Your audience/target market looks to you and comes back to you for answers. They support your blog because you consistently feed them with information that they find valuable that and can use themselves or share. Is that a true measure of telling them or giving them what they want to hear? Sometimes we can equate that but others are we so sure? Popular bloggers get retweeted regularly, up and comers are more of a hit and miss. Great post, massive retweets and traffic, but do they return? Is the true measure of gauging what your audience wants to hear through how they react through retweets, shares to show an impact as influence or is it through sales? Do they co-exist?

Your Audience Wants Answers

We all want answers. We seek them out, we wait patiently (or impatiently and share that impatience) but we need the answers to satisfy our need. Our needs vary from day to day or even hour to hour and many times minute to minute. We need to eat when we are hungry, we need to warm up when we are cold, we need to fix something right now so we can move on to the next problem that needs fixing. Your audience wants answers and will seek the answer from whomever is willing to give what satisfies them. Is satisfying one problem begging answers to another one? Are we able to see that and tackle it before they go elsewhere?

How Do We Know What Our Audience Wants to Hear?

Do we always know what our audience wants to hear? In blogging and also in traditional advertising we are trying to grab their attention and hold it long enough for them to establish that emotional connection to really hear our message and take action. Traditional advertising the action was simple … buy, tell your friends, buy more, become a brand loyalist and also a brand ambassador. The underlying message was to for people to buy. In blogging or expand that to social media marketing, the action is not so cut and dry. Yes we want them to buy but we also want them to share through telling friends, share to an open and various platforms, comment openly, return to support the efforts and at some point trust enough to buy. Not to dissimilar to traditional advertising but yet oh so different. The message in traditional advertising was not as frequent. Each day there is not a new ad promoting something new but in blogging we are writing something new each day or every few days.

In blogging or social media as a whole, are we giving too much or not enough for what they need to hear to pull the trigger to buy? Do they not trust us or do they trust the ad in the local paper more? Are they more compelled to buy from the ad as the message is very clear – x offering at x price. Is that what they are seeking and we as bloggers are missing that and spinning our wheels to create relationships that are beating around the bush and avoiding what they want to hear?

How Do We Answer?

We answer based upon what is successful for us. I write a post about Facebook, whoa, the traffic is through the roof. Fantastic, but is there a lead, a return visit the next day (sure if I write about Facebook). As a marketer am I answering the questions of the small business owner who is looking for guidance as to how to incorporate social  media into their marketing plan? Not likely. The traffic is a boost no doubt but am I answering the questions of my target market to have them delve into other articles, see where the agency can help and nudge them over to the contact page so they can take the first steps in hiring?

When we answer based upon our success is that really answering? To that immediate audience and those that become clients/buyers I would have to say yes. But what about to those on the fence? Are we persuading them through our communications to really answer what they want us to answer? We know that as we climb the ladder of newbie, to a bit established to growing to success we feel we are answering what our audience wants to hear as our popularity rises, generally our sales increase and we are set.

When We Fail

I truly believe that if we do not fail, we cannot be very successful. Failure is to me scalable as if we are vying for that bigger client and we are not awarded, we learn. Sure, we failed but yet we were able to gain access to something bigger and how we accept and adapt is what makes us even more successful. Coming on the heels of the worst loss for my beloved NY JETS since 1986,we want answers as to how this game that was pumped to be such a great game was pretty much over in the 1st quarter. We want the coach to say we sucked, we were completely ineffective in all areas of the game and how we have no excuses for 3 Int’s and how we will improve on Sunday. Some want him to say the competition was better. While on this night they may have been but in business we would rather eat nails than say our competition was/is better. The competition may have had a great campaign that was better than what you had but is their brand stronger or is yours? Way different mindset that we can establish to a business than to a team. (Of course a team is a business but the performance levels are different).

What do you think, do you have to tell your audience what they want to hear? Do you even know what they want to hear? After many years in the biz, do I know?

The comments are yours so have at it.

photo credit: emdot