In the previous lesson, you hopefully got a clearer idea of the kind of content you can publish on your blog and provide to your list subscribers.
Today, we’re going over some web 2.0 tools that make it super easy, and even fun, to learn more about your target audience.
The assumption, of course, is that you have a clear idea of who your Ideal Customer is. If not, take an hour or so to decide who your IC is. And then come back and finish this lesson 😉
Web 2.0 has made our lives so much easier. We can communicate with each other and keep track of the current discourse in our niche — in real time.
Our goal in this lesson is to unearth more of our IC’s desires, the problems that wake them up at 3 in the morning, the stuff that bugs them about our competitors, the big hopes and dreams that keep them going, even the exact words and language they use.
Here are a few web 2.0 tools you can use to keep your finger on the pulse of your Ideal Customer.
One way to do this is by going to http://search.twitter.com and then type your niche or topic into the search box. Twitter will then display all the tweets that contain these words.
Another way — and this is the way I prefer — is to use a Twitter client such as Tweetdeck. Since Tweetdeck is the only one I use, that’s what I’ll be describing in my example. Click on the “Add Column” button, type your topic into the search box, then click “Search.” You’ll have a new column in Tweetdeck with all the recent tweets containing your search term.
Using Twitter search is a super easy way to find out:
This free service from Google is another handy way to keep track of blogs and news on any topic of your choice. To set up a Google alert, go to http://www.google.com/alerts. Type your topic in the “Create a Google Alert” box. Under “Type,” choose whether you want to monitor news, blogs, web, video, or groups. If you want to see everything, select “comprehensive.” Customize your other preferences then click “create alert.”
Now all you need to do is wait for emails from Google, with links relevant to your search term.
Alltop is a good way to keep track of several of your favorite blogs all on one page. Create your personal Alltop page, and fill it with the top blogs in your industry, or check out the Alltop pages of individuals who influence and reach your Ideal Customer.
Now keeping track of what’s new in these blogs just became much easier. All you have to do is visit your Alltop page and all the recent posts are right there in one page.
Online forums are good sources of information about your Ideal Customer. Find one or two forums where your IC hangs out. Most will allow you to read posts even if you’re not a member yourself, unless it’s a paid forum. In that case, you have to decide whether the cost of the forum is a worthwhile investment. Facebook groups are another type of online forum where you can do some market research.
Forums are good, because members actively post questions and requests for help. You can very quickly find your Ideal Customers’ frequently asked questions.
Sites like Delicious, Stumbleupon and Digg, help you discover sites that web users like about any topic under the sun. I’m not too fond of any of these myself, other than going to Digg to find inspiration for headlines. Other than that, I prefer the other sites I’ve mentioned above.
However, if you find that social bookmarking sites have gems in your niche, then by all means use them.
Use the knowledge from these web 2.0 sites to find topics for your blog posts, email newsletters and giveaway materials. Take note also of the specific language people use, and use the same language in your marketing copy. And by being sensitive to the needs expressed on your topic, you can even come up with ideas for products and services to develop and offer.
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