Posts tagged ‘Target Audience’

In my opinion, the key to successful blogging is to:

  1. Demonstrate your expertise in a generous, thoughtful way.  SHARE DON’T SELL.
  2. Show your personality, have an opinion and write about topics that are of interest to you and your target audience – Corporate marketing belongs on your website
  3. Include plenty of “calls to action”.  Guide your readers in to engaging with you and be prepared to utilise social media yourself.

In part 1 I shared the first part of my presentation to members of The Business Club Cambridge which focused on deciding on your blogging style.  In this post, the emphasis will be on generating ideas that add interest, provoke thought and engage your audience.

Building Trust in your field of work

Writing posts that demonstrate your expertise, experience, authority on a subject will help earn kudos and differentiate you from your competitors.  I find it also enhances my own personal CPD.

To make these posts successful, ensure you do more than regurgitate facts.  For example, include your personal view point or explain a recent, relevant circumstance or how the information you are sharing has helped your or a client of yours.

Specialist Subjects

Your sector will be full of interesting information, new products/services, events, research and development that you could blog about.  Mosts sectors have magazines or news sites devoted to them.

Remember not to get too technical, you are writing for your target audience not your industry peers.  If you are writing about something technical, rather than focus on the detail, discuss its application to SME’s or other relevant demographic so that is can be interesting to your social media audience.

The aim is to give away enough information to be seen as a specialist worth approaching.  Jargon will leave people thinking that you can not communicate on their level and don’t forget to add personality to your writing, you are composing a blog not a thesis.

Current Affairs

General subjects as local news, social media, gadgets and travel are always popular and can help break up your blog and give you the opportunity to voice an opinion.

How political and/or controversial you are is completely dependant on the style you chose to adopt (see part 1) in order to engage your target audience, but please avoid distasteful subjects, ethical issues and inappropriate language.

To search for ideas, look at the blogs you read, the mainstream news sites, Linked in and Twitter.  Obviously you don’t want to copy other peoples ideas or work, but often reading will spark inspiration or a desire to share your point of view. Think about how the current affair will affect you personally or your industry; perhaps you have a solution or an alternative.

If you are still struggling, have a browse around http://alltop.com/ or a similar blog listing site.

Business Experiences

Why not blog about what you have achieved in the past week/month/year?  A little bragging can go along way provided it is not too egotistical.  It can help potential customers to understand who you are and how you can help them.

Case studies can showcase your work and demonstrate the type of clients you are engaged with as well as provide an opportunity for users of that product/service to add uninitiated testimonials.

Or how about publishing frequently asked questions? Or perhaps bizarre questions your clients have asked you!  Many of the posts you will find on this blog are a result of questions I have been asked.  Once I have constructed the answer, it doesn’t take much time to publish it.

Guest Authors

If your target market needs a broad range of information (or you are simply bereaft of inspiration) why not source a guest blogger, after all you can not be an expert in everything.  Most bloggers and networkers would be flattered to be approached and the back links, additional traffic and strong relationships than can be built are invaluable.

In summary

Blogging can be a time consuming marketing activity, so above all else you need to stick to your plan and remember the 3 points I opened this post with.

Inspiration for content is all around us, just open your eyes and ears.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

Further reading http://www.zenspill.com/attract-more-readers/

 

Blogging and social media is a regular topic of interest at The Business Club Cambridge.  In May, Chris Markham, Neil Hamilton-Meikle and I hosted a blogging workshop aimed at members who have often considered starting a blog but have procrastinated for too long.

Neil covered the basics of getting started such as choosing a platform, I discussed content generation and Chris gave some insights in to getting your blog noticed and generating meaningful business leads.

I thought it would be useful to share with you, the outline of my presentation.

Your Style…

Before you can generate constuctive ideas or devise a plan/strategy for your blog, you need to be clear about the style of your blog.

Your own personality and goals should determine this, but take time to consider:

  1. Your target audience.  Professionals? Niche? Mums at home? Young People?  What will they be interested in? How much time/money do they have to spend? What kind of language/grammer is appropriate?  Also, consider that readers may be your current client base, sharing knowledge is a great tool for client retention so don’t just think of it as a lead generation exercise.
  2. What “calls to action” need to be included to achieve your objectives.  For example, are you hoping for a call, a newsletter sign up or SEO for your main website?  Then ASK, be clear about what you want your readers to do.  Are there “key words” that you need to incorporate for SEO?
  3. How you will promote interaction (comments, social media sharing, bookmarking etc)  Blogging is all about sharing information to build trust amongst your peers and clients.
  4. How often will you post a blog?  And what time of the day/week/month is best for you and your audience?  To build rapport you need to blog regularly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean frequently.  Quality definitely overrules quantity.
  5. What are your competitors doing?  How will you differentiate yourself?
  6. What format will you use?  Short paragraphs, full articles, infographics, links, video…..
  7. Will you actively seek guest authors?  This is a great way to share readership, build alliances and double the social media impact, but be careful not to confuse your audience, the posts must be relevant to them and contribute to your overall strategy.

Once you have these issues clearly documented, you will find ideas for content everywhere you look and there is not enough time in the day to cover them, so a structured plan is essential.

Part 2 will look at what to write and how to generate ideas that will work.

 

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.