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Writing a blog is time-consuming and labor-intensive, but blogs are also an integral part of most marketing strategies.
Not only do blogs provide valuable SEO advantages for your website, but they allow your audience to get to know your brand better.
Through blogs, you can connect with your audience, develop loyal customers, and entice new readers to visit your website or sign up for your e-newsletter.
But it’s difficult to write a blog that catches readers’ attention if you’re not quite sure who you’re writing for.
Performing blog market research so that you can better understand your target audience is an essential step in developing a quality blog.
Done well, market research can help to improve your blog reach so you get better results from all of the time you invest in creating content.
Why Understanding Your Ideal Target Audience Matters
Your blog may already be up and running, but with some market research, you can better understand your ideal target audience.
Investing time into researching your audience won’t only increase your reach, but can improve the overall effectiveness of your blog, as well.
When you understand your audience, it improves the quality of your writing. You’ll be better able to nail your marketing strategy, identifying topics that your audience will find interesting and identify with.
You can tailor your tone to appeal to your audience, choose photographs that your readers will connect with, and make your entire blog appear to have been written specifically for your readers.
If you’re using your blog to market a business, this personalized feel can help your audience to feel connected to and understood by your business, which can lead to customer loyalty and other perks for you.
Understanding your audience can also lead to increased reader engagement. Readers who like, comment on, and share your blog are particularly valuable.
When you understand your audience, you can include special offers and calls to action that they’re more likely to pursue.
This means that whether you’re encouraging readers to buy a product, take advantage of a special, or sign up for your e-newsletter, you have a better chance of getting them to take that action when you know just who you’re writing for.
Blog Market Research Strategies to Identify Your Ideal Target Audience
Marketing research is a multi-step process, but you can complete the first step all on your own.
Start by asking yourself four questions to develop a more detailed understanding of your target audience:
- Who are your customers?
- What do those customers currently buy?
- Why do those customers buy the things that they do?
- What will make those customers buy from you?
Give each question careful thought and try to answer the questions in as much detail as possible.
When describing your customers, try to use details such as their occupations, incomes, education, age, and other defining factors.
Next, it’s time for some research. You can perform your own research on your customers by running surveys and asking them directly for their feedback and for some demographic information.
You can also use some secondary research by referring to studies and statistics on your general audience that other people, such as governments, have compiled.
Keep in mind that secondary research usually lacks detail that’s specific to your business and may be a bit more inaccurate than your own carefully thought out research will be.
In defining and researching your audience, don’t forget to look at what your competitors are doing. How are they marketing to their audiences and who makes up their target audiences?
You may be able to gain valuable insights about your own audience based on what competitors are doing.
How Data Shapes Your Marketing
Data also plays an important role in shaping your marketing so that you can reach and communicate with your target audience.
Between 80-90% of both B2B and B2C businesses consider content marketing to be an important part of their marketing plans, and data can make content marketing more accurate and effective.
By collecting and analyzing data, you can review the types of blogs that your audience engages with the most.
And you can also pinpoint which blogs are ineffective so that you can either correct them or avoid spending your resources posting similar types of blogs in the future.
Data can help to save you money on your marketing budget by identifying the types of marketing that give you the most valuable returns.
Through data analysis, you may identify that a blog guest posted on a particular outlet drives more traffic back to your site than blogs or paid advertising on other sites.
Through data analytics, you can constantly monitor, assess, and revise your marketing strategy so that you’re reaching your ideal audience and getting the best return on your marketing investments.
The Changing Marketing Landscape – and How it Helps You
The marketing landscape is constantly evolving and recent marketing trends can help you to better engage with your audience.
If you’re the executive of a business or company, you should take note of the executive branding trend.
Company executives are increasingly recognizing the importance of branding themselves separately from their companies.
This means that in addition to your business’ blog, you may want to create your own blog and social media to brand yourself, personally.
Businesses are increasingly using artificial intelligence to automate customer interactions.
With artificial intelligence technology, such as chatbots, you can ensure that your website visitors receive constant and immediate support, even when it’s impractical to have a human employee staffing the website response system.
By carefully programming chatbots, you can provide customers with the support that they’re looking for, including answering questions and directing them to appropriate website links for further assistance.
When you already have a detailed understanding of your market, you can tailor these chatbots to create a more accurate, customized experience.
Video marketing is also emerging as a popular marketing trend in 2019.
With consumers spending more time on their smartphones and having access to HD video streaming, creating videos can help you to connect with your audience in an engaging way.
In fact, as much as 85% of the total online traffic may be directed to videos by the end of 2019.
While videos provide valuable opportunities to entertain and connect with an audience, they’ll fall flat if you misunderstand your target audience and design a video that doesn’t appeal to them.
Putting What You’ve Learned to Use
Now that you have a thorough understanding of who your ideal audience is, it’s time to revisit your blog strategy.
Rework your blog calendar with a focus on your niche, the types of materials that are most relevant to your audience, and the type of value that you can give to your audience, including information and entertainment.
Look at what your competition is doing and see if you can identify a gap where you can fulfill a need that your audience has.
Try to do something different and memorable with your blog, and think about the pain points your audience has. How can you help them with those pain points, and how do your products or services fit into their lives?
The better you understand your target audience, the better you can customize your blog so that it’s just what they’re looking for.
Remember, too, that your blog is just one part of your marketing strategy, and it’s important that all aspects of your marketing are performing well and working together.
You may be posting great content but if your website isn’t optimized for mobile users or if your checkout process has technical issues, then you won’t see the increase in sales that your improved blog reach could otherwise generate.
A great marketing plan requires balance between and attention to all aspects of your marketing funnel in order to get great results.
Noah Rue is a journalist and a digital nomad, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn’t researching at hyperspeed, Noah likes to search for the best burger in town and enjoy a history podcast.