After 2 cups of coffee, several careful revisions, and a trip or two to the thesaurus, you publish a post to your business blog.
You start feeling like you've got some small-sized mystery on your hands.
Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego your audience? What's keeping them from flocking to your post like you had anticipated? There's got to be something you're missing.
Truth be told, gussying up your sentences with 10-dollar words from the thesaurus isn't enough to conceal the fact that you don't even know who you're writing for.
That's right. I said it. You don't know your audience.
As if that's not shocking enough, not knowing your audience is just your first problem. If you're struggling to drive traffic to your business' content, it's likely that there's more where that came from. Allow me to help you see it through.
You're writing selfish content
A lot of times businesses without defined buyer personas lose sight of who they are creating content for. As a result, their focus leans more towards what they want to tell their audience, rather than what their audience actually wants to hear.
When I sit down to write a blog post, I don't think to myself, "Hmm, what do I feel like writing about today?" but rather, "What can I write today that will help Maggie the Marketer do her job better?"
Last fall I went to go see a concert for a musician who was fairly new to the industry. Needless to say, his opening act was even newer to the industry.
Aware that it was his job to get the crowd warmed up for the show, he chose not to bore everyone with the latest from his new album that no one had ever heard. Instead, he covered a bunch of popular hits, while playing originals in moderation.
Essentially, he understood what his audience wanted to hear (or didn't want to hear for that matter) and adjusted his performance accordingly. As a result, he won everyone over.
My point being, adjusting your content to suit the needs of the right audience can mean the difference between a sale lost and a sale closed. It's how you capture people's attention and hold their interest. It's how you build a community.
Your distribution strategy is misguided
If you publish a tweet, and your audience isn't on Twitter, did you really even tweet?
Seriously, think about it. If you're tweeting for the sake of tweeting with no regard for whether or not your audience is even active on social media, who are you reaching? Better question, who are you even following?
In order for social media to turn up measurable results for your business, you need to employ a strategy that makes sense.
Before you post anything it's important that you are able to identifying exactly where your ideal customers are hanging out online, as well as where they're going to retrieve information. If it's not Twitter, it's time that you readjust your efforts elsewhere.
Once you know which platforms to prioritize, it's much easier to encourage qualified prospects to respond to your content.
Let's take my mom for example. Whenever I'm trying to get a hold of her, I don't text her, I call her.
This isn't because she's the slowest texter known to man kind (which she is), it's because I know that the telephone is her preferred method of communication. It's the best way to reach her. If I text her, I might not get an answer, but if I call her, I will.
The same can be said for your potential customers. Sure you can try to reach them with content on X but if they're regularly turning to Y for information, you're not going to see the results you're aiming for.
You're a copycat
Carrying out marketing initiatives without buyer personas in place is much like driving without a map (or should I say GPS.) You're not sure where you're going. You're making decisions to turn left and right all willy-nilly. For all you know, you're driving in circles.
Who's to say your competitor's aren't doing the same? Maybe they're more successful than you, but then again, you don't know the reason for their success. You could copy them, but what if it steers you even further off track?
You might be thinking, shouldn't my buyer personas be the same as those of my competitors? We offer the same product or service.
No matter how similar your businesses are, buyer personas are about attracting the people that you're going to be able to deliver the best results for. This means that you should be basing your personas off of the people you know you've done well for in the past.
This audience is unique to your business. When it comes to creating content, these are the people you need to keep in the forefront.
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