asking for and in what format?
Depending on the market you are trying to reach, they may respond best to different mediums. Blog posts alone can take a variety of different formats, but if you were to use graphics, whitepapers and PDFs, audio (podcasts) and video to connect with your audience, you would have a variety of options to consider.
Fundamentally, this process is about creating the content that best connects with your target audience. Some may prefer to read, while others may want to listen or watch. Focus on generating what benefits them.
Conclusion: Target Your Audience
When you take the time to understand your audience and speak their language, you will create powerful magnetic content that will draw them in.
Are you attracting the right kind of people to your blog? If not, don’t worry, that’s what I’m here for. Please get in touch with me so that we can discuss how we can better connect with your target audience.