Target Marketing with a Business Blog
All marketing is target marketing.
What differs is how small you make the target.
On one end of things you have broadcast-type marketing. Examples would be marketing done during the Super Bowl or during The Academy Awards. Hundreds of millions of people watch those two events live on TV or online. Marketing done during the broadcasts is aimed at a large segment of the population. It’s still target marketing, but the target is huge.
On the other end of things you have a more defined approach to target marketing. This second area is where small businesses can thrive and grow.
There is profit to be made at both ends of the target marketing spectrum. The best bet if you want to make things most efficient is to focus on the second, more defined approach.
Defining Your Target Market
With every new client at GBW we focus on the target customer. Sometimes we call it the ideal reader. Either way, it’s a focus on a single person. We work with the client to really focus on their ideal customer. There will always be variations of who the ideal customer is, but the more you focus on a single person the more likely you are to attract that person.
If you have a customer right now that you don’t like there is no need to try to more people like them. It’s been one of my lessons that not everybody is my ideal customer. I’ve had to turn away some people because there were red flags raised during the process.
With some clients we do find that we have multiple target customers. We still try to really define each of the targets. Then with each post we focus on one specific reader. It helps when we’re writing. We can pretend like only one person will be reading the post.
Many people will read your blog posts, but if you write with one person in mind the post will be more defined. It will have better focus. Each person reading will feel like it was written specifically for them.
That’s the key to any type of great writing and it’s something we use for business blogging.
When I worked in the shoe industry we did the same thing. I worked for a company that had about 8 different business units. The main channel or marketing was catalog with the Internet being a growing channel for some of the companies.
Each venture had a specific target market. We had written descriptions of these people. We had photos. It helped with everything we did in the business from selecting shoes to sell to creating copy.
For your target marketing strategy you always want to start with as few target customers as possible.
Creating a Pull with the Target Customer
Marketing has always been a push and pull affair.
Some strategies are more push while others are more pull.
An example of a push strategy would be renting a list of names and corresponding mailing addresses and sending out catalogs and direct mail pieces. you’re kind of interrupting people in their personal space.
Push strategies can work well, though. It’s why businesses have done it for years and why it’s still done today.
A pull strategy is how we look at business blogging. We publish blogs. People discover the blog posts in a few ways with each of them part of pull marketing strategy.
The first example is through search. When people are looking for something we want to be what they find. Google wants to find the best content for searchers. It’s our goal to be the best result. We have to be even better than what a paid result might be too because Google will always give the paid results a little more of an edge.
The strategy is pull marketing because people are looking. They have intent to find something and your blog content is that something.
Other methods like social media and email are pull marketing too. When people opt-in to your broadcasts they give you permission to send them updates. They subscribe to your social media channel or email list. They indicate they want to get your updates.
That’s why we focus on building email lists.
Another example of pull marketing is referrals. Business blogs make great referral engines. A good blog post is something people can share with each other. It’s our goal to have people share each post we write for ourselves and for clients.
Honing The Strategy
With a business blog you’re always starting from scratch. You’re trying to see what kind of content your target customer is looking for online. We do all the research we can, but we know that we’ll only get better as time goes by.
We review sales and profit to determine what content is doing the best. We look at email subscriptions and search terms. All sources of traffic indicate the type of person visiting your business blog.
When you see what content is attracting your target customer you can focus on building more content that fits what your target is looking for. You can also stop producing the type of content that is attracting the wrong type of person – like those that only want free information and don’t want to pay for anything.
We feel that business blogging is the ultimate form of target marketing. You focus on a specific ideal reader (or target customer). You create the type of content that will pull the customer toward you. Conversion is much bette this way.
Business blogging is also a marketing effort that you own. You own the content. Each post you create is an asset for your company. It might cost you $100 for a post or it might cost you 2 hours of your time, but it’s an asset that will continue to drive customers to your business for years.
Start your target marketing campaign with a business blog this year. It’s the year of content marketing.