Customers are the lifeblood of our business and ideal readers the lifeblood of our business blog. Every business I know of has a certain group of people they’re trying to reach, this is known as your target market. A business blog is a smart tool to use to reach that target market – a good business blog will be found by the ideal customer / reader (to me they are interchangeable) and a great business blog will convert those readers into customers.
In this post I am going to share how to use your business blog to reach your target market.
First, you need to determine who your target market is. Simple I know, but many people have no idea who their ideal customer is. We traded for 2 years (and did well) in our transport business with no clue who our ideal customer was. Things improved significantly once we worked it out and started to write for them.
So who is it you write for?
- Work at home moms
- small business owners,
- large business owners,
- mom’s who work outside the home,
- single men or women,
- people who make crafts
- or creatives?
There is a wide array of people who could be your target market, so determine who it is that you will be attracting to your business blog with the hope of building a relationship with.
Once your target market is determined, you can begin directing your blog posts towards them. In your title and the body of the post, use keywords that your potential customers would use to find that item or service on Google. For better traction I could have used the following headlines
- Mums – use your blog to reach your target market
- Women: Do you use your blog to reach customers effectively?
- Single? Use your blog to reach a partner
Ok, I’m pushing it more than a little with that last one But by using the audience I am looking to meet in the title I am talking directly to them and inviting them to come and take a look. You can also add a hashtag to your title, in this post I have #business in others I have #blogging or #Pinterest. This will also help ensure your blog post is found by the people looking for you. Once your ideal reader finds the blog post, you will want to keep them on your site as well as them remember you.
To achieve this goal, be sure the first page they come to has content that will catch their eye and interest them enough to look around some more. The top part of your blog, the area your customers see in their screen first, should have titles and headers directed to your target market, this reassures them that they are in the right place. In your posts link to other relevant articles so they can easily navigate around your site, this is known as deep-linking.
Your overall blog appearance should entice your reader to look around more. For instance, if you are selling baby clothing, your blog should feel like a baby store when your customers arrive. Use appropriate colours – pinks and blues are popular for a reason rarely do you find a successful red and black baby site. Your images, design and fonts can help you reassure your customers they are in the right place.
You also want to keep your blog appearance neat and clean, free of clutter (flashing gif adverts) that would draw them away from your site and take them to another. Sure, adverts above the fold convert better, but what are you advertising? Your own products that will keep them on site? Or someone else’s that takes your ideal reader away from you?
Using social media networking is fast becoming the number one way to reach your target market. There are hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon, Digg and so on. If you don’t personally have time, hire a virtual assistant or social media manager to do the social network marketing for your business. Be careful about automating everything – it’s tough to keep control of it when you do that. A well known social media expert has made such a complete mess of his automation that he is no longer in control of what he tweets If in doubt, consult a marketing expert.
Offer your readers a weekly newsletter that will be emailed to them.
I was a late comer to this, I knew I should be using Aweber or something to capture the data but it took me a while to actually get a grip on it and actually do it. On your blog, include an email submission form that your readers and customers will fill out giving you permission to email your business newsletter, promotions, specials or other pertinent information that they will benefit from. Permission first. Don’t automatically add people into your email list. It’s sleazy, it’s tacky and it hacks people off. Just because there is an unsubscribe button it doesn’t mean they will use it – they will hit spam and get your email address blacklisted.
Once you begin building your email list and sending valuable information to your subscribers on a regular basis, you will have loyal readers that will not only return to your blog time and again, but who will also talk about you and if you ask nicely, they’ll share your content with their social networks.
Reaching your target market doesn’t have to be difficult.
By using the information given here, being persistent (showing up to blog often) and consistent (rarely deviate from your main blog subject), soon you will begin to see the rewards from your hard work.
It does take time to build a loyal readership and doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen if you stick with it. In time the readers will become customers if you listen to what they have to say.
What tips do you have to reach your target audience with your blog?
PS I have a Kindle guide to Consistent, Compelling Content Creation. If you are know someone looking to make sense of content marketing, send them the way of the Kindle guide It’s aimed at complete beginners.