3 Ways to Align Your Blog Content with Your Target Audience was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.
It’s the question that’s on many people’s minds when they have a blog – who is our audience? What matters to them? If you have a niche blog – one that’s already focused on a particular subject matter – you already know your audience is interested in that, but how do you:
- Continuously hold their attention?
- Give them what they want?
- Draw in new readers?
- Align content with business offerings?
Understanding your audience is at times a guessing game. Your theories about who you’re talking to are made stronger by incremental data gathered over time. But you have to start from somewhere, right?
So before you start tracking your popular content in analytics, you have to think about what’s even relevant to your audience. What to write.
So let’s have a starting point. And that starting point is your business. What are the things your business offers its community? What are the things your brand is known for? How can you align your content to the people who need what you have, in a way that offers value to them?
Today, that’s what we’re going to talk about – a path for creating content for your blog.
1. Segment your audience by your products/services.
You have services and/or products. Who buys them? Start thinking about the differences in your audience by the service/product type (or groups of services/products). When you think about the differences, the persona sometimes becomes very clear.
Ask when they use your products and services and why? What are they trying to achieve? If you have the resources to do a branding exercise, this can be super helpful. But if you don’t, that’s OK, too. Brainstorming on your own or with your team can give you a great starting point.
Let’s use BCI as an example. Our audience type typically varies based on our products and services. We have a category of those who engage in services with us, and then another category of those who take SEO training, use the SEOToolSet and buy our books.
And then we have another audience, our industry. And this category is important to us, too. We also have an audience that will likely never buy from us, but they consume our content, like the blog and newsletter.
These audiences have different interests in the content they want and a whole different set of problems from one another. Some of them may need 101-level content, some may need more advanced content. Some may want tactical how-to info and some may need strategic plans. And some may just want to connect with us on a human level.
Go through this exercise with your business. Write up a persona profiles based on what you know about your audience, and add to it as time goes on. The more data you collect in analytics or by talking to your audience in comments or in social media (where the audience often overlaps), the more defined your persona profiles will be.
2. Know when your audience will crossover to another segment.
There will usually be overlap with your audience. And it’s important to recognize this overlap. Expanding on the BCI example we spoke about in the previous section, we know that sometimes people who buy the book will eventually sign up for training.
When you’re thinking about the behavior of your audience and what they need, think about the stages they go through during the span of their engagement with you. What first might be a book purchase could lead to a training class could lead to services.
It might be helpful to quickly sketch a diagram of the type of customer (segmented by product/service) and what path they are likely to go on during their relationship with you.
- Reads blog or newsletter > Buys book, attends training, signs up for tools
- Bought book > Attends training, reads blog, signs up for newsletter
- Attends conference training > Signs up for extended training
- Takes training course > Buys services
- Signs up for tools > Buys book, attends training
This type of information can be particularly relevant if you are doing email marketing, but you can also align your blog content with the journey of the customer as well. The types of information they want at different stages of their engagement with your brand varies.
Which brings me to the next point …
3. Know what they are searching for.
Keyword research and audience go hand-in-hand. The information you uncover about who your audience is and what they want fuels your keyword research.
It’s important to know what your audience is searching for because you want to attract new people to your blog with the content you create surrounding the products or services you offer.
Once you have a good list of keywords, segmented by product/service/audience, you want to begin thinking about what sort of content is appropriate for that audience.
This is not only important for attracting new readers to your blog at the moment they are looking for that information, but also because you want to connect with your existing audience and give them the type of information they need.
This is where the personas you’ve already written up can come in handy. And you can also bulk them up in this stage, too. What do these people need at this point in their journey? What are they expecting from your brand? How can you help?
For example, you can make the inference that someone who buys your book (let’s use our book as an example), is a do-it-yourselfer, a small business owner, a budding SEO.
When you understand what challenges your audience faces at what stage, you can begin assigning topics to keywords and building that content into your editorial calendar to offer content to this type of persona.
And don’t forget about the different ways people learn. You can further tailor your content by taking into consideration the many ways people like to consume content.
Did you find this post useful? Do you have comments or ideas? Do tell below!