Creating content your target audience wants to consume really boils down to just one thing – a deep understanding of their wants and desires.
In this article, we will look at some tools and tactics we use to help gain audience insights for better content planning.
No matter what type of business you are in, whether you are selling a product or a service, there are really only a few fundamental principals necessary for successful marketing.
You cannot create content for your audience if you do not have a deep understanding of who they really are. You need more than just a general demographic data.
One way to learn all these things is by communicating regularly with your audience and being genuine when you do. You need to build a relationship and establish trust, which is part of the conversion process anyway.
As you are doing this, you need to really listen to what people tell you.
Respond to their comments, answer their questions and don’t be afraid to admit mistakes. People are drawn to regular, honest people.
Here are a few tips for getting to know your audience specifically to create incredible content they will love.
Do Your Research
Getting to know your audience is a process and is something you should integrate into your everyday work.
Being a ‘customer-centric’ ensures you’re connected to your market and have a consistent understanding of their behaviours, needs, and desires.
Customer calls, interviews, emails, chats, and other interactions are great for qualitative insights. But you can also dive into search topics with keyword search tools.
Keyword research tools
Digging into keyword search queries can help you understand what topics people are searching for. I personally use a couple of different tools to do this.
1. Google Keyword Planner
Keyword Planner is good at pulling together groups of search keywords around your initial query. I find it a quick way to filter through a vast array of keyword options.
2. Mangools KW Finder
Mangools have created a tool for viewing keyword search queries in a neat interface that gives you some additional information to what you get in Google Keyword Planner. With Mangools KW Finder you will be able to see the exact amount of search queries per month, as oppose to Google Keyword Planner’s ‘search range’, which is quite vague. Mangools also shows the keyword ranking difficulty. A must for analysing if the keywords are worth your effort or not.
Remember to write naturally and don’t keyword-stuff your copy. There are some rules to abide to (read How To Use Keywords Correctly article here). But basically; don’t be forceful with keywords in your content.
Comments and reviews
Another great way to gain insights into your market is by reading through reviews. Jump onto Amazon and other marketplaces where users can leave reviews. The feedback people leave here can be extremely valuable and will give you some great ideas for content.
Define Your Customer Personas
This is a successful tactic which has been tested and proven over the years. Conceptualize your ideal customer right down to the tiniest detail.
Start by creating a fictional character and as you outline this persona, answer the question why. If you decide your ideal customer is female in her mid-thirties, make sure you understand why you’ve come to this conclusion. Your personas should be the result of your initial customer discovery.
Your persona should have a career path, income and personality traits. It will all help. Many businesses have done this over the years to learn their target audience, and it works.
I also like to create realities for personas. Note down their Desired Reality, Current Reality, and their Undesired Reality. (Coined by Natalie Robinson at Mum’s Garage)
Under each of these headings list the characteristics of each reality. This will give you a good understanding of your customers want to learn, and you’ll end up with some great content ideas. See example:
I could go deep into realities, but that is a topic for another post.
Competitor Analysis For Content Ideas
Another go-to strategy I use is digging into competitors to see what’s working for them. Checking out their blog articles is one way to see what topics and keywords they are aiming for. However if you want to get a bit more technical you can use some of these tools. Tools like the ones below will help you get insights that most marketers won’t know how to get.
Amazon Alexa is a powerful tool that allows you to see demographics and site traffic data for almost any website. With this data, you’ll be able to understand who they are targeting and with what keywords. https://www.alexa.com/
SimilarWeb will give you comparable stats to Alexa and is also an easy way to see other websites that are similar. I use SimilarWeb chrome extension to search and explore competitors easily. similarweb.com
Spyfu is again very similar to SimilarWeb and Alexa, however, in Spyfu you can see what Adwords ads a competitor is running. You can view the ad and the frequency of the ads. If a competitor is running an ad more frequently, then it’s safe to assume that it’s working for them. Review the keywords they use in that ad, the landing page, and the search queries.
Wrap It With A Bow
You must intrinsically understand your audience to be able to craft value-adding content for them. Every piece of content needs to inspire, entertain or educate your target reader.
As long as you focus on your audience and creating value for them, you will be able to create awesome content they will enjoy and share.
Pushing Your Content Out
There are over 2,000,000 blog posts created every day! That’s a lot. To break through the noise you not only need quality articles, but you need to distribute them correctly. Your own blog is one place to post, but have you tried offering your content out to other blogs? We can help with that. You can use Contento to offer your articles out to a number of willing publishers. Contento makes distributing your content super simple. Start your free trial and see how you go!