There’s no way for me to over emphasize how important it is to know your target audience. It’s my experience that blogging without a target audience firmly in mind is one of the primary reasons why business blogs fails to make a”connection” with customers.
In the blog post “Telling Stories to Sell More Stuff” I gave an exaample of how the recent Allstate commercial tells a story which effectively entertains and educates at the same time making it a powerful marketing tool.
I saw another ad in the Allstate Mayhem series while watching a football game the other day. This 2nd ad is tightly targeted towards football fans and frames the new story in a way to appeal to a different audience. Instead of a teen-aged driver in a pink SUV – this story uses a college football quarterback to tell the story. Though it uses a similar story plot – it casts different “players” to tell the tale so it will “connect” with yet another niche market.
When you defined your blog’s target audience – you’ll know who should be starring in the stories you tell. You’ll know who to cast as a villain and who to cast as the conquering hero.
If you haven’t defined your blog’s target audience though – you won’t know where to begin.
Blogging for your business is incredibly easy and hard at the same time. A blog makes it easy to get your story published to the web. Unlike the television commercial featured above – you don’t have to hire a production company or actors to tell your story which makes it a great tool to “test” the waters and see which message connects with your audience.
However, while it’s easy to publish your story online with a business blog – you are still faced with the task of composing those stories with your target audience in mind. That’s where blogging gets hard for most business owners and bloggers.
Sometimes you have to compose dozens of different stories before you find one that connects with your audience. Business blogging allows you to “test” these stories and see which one makes a connection.
Your business blog allows you start the process by telling the story with words – and then move on to audio or video if you see that a particular story has struck a chord.
Not long ago, I had a conversation with a client who wanted to try something new with her blog. She had an idea for a feature she thought might connect with her target audience and it was an idea which had the potential of becoming “viral”. However, she wanted to test the waters first and her blog was the perfect test vehicle.
Instead of investing in a production crew to create video stories – my client started by creating a written story which she published to her blog. She then broadened that single story to a series of stories. Now she is incorporating audio into the story telling process. If that’s successful – THEN she’ll make the necessary financial investment to move to video to tell her stories.
When your marketing and advertising budget is less than 5 figures per month, you have to be “smart” about what paths you pursue. “Spray and pray” is not a viable marketing strategy for most small and medium sized businesses. When you’ve got limited resources – you can’t afford to invest in creating a “viral” video that doesn’t work to build your business. That’s where your blog can be a money saving lifesaver.
Blogging is a wonderful cost effective way test your marketing stories which is just one reason why your business should be blogging.