July 17, 2008
Liz published this at 1:14 pm
by Scott McIntyre
In the first part of this series, when I shared my perspective on connecting with offline customers, it was clear from your comments that this is an area of business activity which many of you are keen to develop.
I was also very interested to learn that some of you have already adopted this as a business goal, and are taking steps to focus in on attracting this particular audience – a group that is, I would suggest, waiting for you to find them and to address their consumer needs.
Helping you to grow your online business by reaching out to non-bloggers, is a subject close to LizÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s heart. She previously hosted a lively session on blogging outside the blogosphere with Wendy Piersall which opened up the debate.
Today, I would like to explore a little further the issues behind whether your online business could be profitably served by aiming for customers outside the blogosphere.
The Nature of Your Business: Is Your Audience Bloggers?
Let me ask you whether there are people within your own network of current, or potential, contacts who either (a) donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t read blogs or (b) are not bloggers themselves?
I would hazard a guess that there are.
At first glance, the vast majority of blog readers would appear to be other bloggers. Or, at least, that is the impression I get when I read the comments sections on almost every blog I have visited. The vast majority of commentators have links to their own blogs in their signature.
Either other blog readers without a blog are few and far between or else, as I suspect, they are reluctant to get involved in the conversation.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a missed opportunity whichever way you look at it.
Are other bloggers your ideal target audience?
The nature of your online business will strongly influence any decisions you make as to whether you might usefully channel resources into targeting offline customers as your primary marketing strategy.
If your product or service is aimed specifically at bloggers, it seems entirely appropriate for your business to be aiming for customers within the blogosphere.
If your market offering, however, is non-blogging based then it might be best to look for potential customers offline.
To focus only on bloggers as your target audience is to miss out on an army of potential customers — people with money to spend — who are not aware of blogs (yes, they do exist!) or who do not blog themselves.
Next week, I will be looking at some of the practical methods and communication channels you can use to spread your message to this potentially lucrative, offline market segment.
If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re a blogger, leave a comment to let me know your views on whether it’s right for your business to target offline customers. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re a blogger already targeting customers outside the blogosphere, what are your experiences in trying to attract this audience to your online business?
If you’re a non-blogger, let them know what they need to do to get your attention.
Scott McIntyre is a freelance writer based in Scotland, who only recently discovered the wonders of the blogosphere. He’s a writer on a personal mission to live a colorful life, and to write about it along the way. You can find out more at LinkedIn, or be one of the first to follow Scott on Twitter.