Photo by teamstickergiant
Today’s blog is inspired by a recent lightening talk that I did at WordCamp Birmingham. It’s about using customer profiling and how it can help to create audience specific content that’s engaging and informative. It’s an easy tool to use but it requires some thought and a bit of planning.
WordCamp Birmingham was a fantastic weekend (they generally are) where I’ve learnt lots and I’ll be including some blog links from attendees where you can find out what went on during.
Who are your customers?
At the beginning of my WordCamp Birmingham lightening talk, I said that the most common question that I get asked is ‘what should I blog about?’ To which I reply ‘what does your audience need to know?’ It’s an important question that you should take time to ponder on but ultimately customer profiling aims to help answer.
If you’ve done a business plan in the beginning then you will have looked at your target market. In simple terms it means who are you customers and what do they want? Or what drives them to buy off and pay attention to you? If you’ve not done this section in your business plan, I’d suggest that you do so because it will be a lot easier when it comes to using content marketing for your business.
Remember: If you’re writing without a purpose then you’re wasting your time but more importantly your audience.
The benefits of customer profiling when blogging are:
- You are more likely to write content that people are searching for;
- By addressing reader’s needs they will be inclined to come back, read, share and interact with you (Social SEO is important!);
- It increases the chance of them recommending and buying off you.
The first stage of customer profiling is to…
Identify similar blogs in your industry and take note on what they are writing about because this will give you a good idea for content subjects.
More importantly, pay particular attention to the comments section because it’s here that you’re able to see how well or not so well the subject matter is received. It’s also here that you are able to see what kind of questions they’re asking and issues they are raising – all of which will give you content ideas and a clearer understanding of your target audience.
The nifty bit is, nowadays most websites ask their readers to leave some form of web or social address before commenting. If you’ve a WordPress site, then you’ll know about the Gravatar function! This is handy because you can connect with these people further and find out more about them – this should help you to build a bigger picture of your audience.
The second stage of customer profiling is to…
Here, aim to create around three fictional characters and give them an age, gender, location, and a back story. Have a think about what they could be after and ask yourself how can I help them?
As an example my character is Joe Blogs, he’s a start- up wedding photographer, living local to me, looking to learn how to create a blog that will bring traffic to his site and highlight his services.
From this I can start to think about topics he’d like such as blogging guidelines, ethics, the very basics and so on. I make a point of identifying that he’s local to me because it helps with my SEO and when it comes to finding groups where I can post my blog links in.
I can also ensure that my content is geared towards wedding photographers to help drive traffic to my site and any examples I use in my post, will be industry specific so that he can identify with what he’s reading.
Remember: You can create more than three but it’s an easy number to start with.
The last stage of customer profiling is to….
Remember to match a service to your customer.
Now we all know blogging is a subtle way of highlighting your services and products so I recommend matching a service, to your customer because it helps with your call to actions and these give your content a clear purpose.
Notice how, in my fictitious customer profile I said Joe Blogs was a start up? This is an important piece of information because it’s this that suggests he’s not at the stage, to pay a content writer but he may be at the stage where he wants to invest in training for himself.
My obvious call to action would be to talk about (briefly) how I’m able to help him with my blog training services.
Customer profiling helps you to have well thought out content ideas that are geared towards and for your customers. And as they say, content is king! Content strategy can be a hideous concept for business owners, but it’s a real plus when it comes to keeping your brand consistent and keeping your customers coming back – if you’d like to know how I can help create a content plan for you then drop me an email.
See 3 easy steps?
Here are those links from WordCamp Birmingham that I mentioned earlier on in my post:
I’d been keen to hear if you use customer profiling and how it has benefited you.