Last week I attended Social Slam in Knoxville and spoke on a panel about social media engagement, during which moderator Dino Dogan asked me an intriguing question.
Have you ever written a blog post for an audience of one?
My answer was, “yes,” and I shared the story behind that post and some of the things that resulted because I wrote it.
But afterward the question got me thinking...
My example was a personal one – a post I wrote for personal reasons which affected my audience and I personally, but not professionally.
Does this "writing for an audience of one" concept translate when you’re blogging for work?
I believe it does, for two reasons...
When you try to appeal to an audience of many (or even an audience of personas) your content can become so watered down with generalizations that it ceases to be genuinely helpful to anyone (aka, the likeability trap.)
However, when you write for an audience of one, you are forced to narrow your perspective and clarify your voice, which improves the quality of your content.
It’s the difference between a post about….
“Managing Your Social Media Presence.”
and one that’s about…
“The Healthcare Marketers Guide to Using Social Dashboards for Lead Generation.”
Narrowing your focus also enables you to explore topics more deeply, answer questions more specifically, take a stance more firmly and offer calls to action more directly.
These will all help produce a greater return on your content than you would get with a broad, generalized examination of the same topic.
While the tangible thrill of measuring likes, shares and retweets of blog posts can make companies giddy, it's important to not lose sight of more specific (and, in the end, more valuable) metrics.
Let’s say you have a prospect to whom you've been pitching business for some time, but you've been unable to overcome their core reservations. Why not write a blog post specifically for that prospect?
I’m not suggesting you start off your post with something along the lines of, “Dear Susan, this blog post is for you.” Rather, that you use your blog for the opportunity to clearly articulate answers to very real questions from a very real person in a way that makes them feel like their reservations are natural and well-founded.
If your post is effective in speaking to that audience of one, it may speak to your wider audience, as well. (Because, you can bet if Susan has those questions, someone else does too.)
If employing this tactic results in just one large contract that keeps your company afloat for a year, that is way more valuable than a 1,000 likes, share or retweets from some amorphous audience of faceless fans.
I’m a consultant, strategist, author, educator, and speaker with more than 30 years of professional experience. I’m passionately curious, fairly sassy, kinda dorky and seriously good at what I do.