According to Orbit Media Studios’ recent Department of Blogger Labor Survey, 54 percent of the more than 1,000 bloggers who responded publish content at least once per week.
You might ask, how are they producing so much content and consistently producing it? And how are they generating so many topic ideas?
Chances are they know their audience and know them well. Beyond basic demographic information, they likely know the minute details, like what their interests and struggles are, what other types of media they consume, where they get their news and information, what motivates them, who or what influences them, and so on. Within this knowledge lies a content marketing pot of gold, and it’s the source of epic ideas and content that deepens engagement and hopefully gets people talking.
It’s all about tailoring your products and messaging to specific segments of your audience; you’re problem solving. And when you do that, you appeal to certain pain points specific to them, and you speak their language.
You may have heard them called avatars or buyer personas, but whatever the moniker, it’s essentially a prototype of your customer or reader. This prototype is created from the research you conduct about potential buyers or readers through interviews and analyzing their behaviors online and off.
Once you know what influences their emotions; the questions, concerns, and fears they may have; what they are most interested in; and what motivates them, you can use this to plan your content marketing strategy. These insights are your honey pot.
To uncover these insights it does take work, but it will prove to be time well spent. If you have an existing audience, you might start by talking to your customers or readers. Typically one-on-one interview style conversations are best, as they allow you to dig a little deeper with follow-up questions. You can also survey or poll your social networks and email database.
What if you don’t have an existing audience from which to glean information? Fret not. There are a number of fact-finding approaches you can take. These also work for those who do already have an audience, and in fact, I suggest not limiting your research to just your current audience. You might uncover an untapped segment and new ideas by discovering what motivates those who aren’t consuming your content. A few tactics include:
Bottom line, get out there and start having conversations online and off. Keep a pen and pad (or Evernote) handy, and get ready for the ideas to start flowing in.
Hi Beth- Great post! I find that sometimes it’s not so much creating the article but getting customers to engage and comment etc. Do you have any opinions on the best way to achieve this?
Really good insights Beth. Definitely something I should be doing more often… and will be now!
Thanks for contributing, Beth! I’ve gotten insights and topic ideas from comments before, but I’ve reached out to people on forums. You just gave me a few ideas of places to look …and listen. Thanks again, Beth!
Thank you Andy for the opportunity to contribute!
I just interviewed a realtor here in Phoenix who focused on building a community around his business. He started a series of social meetups at local restaurants and bars, more focused on socialization than business. Over time (he’s been doing it for three years), he’s developed some solid relationships (with his target customer base), and though he didn’t think about this going in, he has gained some powerful insights. When any of those people do come to him to purchase a home, he already knows their likes/dislikes, family situation, where they work and play, etc.
So building community is another great way to get insights, but also have fun doing so!
that’s sounds great.. 🙂
What are your thoughts?