First, thank you for reading this.
Hubspot, a forerunner in marketing research and insight, reported recently that 40% of people say they don’t read blogs. Before you panic and suspend all blogging efforts, here are a few ideas that circumvent these trends and help you stay top-of-mind for your target audience.
If you read Hubspot’s post, one of their biggest findings is that 60% read blog posts anywhere from once a week to at least daily. Another finding is that many people, when researching their problem or need, don’t realize the content they’re reading is, in fact, a blog post. So some of those 40% who say they don’t read blogs actually do when they research and find what they think are “articles” that offer valuable information.
One suggestion this Hubspot article offered to circumvent this phenomenon is “Offer original insights and tips.” Not only does original content build your credibility, but it can boost your SEO ranking as well.
How do you create original content, you ask? Here are a few tips.
1. Avoid what everyone else says.
Just because you research and find dozens of others conferring on a single recommendation doesn’t mean you need to repeat it. Instead, find a unique angle on the “status quo” and spin it to meet your brand’s needs and mission. If you use others’ statistics to support your angle, make sure you give credit where credit is due. Still, avoid regurgitating what everyone else is proposing.
Another reason to avoid what everyone else is saying is that Google can tell when you’re reiterating. Your post might get “docked” for being too much like posts on other websites. Being original counts, both in your target audience’s mind and in SEO ranking. In fact, according to the Hubspot article, original content ranks higher and offers higher quality content for your readers.
2. Understand your audience to write original content.
How do you know what your audience wants/needs to read or understand? If you’ve done your marketing research, you have a persona of your perfect customer/client. This snapshot helps you understand your audience, what’s forefront in their minds, and how to “speak their language” with industry terms and more. The better, and deeper, you understand your audience, the more your blog post will provide them information they need and find helpful.
Knowing your audience inside and out is fundamental to writing original content that speaks directly to their needs, wants, desires, fears, and more. Neil Patel has an interesting infographic that talks about “asking your readers” or “interviewing someone” to gather intelligence.
Great content responds to customers' interests and needs. So, what are YOU looking for, reader? Click To Tweet
3. Meet your target audience where they are.
Cull your internal customer data to get insight on where your customers and prospects are at a particular moment in time. The more you understand who you’re talking to, what’s important to them, and their current position or situation, the more you can target your content.
Using your internal customer data helps you target your messages to your target audiences’ needs and desires. Hopefully, you’ve been collecting customer data for a while to help you develop a blog or content strategy that speaks to them personally and intimately. And the more you can personalize your messages, the better.
4. Interview your thought leaders.
You have plenty of insight within your organization, but writing or summarizing might not be your thought leaders’ strong suit. It’s up to you to identify thought leaders and interview them for the golden nuggets that your target audience craves. LinkedIn has an interesting series of posts about thought leadership that will help you get more in touch.
Thought leaders might be outside your organization, though. The best way to reach them is to persuade them to take a simple survey and share their original thoughts. Most thought leaders love the chance to share their wisdom with others.
5. Tell your audience a story.
Another result of surveying your target audience and thought leaders often is the opportunity to cultivate a story that rings true for everyone in your readership. If you want to turn the 40% of non-blog readers into enthusiasts, then tell a story that puts your readers in the main character’s role and shows them succeeding.
One way to become a powerful storyteller is to constantly survey your target audience for their thoughts, opinions, desires, needs, and fears. Understanding what they’re currently facing helps you craft a story where your readers succeed after using your product or service. But you must construct it authentically to addresses your target audience.
6. Always survey.
You can’t know how someone is feeling, what they’re fearing, and what they most desire without asking. Today’s survey tools automate this process so you can get inside the heads of your target audience, prospects, and others to understand them better. Because once you understand, you can create blog posts, articles, and more that speak directly to them. And the more you personalize your posts, the larger audience you’ll reach.
A survey helps you answer some tough questions like “who, “what, “where,” “when,” and “how” to better understand the process your target audience is going through and the challenges they’re facing. When times get tough, this insight will help you connect with your audience faster and easier.
Medium has an interesting take on when, how, and why you should survey.
Gaining insights about your prospects, customers, and more is within your control. The more you survey those in your target audience, the more you’ll understand their current situations, from fears to desires, in order to present original content to capture their attention and meet their needs. And the more original content you put out there, the more your target audience will pay attention.
When you keep in touch with your prospects and customers through surveys, you’ll reap the benefits when times turn uncertain because you’ll already know what they need and want to read.
And, since we practice what we preach…
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