- Friday, May 20, 2016

WAKE UP YOUR BLOG: Target Market

Defining your target market is defining WHO your customers are. For one, it helps you choose your customers, and two, it helps you know your customers. Defining your target market is a primary tool in your overall business plan as well as your marketing plan and other aspects of the business plan. You will use this in a million places as you run your business, for instance, approaching potential advertisers (if you share the same target market, you were meant for each other).

Defining your Target Market

Defining your target market can be determined by two primary methods.
  • Readers Who Already Exist: If you are blogging, you probably already have a current readership, and little research will tell you who is primarily already reading your work. You can also compare and contrast with insights from your social media accounts to find out who you are advertising to. Here your readers have determined aspects of your target market.
  • Readers Who COULD Exist: If you write a DIY blog, you may realize that while your current readers are not really into gardening, that the same very people interested in gardening might like your blog. You may decide that’s a worthy place of penetrating for new readers, so you decide to include gardening as an interest in your target market.
Defining your target market also entails:
  • Demographics: Gender, age range, income, language and geographic location.
  • Psychographics: Interests, habits, behaviors, shopping habits.

Big Example: Me

For instance, this blog’s target demographic is Female, 30-50, from the United States who are bloggers or graphic artists.
My submarkets include those 10 years older or younger than the primary age, and English Speaking communities like Canada, UK and Australia. I chose this based on the amount of bloggers in my circle of blogging who I’m writing this for in my head. I also chose English Speaking because that’s the only language I really know.
I choose my target market. My readers have a lot of interests like DIY and motherhood. Most are liberals and most are non-religious (though I do have a good percentage of Christians). For this blog, I focused on my psychographics of blogging and graphic design. While most of my readers are liberals, this blog in particular is to remain unbiased because that’s not a psychographic I’m interested in for this blog. It is a psychographic I consider for my Dribbles and Grits page where I share a lot of liberal agenda. On my personal Facebook profile, I share what I like. On Women of Ill Repute, I focus on feminism.
I find sub-interests based on the interests. From blogging and graphic design, I can choose some other psyschographics to help me find new people, like most of my readers are professionals (so I should be posting every post on my Linked In Account), have their own business and might need a graphic artist (it’s now a service I offer), are looking for readers of their own (which is why sharing and highlighting other bloggers is part of my future content concept).
I find interests based on what I’m already doing. In addition, I noticed a lot of DIY blogs exist where the bloggers are not necessarily wanting to spend a lot of time learning how to blog and want to focus more on their content, so they need an easy button. In addition, I know a lot of DIY blogs are looking for easy graphics to use in their projects like scrapbooking (something I already offer). Meanwhile, I happened to be creating a DIY blog of my own because it was a book I published and want to publish annually, so I can put all these ideas together and easily reach the DIY bloggers through my DIY blog that they might find on Pinterest to get ideas for their next project. There’s a sidebar I need an ad. I might decide to purchase advertising on the sidebar of a bigger DIY blog just to penetrate the DIY blogger market this year. Next year, I might decide to focus on Montessori Blogs.
Always consider the target market. I want to offer products they need, which is one reason why I started providing free images. I want something my competition is not doing (like providing free images and writing out the Blogging 101 posts in depth with all the research already done). I want to price for my customer, which is why I price modestly with graphic art services because I know most of my bloggers are not making big bucks like New York Times, and I don’t want to offer a price that’s outside of their budget. If my target market were places like The New York Times, I would adjust my prices to a more premium price because they aren’t trying to save money and will choose one of the more expensive graphic artists and choose paid pictures while avoiding public domain because of the perceived value behind price. When it comes to my value proposition, I want to be the premium service as affordable as possible breaking the business mold of value because my readers are always on the next trend, and they are all trying to do the same thing with their blogs and books. My place or distribution is mainly online because that’s where I’m going to find bloggers. Every facet of my business plan and marketing plan is geared for my target market. My personal blog (Crumpets and Bollocks) is all geared to me, and what I want and what I want to do. This blog was made for you, not me. So all of it has you in mind.
Get as specific as possible. I know if you are reading this, you wanted to learn about a marketing or business plan, and I don’t want to give you fluff. I want to give you all the tools you need in one place because I know that’s what you are looking for at this point if you are still reading. Other sites develop blog posts in cookie cutter formats because they aren’t trying to help you solve problems as much as get you to read their posts. While we are both writing to a lot of the same target market (same age, same interests), we are different in that they are writing for an existing email list who is looking for a quick, easy read just to learn one or two things to keep in mind. Conversely, I plan on getting most traffic to these in-depth posts from organic searches, so I am providing what I think someone searching for a marketing plan or business plan is looking for (someone specifically most likely trying to create their own marketing plan), which is very different than someone receiving an email about marketing plans (someone who might do a marketing plan down the road and when they do, will search on how to do a marketing plan). As a result, I’m providing all the tools, all the information, everything that’s important in one place, and I’ll place a strong emphasis on my SEO with this post in particular including sharing it with friends to increase visibility enough for SEO robots to rank it. On the other hand, when I write a shorter post highlighting bloggers or their projects, instead of focusing hard on SEO, I’ll be focusing hard on getting likes, shares, and views. In both cases I’m doing both, but I place my focus on one or the other to really hit that method.
Reaching new markets. My personality is a little rough around the edges and is very much Australia friendly. Being from the United States, I don’t have too many friends in Australia, but hooking up with an Australian blogger to share each other’s work or engage in a project together might change that. For my DIY blog, I noticed a huge Hispanic market for DIY, and I’d like to reach them as well, in which case, I might incorporate a Spanish Version of everything on that blog.
As you can see, the target market plays a huge role in all your planning and activities. It helps define what you are doing now, but also gives you ideas for what you want to do down the road.

Write Out Your Target Market

Here’s a free printable to help you define your target market. Just sign up and get all the Business Plan Guides (it's in there as a PDF)

Defining your target market will make it so much easier to figure out what people really want from you and define your business goals and strategy.
Go ahead and pin this to your blogging boards