I’ve been a writer for more a decade now. I’ve written a little bit of everything— more or less successfully (witness my brief foray into poetry). Despite the wildly different styles, you don’t write comedic verse the same way you do a serious academic work, all of these experiences have had one thread that’s tied them together. Target audience.
But I don’t mean that I’ve written every work for a dedicated group of fans who have followed me around the country.
“Know your audience” is a common admonition to writers of all creeds. It’s not enough to have something to say. The most successful writers have purpose and an ultimate goal. Scholars, poets, and storytellers alike are guided by the thought of future readers.
The same holds true for the business blogger as well.
Blogging should have a goal.
The purpose of a content marketing blog, and inbound marketing services in general, is to attract new visitors to your website, create opportunities to convert visitors into customers, and turn new customers into brand promoters by continuing to delight them.
But who are you writing to? Sending out information to the whole internet at random is about as effective as not blogging at all.
The goal of blogging for a business is to draw in those people you can turn into loyal customers.
Good writing and effective marketing understand audience.
HubSpot, home to the guys who started the whole inbound marketing movement, emphasizes the importance of developing “buyer personas” which act as a detailed template of your ideal customer or, in other words, your audience.
Personas take what you know about the people who are already buying from you:
demographics (what kind of people are buying from you)
behavior patterns (what and how people are buying from you)
motivations and goals (why people are buying from you)
Pulling out this information allows you to uncover the heart of your customer base.
Once you know the people who are buying from you, what they’re looking for and why, you can start producing content to address pain points that others like them are looking to have resolved.
At Cleriti, we work with a number of retirement communities and senior care providers.
But we can’t just write on senior healthcare topics and be done with it, sending information out into the ether and hoping the right people find it. Of course we do write on senior healthcare, but there is always a purpose behind the articles—a buyer persona that provides focus.
There are many different people who might be interested in reading what a senior living community might have to say. All of them are searching for information, but they may not be asking the same questions. A 40-something nurse with an ailing mother and an older adult looking to lessen the burden of homeownership would probably both be willing to accept advice from senior living experts at a retirement community, but they probably have different pain points.
This is where personas come into play. They provide direction in two different ways:
Defining your target audience.
Directing the creation of content like blogs, eBooks, and social media posts to appeal to the needs and interests of those people you are trying to reach.
Once you have a handle on these two elements, you can begin to position yourself as an authority in your field or industry.