Where’s my audience?

A dog searching for his crowd among sheep, wondering where's my audience?

You’re posting great content regularly, you’re enthusiastically promoting your site on all the top social channels, while diligently reading and following all the How to Blog Like a Rock Star articles and checklists you can find and yet…. your emails have low open rates, even lower click-through rates. Your list ought to be growing – but you can’t be sure as you seem to be losing subscribers as quickly as you gain them, and there’s not a lot of social sharing happening for your posts or emails.

This cycle can leave you feeling exhausted, defeated, and wondering if any of this is even working! You begin to doubt yourself as a leading figure in your craft, an expert in your field, perhaps even your basic knowledge on the subject. Nobody seems to care. You’re casting such a wide net and doing everything under the sun possible, how could things not be going better than they are?

Breathe. Pause for a moment, because there is your answer – you’re casting such a wide net. You’re not trying to reach your audience; you’re trying to reach everyone’s audience.

Speaking to Someone, Not Just Anyone

This is a common misstep when it comes content marketing and blogging, believing that trying to reach as many people as earthly possibly and relating your content, service or product to anyone who could possibly be reading is the best way to grow.

Take a step back and look at what is truly happening when casting such a wide net:

  1. Your content is filled with generic terms and language to appeal to everyone.
  2. Your time is divided between a plethora of social channels trying to promote everywhere possible.
  3. You’re building a list of subscribers ranging from semi-interested to somewhat-interested to possibly super-interested (but you aren’t quite sure), instead of a list of people who are expressly interested in your scope of content.

Imagine creating content as if you were speaking directly to your ideal reader or client. You need not worry about everyone and everything else as you’re able to block them from your thoughts and focus on only that one person. You would be more genuine and authentic, your language would be better defined, your subscriber list would be full of people interested in what you have to say, and your email metrics would improve as a result.

This way of thinking can be an adjustment, but the transition is not impossible. Start by finding your audience, then adjust the net you’re casting. Everything else? Just noise. Junk it.

Finding Your Audience

Once you decide to speak to your people, you’ll begin to see open rates, subscription rates, and click-through rates increase. Your content will be more focused, and your language will match that which they speak. To get started in finding your audience, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I know about my ideal reader? Write out everything you can about them. Their estimated age, occupation, relationship status, what their possible hobbies are, what are their annoyances, what do they get excited about, and so on. Make note of anything you can think about your reader. This is called developing your reader (or client) persona. Some sites will be extremely specific and have 1-2 personas, while others may have 3-4 personas (we at FeedBlitz have 4 core personas, in case you’re wondering).

  • Where else on the internet do my readers hang out? Once you have a clear picture of who your ideal reader or client is, you’ll be able to find out where else on the internet they spend their time. What websites do they follow? Could you offer a guest post to one of these websites? Are they active on forums? If so, which ones? Create an account and participate in the discussions, offering answers and insight.

  • What social channels are they using the most? This can be a HUGE time saver for you. If it turns out your audience is more focused on LinkedIn and Facebook, focus more time and energy here as opposed to Snapchat or Pinterest. Knowing this can also show you which channels you need to invest more knowledge into learning, instead of expending so much energy trying to cover your bases on every.single.social.channel.

These questions are a starting point for you to find your audience. Once you know where they are, you can then focus on ways to promote your content directly to these individuals in the manner which they prefer most.

Bonus Tip: Start by surveying your current readership and subscribers. Draft a simple online survey with some of the questions above and ask your readers to complete it. This will give you a good look at who is currently interested in your content, and offer a starting point for seeking out new subscribers in your audience.

*Offering an incentive for completing the survey such as a discount code or free pdf download is a great way to encourage subscribers and readers to answer your questions.

Focusing on What Matters

Don’t worry about casting the largest net, concern yourself with casting the right net and watch your metrics start to increase. No more wondering if your content marketing and blogging are working. Rest easy knowing your focus is on those who are already interested in your content to start, focus on creating high-quality, valuable content which provides a solution to their problems, sit back and watch your metrics rise to new heights.

If you have questions on finding your target audience or anything else related to email marketing, simply send our team an email to support@feedblitz.com. You can also chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

Heat Maps, FeedBlitz, and You

heat mapsBy Laura Petrolino

Is it hot in here, or is it just my email?

The secret fantasy of anyone involved in content and email marketing is to be able to really get inside the head of their consumers and understand interests, motivations, and needs.

