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How is your blog doing? Does a quick glance at your analytics page make your heart sink? If your site’s traffic numbers aren’t where they need to be, there are plenty of tactics for increasing traffic through blog promotion to improve your page views and conversions, but ultimately the true test will be your blog’s content. All these strategies, tactics, and hacks are built on the foundation of your content.
That is the basic lifeblood of your blog or website, if it isn’t targeting your customers specifically, then no amount of promotional effort matters.
Read on as we explore methods of tailoring content to your specific customers, and ways to build a brand that resonates with their beliefs and values.
Understand Your Customers By Creating Buyer Personas
At a basic level, you want your content to reach the right people. If your blog is about cooking, a post on the current state of affairs in the Middle East probably isn’t the best idea, no matter how thought provoking it may be. This is just the tip of the iceberg though, the true way to understand your customers and in turn create content for them, is to develop specific groups or personas that outline your typical customer types.
Regarding any type of marketing, planning is essential.
The best way to envision this concept is to imagine your entire market as a giant entity filled with various layers. From an outsider perspective, there is only so much you can identify about the various customers within. To understand them better, these personas can be viewed like slices of the whole. For cooking it could be Homemakers, Business Owners, and specialized/exotic food based cooks. The process of building these personas breaks down into three steps:
Step One: Interview your Customers
The best way to understand your customers is to speak with them directly. Start by creating broad categories that you believe your customers will fall into and then seek out anywhere from twenty to thirty people who fit into these categories. Ask them questions that cannot be simply answered with a “yes” or a “no”. These open-ended questions will give you broad answers that will prove valuable in the coming steps.
In addition, don’t focus specifically on your product or service. Learn about what these customer want, find out what makes them tick and what they want from a product or service. From here it becomes more about providing a solution to their problem, and less about trying to convince them of your product’s use. Ultimately, that’s the goal of targeted content, answering a specific question or solving a problem with your product or service.
Step Two: Create Profiles for Each Persona
Once you’ve gathered enough information from your customers, it’s time to build up characteristics for each persona. Since we’ve gone with cooking thus far, let’s say you interviewed a number of women who cook primarily at home and you discovered a common desire they all have when it comes to cooking, one that your product solves.
Apply names to your personas, like in this case we could use “Homemaker Hailey.” This will help you organize and recall each of your personas with greater ease as you create content for them.
Step Three: Targeting Buyer Personas With Your Content
This is where all of your research comes into play. The final step in this process is creating content and posts that target your buyer personas. Before you start though, you need to ask yourself a few questions about the persona and what that customer is looking for when they reach the main page of your content.
If we’re planning out content for Homemaker Hailey, then we should ask ourselves “What Questions is Homemaker Hailey Asking?”, we could also say “What Problem is Homemaker Hailey Trying to Solve?” Placing yourself in the shoes of your customer allows you to personalize the content in such a way that it speaks directly to them. Your content should always endeavor to provide solutions to their problems, thereby adding value to your content. Your targeted content should also adhere to content marketing best practices for maximum effect.
Building Brand Loyalty Through Shared Values
A study on brand loyalty published in the Harvard Business review encompassed over 7,000 consumers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The study concluded that customer loyalty was almost impossible without an existence of shared values. In fact, over 64% of the consumers said that this characteristic was the primary reason they formed a strong relationship with any single brand.
How do you create this in your own content? The answer is simple: you simply need to mix up the types of content your posting. Instead of constantly pushing your product, highlight some of the beliefs and values that you and specifically your brand, holds dear. This will showcase the true passion and nature of your business which creates an emotional bond between you and your customers.
Here’s a bonus tip for all the SEO Hacker readers out there: when creating your customer-targeted content, be sure to utilize long-tail keywords in your posts that string together multiple LSI or latent semantic indexing keywords.
You can find these keywords on Google by searching your main keyword with a tilde (~) placed in front of the search term. Look in the search results for bold words that expand on your main keyword. This will optimize your post further and make it easier to find.
Some Final Thoughts Before You Go
Before you start implementing SEO techniques and fancy plugins, you need great content that’s targeting the kind of traffic you’re looking for. To do this, you need to understand your customers and build personas of the different types. You need to know what they are looking for in your content, and connect with them on an emotional level through shared beliefs. This is the key to increasing traffic, and creating lasting success.