How to Better Read Your Audience To Improve Content Marketing Results
Building a relationship with your customer base should be a top priority for every single business. Making a customer feel understood, cared for, and connected to a brand can cultivate long-term loyalty that will impact sales for years to come. These are among the elements that will improve your content marketing results.
However, many businesses simply fall short when it comes to getting to know their customers. Nearly half of all content marketers agree that the content and experiences they are offering are not meeting their customer’s expectations. Many brands, unfortunately, stick to a generalized list of buyer personas and they base the majority of their content around what they think customers will like, rather than what they know their audience is looking for.
Getting to know your entire consumer audience through-and-through is by no means an easy task – especially given that businesses are able to reach wider markets than ever before thanks to global eCommerce. However, one of the best ways to engage with customers is by knowing their priorities, interests, and motivations and using those factors to drive your brand’s content.
So, how can you get to know this information about your customers for better results?
Use Their Feedback as a Compass for Topics
Customer reviews can do more for your brand than just provide some peace of mind for inquisitive consumers. Feedback that comes directly from customers can shed light on the experiences they are having.
By understanding your business’s strengths and weaknesses, you can see:
- What topics need to be discussed further
- What the most significant pain points are
- Ways that your brand is making a difference.
One of the best ways to gather the data you need from your customers is by probing them for specific information through your review process. For example, these Trustpilot customer reviews ask people to list out the details of the pros and cons of their experience. They even ask for information on the direct benefits that customer has seen from their product.
By drawing out further details like this, you can start to identify patterns and see which topics or aspects of your business are most important to your customers. This information can then be applied to your content.
For instance, if lots of reviews show complaints about issues installing your program, you may want to create a step-by-step guide that clearly explains how to do this properly. On the other hand, if customers claim that your product has made them more productive, you may want to create more content around this subject and offer some tips for other time-saving ideas.
You may also want to read: How To Use Hashtags To Find Your Target Audience On Instagram
Use Your Competitors to Get to Know Your Own Audience
While you certainly need to steer clear of any temptation to copy your competitors, it may be helpful to take a look at the ways they are interacting with their customers. Chances are that there will be some overlap. However, this could help you to understand what does or does not work in terms of content. Keep track of how their content performs and try to determine the general audience sentiment.
Pay attention to the key factors that show how well that brand is doing in terms of audience engagement and growth. This will be pretty clear to see on social media in terms of likes and followers. Keep up with their keyword traffic rates and their posting frequencies to see if their strategies are actually working well for them.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Which content pieces were well-received by their audience?
- Do they like shorter posts, long-form content pieces, videos, or images best?
- How are they targeting specific segments through content topics?
Keep in mind that your competitors likely don’t have the exact same audience as you. Therefore, you need to be wary of copying their strategies. Instead, use it as a guide for what not to do or the type of content that you should try out.
You may also want to read: The Importance of Audience Trust In Digital Marketing
Instigate Real Conversations
Social media is, of course, a highly important avenue for fostering customer relationships. But to connect with your audience through this medium, you need to understand why customers follow or would want to follow your brand on social networks.
According to a study from Yes Marketing, the reason why most consumers follow brands and engage with posts is to show support. This is especially so when they agree with the content or find it funny or interesting. Furthermore, a large percentage of customers engage to share feedback directly with a company.
Your marketing team should be using social media as a tool to better understand the type of content that your audience prefers. This is best done by prompting conversations and interactions through opportunities for engagement. Interactive posts like Facebook polls or Instagram Q&A’s are great for this.
For example, the online fitness brand Sweats and the City used Instagram to directly ask their followers what type of content they would prefer to see more of. This super engaging approach gets customers involved in the content process.
Pay Attention to Influencers
Don’t just reach out to influencers to push your products. Remember that these accounts are influential for a reason. They understand the content that their audience wants to see.
Take a look at the popular and successful influencers and thought leaders in your specific industry. Be sure that the influencers you are comparing share some audience overlap with your business.
- What is it about them that connects so well with their audience?
- What are the topics that they discuss?
- How do they interact with their followers and customers?
- What is their overall style, voice, and personality? And how does this help them reach audiences?
Again, without straight up copying any influencer’s brand style, see where you can draw some inspiration and apply it to your own content. By assessing how followers are interacting with similar accounts, it can help you understand customers on a deeper level.
Getting to know a person takes time. You can’t expect to ftotally know your customer base right away.
Furthermore, the priorities and interests of your audience will change over time. Learning more about them and finding the best content to provide will take effort and some trial and error. However, by following these tips and doing your best to understand what your customers want, you can inspire the kind of content that truly resonates with your audience.
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