If used correctly, blogs can be one of the most powerful marketing tools for any type of business. Through blog content, you get the chance to define your brand’s values, give your business a voice and appeal to your target audience. That, of course, if you know who your audience is.
Defining your audience means knowing who you are talking to when you are creating content. It means asking yourself who is going to read everything that you put to much work into writing. Just like Adidas knows they want to appeal to people between 20 to 29-year-old, who take an interest in sports, or lead a generally active life, you need to know who is the main group of people that check your blog regularly.
Some people say that you don’t need to have an exact idea about the target market, as long as your blog falls into a certain niche. Truth be told, they might have a completely wrong idea, and here’s why.
Your audience is not your niche
The niche of your blog represents the area around which your content revolves, but it does not define your audience. If it would, we could safely assume that a person who writes about traveling on a budget shares the same audience as those who write about luxurious resorts. After all, they both talk about travel, right? Wrong, actually.
Knowing your target audience means having a clearly defined person in mind, every time you sit down and write something. This applies to any type of blog, no matter if you use it as a marketing tool, or if blogging is your full-time career.
The problem that most people have with defining their audience, especially when it comes to blogs that are promoting a certain type of products or services, is that they think their audience is just like them.
If, for example, you are selling custom-made furniture, you may think that people actually want to read about how to make said furniture. While there are actually people that might be interested in that, they might actually be your competition, instead of your target audience. Why not write something about interior design instead? The person who is going to buy your furniture may be more interested in how they can incorporate it in their home, rather than how it was made.
It nurtures the process of creation
When you have a clearly defined targeted typology in mind, it will be much easier for you to create content. Ask yourself, what would that person be interested in finding out today? When you start your writing process with a clear question in mind, creative juices will start pouring.
Truth be told, the internet is filled with information on all sorts of topics, so it becomes almost impossible to come up with a new idea that nobody else thought about. What successful bloggers do, is they manage to combine two or more of the ideas they find online and come up with something that sounds new and innovative. This is what the process of creation is all about. And, when you do that with a clear audience in mind, finding innovative ways to combine those ideas becomes much easier.
This is how you become an expert
Martin Summers, content creator explains: “While there is nothing wrong writing how-to guides, they are not really the type of content an expert should focus on. And, if you want to succeed, you need to aim for being an expert in your industry. You become an expert when you provide your audience with information they can actually use on a daily basis; the information they don’t have where else to get.”
When you know who the person you are talking to is, you will know what type of advice to offer, which will put you in an expert position. Because experts don’t talk generalities. They talk specifics and they aim to teach others why those specifics are important.
At the same time, an expert knows how and when not to sound like an expert. Someone with expertise in software development, for example, will know how to explain to people what continuous integration is, without overusing technical notions.
By writing every piece of content with your target audience in mind, you will know what type of language you use, to ensure all your posts are effortlessly readable for your visitors.
It unleashes unlimited writing potential
There comes a point where your audience becomes your extended group of friends, which means you start to engage with them and exchange opinions. Whether it is in the comments section of a blog post, via email, or social media, your audience wants to interact with you. This uncovers a whole new potential for finding out what your audience wants to read more about.
Whether you launch a direct question about their preferences, or you come up with a list of topics and ask them to choose between those, you can use your audience to broaden your area of expertise.
Whenever you talk to a visitor, make sure to take notes on their feedback and put that into use when you are left without ideas. By finding solutions to their actual problems, you manage to gain their trust and really build up a connection.
How to define your audience – a simple exercise
To put it simply you only need to answer two main questions, in order to define your target audience:
“Who is the person you are creating content for?” and “What is their pain point?”
But finding the answer to those questions can be quite difficult sometimes. To simplify the process, try to create a short resume for the ideal user by completing this form:
- Geographical area:
- Marital and familial status:
- How do they fill out their free time?
- What are they unusually browsing online?
- What is their main problem?
- How can you manage to solve that problem?
Once you have an actual person in mind, it will be much easier to put yourself in their shoes and write mindful content.
In order to write high-quality content, you need to have a clear idea about who is going to read it. It is not enough just to find a niche. You need to actually have a real type of person in mind, to actually be able to identify their problems and provide solutions for them. Otherwise, you may end up considering yourself the protagonist, when, in reality, it should be all about the customer.