To do this, we employ many different methods: We create buyer personas, use Google Analytics, and sometimes utilize things like focus groups and surveys.

Another very effective tool to gain important intelligence on the thoughts of your market, specifically those potential leads, receiving and reading your emails, is heat maps.

Real time heat map analytics are available for every email you send through Feedblitz. [Read more...]

Blogger Outreach: Persistence is Fertile

Blogger OutreachBy Chris Abraham

With blogger outreach, if you want to be heard above the din of the Internet, you need to speak clearly and with persistence.

It’s not uncommon for someone at a loud bar not to hear you the first time, or even twice.

If you assume someone isn’t interested in getting to know you better just because they don’t hear you the first or second time, then you’re doomed.

The Internet is the busiest, loudest, most distracting place ever created. It’s global, impersonal, and mostly anonymous.

In a bar, you can sit right next to the someone you want to meet, and then just bide your time until there’s a lull in the noise or you can catch an eye. [Read more...]

Content Marketing: Fix Your Crummy Content

Content Marketing

By Mike Templeman

Back in February of 2011, Google opened the cage on a vicious little animal they’d kept locked up for years.

That creature was a Panda. More specifically, it was the Panda algorithmic crawl.

This little piece of code would crawl the internet, find low quality content, and penalize sites rife with it.

After numerous crawls and thousands of penalized websites, a shout resounded: “Content is King!” [Read more...]

Overcome Writer’s Block with these Five Best Practices

FeedBlitz ImageBy Kate Finley

Whether you write for a living or blog for pleasure, coming up with new content on a consistent basis can be difficult. But, as long as you are up for the challenge, there are simple, proven ways to generate fresh ideas and see your content in a whole new light.

I can’t promise you will never again have trouble thinking up new content, but I can promise if you implement the below best practices, your odds of writer’s block will greatly diminish.

So … Are you ready to press through into new content ideas? Sure you are!

Overcome Writer’s Block

Here are five best practices you can put into practice right away to fend off the foe that is writer’s block.

Write Every Day

Now, you may not publish, but the habit of writing every day can help keep ideas flowing. Even if you don’t feel like it, write at least a few hundred words a day. This can can take form in writing a couple paragraphs on multiple topics, a stream of consciousness, or writing non-stop for a designated amount of time.

The more you write, the more potential content you have if (or should I say when?) you get stuck.

Keep a Running List of Ideas

Ideas for content or blog posts can come at any time and often float to the surface multiple times a day. And, without logging them away for future use, they can quickly evaporate from our memory.

To help combat these potential missed opportunities, keep a list that’s easily accessible at any time. It can be on a mobile device like your smartphone, a voice recording, or even the old faithful notebook and pen. Whatever your medium, have a resource where you tuck away ideas for a rainy day.

Read Other Blogs

This is really important. There are plenty of tools, such as Feedly or Feedolu, that can help you keep the content you find online organized and ready for daily reading. Make time on a daily basis to read industry, influencer, and peer blogs.

Both Feedly and Feedolu can help if you divide the blogs you follow up by category to keep from feeling overwhelmed by too many topics. As you come up with ideas from reading the blogs of others, don’t forget to add them to your running list.

Look to Current and Industry Events and News

A quick Google search can be your best friend to overcome writer’s block. Type in a topic or key phrase and do a search under the “news” section of search or the “blog” section. You can then see what’s trending, which can spark ideas. And, more than likely, you may find some great new blogs to follow and add to your reader in the process.

Repurpose Past Content

Just because you wrote about a topic in the past doesn’t mean you can’t refresh it or repurpose it. You can easily repurpose blog posts you contributed as a guest author on someone else’s blog, compile a top 10 list, or share written versions of content previously shared through mediums such as video or a podcast.

We all war with writer’s block at one time or another, so know that you’re not alone in this battle and victory is possible. Being prepared is half the battle.

What best practices do you use to combat writer’s block? Which tactic has proved most successful for you?

Five Tactics for Building Strong Brands

building strong brandsThe word brand is tossed around the marketing world like a bottle opener at a tailgate party – everyone uses it, but no one really thinks about it.

While that works fine for popping a top, it’s problematic when it comes to building strong brands.

After all, how can you improve your brand if everyone on your team is talking about something slightly different?

So the first step to brand building is defining our terms.

We define brand as: reputation x visibility. Activities for building strong brands, then, should be tactics that work to increase both your reputation and your visibility among your audience.

Here are five tactics to help get you there: [Read more...]