No matter how much experience you have writing content, it is important understanding your audience in order to gain qualified prospects and new customers. Use these five strategies to help you understand your target market and their needs:
Step 1- Your Ideal Client
Think about who your readers or customers are. What are their needs, wants and goals? You can expand on this by creating a personality profile or buyer persona based on the information that you believe is relevant for your blog’s followers. Find out what they’re looking for with your content and topics, and then give it to them!
Step 2- Interviewing Potential Leads
Ask questions about your blog topics and content to people you know, and then ask people who you think may be a potential reader of your blog or buyers of your product or service. Find out their demographics – their age, gender, occupation, interests, etc. – and then create charts and statistics based on the information that you found.
You can also get to know your target audience by looking through different types of media, such as websites and social media, to see what your niche group is saying or answering online via tweets or comments.
Step 3- Know Your Competition
While it is unfair (and sometimes illegal) to copy what another company is creating, it is possible to gather ideas from what we see on their website and social media posts. Explore their website and blog articles to get a better understanding of what their audience enjoys learning about, and then determine how their audience can relate to your content and what YOU offer that differentiates your product or service from your competitor.
Another strategy that can also help in the long-run is networking with your competitor and possibly working together in the future. Obviously, not something you both offer, but the one offs that complement each other and don't compete. You both can share resources together and even guest post on each other’s blog so that both of you receive more traffic and revenue.
One example is a locksmith and a video security specialist. A locksmith might not handle CCTV security systems, but they get asked a lot about adding cameras to upgrade their current security in the office. And a video surveillance expert might offer the camera aspect, but not the access control part where employees scan a key card to gain entry to the building. These are complementary services that don't directly compete. Win win right?
Step 4- Engage in Niche Forums & Blog Discussions
Join discussion groups and forums online related to the interests of your niche. You will not only be able to see what they are saying or looking for, but you can also engage with them in conversations related to the topics. This could even give you more authority with your followers as you continue discussions online.
Even within your own blog, you can engage with your readers who comment or ask questions related to articles. This can be an advantage in the long-run, because you are building trust within your online community and allows your readers to get to know you on a more personal and direct level. Let them know that you are listening to their questions, needs, and you are the go-to for education on this topic.
Step 5- Use Tracking and Research Tools
Statistical studies and keyword trends can provide you with more in-depth information about what your audience is searching for, as well as, what they think about certain topics or products. Look for these key indicators when researching you audience:
- Comments – are your readers giving negative or positive feedback to a specific topic?
- Demographics – what is your average reader like, statistically speaking?
- Relevancy – why are people actually visiting your site or blog, and is it relevant to your content?
- Backlinks – can you gather audience information from those who are sharing your links elsewhere?
Walk through these strategies when brainstorming and you’ll have a better understanding of who your audience members are and what will provide them with the best content and service.
For more information on creating compelling content that will turn your blog readers into paying customers, download our new eBook. Ready for the next step? Checkout our ultimate compilation of content marketing resources and tools.