Have you ever read a newsletter, blog post, email, or social media post that just screamed: “This is me!”? How did that writer know how to write what was in your head out onto paper? How did they know you so well (without actually knowing who you are as an individual)?
This person had to know his or her audience so well that they know the words that they speak so they can effectively talk to you and catch your attention! If they would have spoken in their own language, you probably wouldn’t give their content another look.
This is the power of market research and knowing your audience so well, you can literally speak what’s going on inside their heads out onto your content!
But how do you do this? How do you create such an intimate relationship with your target audience that you’re literally speaking their language?
You have to do market research in order to speak to your audience like you’re their BFF. Luckily, the internet makes conducting this research incredibly easy. Your market is online telling the world right now who they are, what they like, and what problems they need solved. Here are four ideas on researching your market online so you can be the one writing content that makes your audience says, “They are reading my mind!”
Do you like to snoop (who hasn’t used social media to snoop a little?)? Well, you’re going to love this then! You can actually use social media to find out about your audience by doing a little snooping.
Look at the individual profiles of the people who follow your business page and discover:
- Who they are
- What they like
- Their jobs, locations, ages, and family
- General opinions
There is a goldmine of information available on social media! You can also look at people’s posts to see what they’re interested in and what questions they ask.
You can even research hashtags or type in questions in the search bar to see what others are asking in regards to your profession. This can give you greater insights into their needs.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is the current version of the old Google Webmaster Tools. You can sign up for this free service from Google and it presents a wide variety of metrics about your website and the behavior of your visitors.
Google Search Console tells you what keyword searches bring people to your site, how much time they’re spending on each page, what links they click on, and trends over time. This shows you how people are interacting with your website and what kinds of content they find interesting.
For example, if people spend a great deal of time on a particular page, you know that this is the type of content they’re looking for and thus, you know what kinds of content and services to provide now.
Conduct Online Surveys
The oldest and most effective method for collecting data about a target market is to conduct surveys and interviews. I have conducted several surveys during the last few years to give me ideas on what my customers wanted more from me.
You can conduct surveys any way you have contact with your audience. The most common ways are through social media or email. You can approach people on online forums like Quora or Growth to see if your target audience has asked questions in regards to your specialty.
If you create a survey (which you can easily use Google Forms), then make it short, only asking a few questions, and you’re more likely to get responses. If you offer an incentive such as a free piece of content, you can get people to do longer surveys.
In my experience, if you want your audience to get very specific, then give them choices to choose from and at the end, ask if there is anything else they want to add or comment on.
Monitor Your Content’s Performance
The best way to learn about your audience is to start presenting them with free content and see how they interact with it. You’ll quickly see which pieces are most popular and which drive the most engagement through comments, shares, and likes.
For each piece that’s successful, try to determine what it was about the piece that people liked, and try to repeat that. When your audience ignores a piece, try to figure out why and don’t do it again.
Content is all about tweaking and reviewing, so don’t give up if you feel it’s taking a while.
Creating a Persona
Take the data you gather and create a persona. This is a single person to whom you’ll aim all of your marketing efforts; it’s okay if you have more than one, but it helps to stay focused on a single type for the best results.
The more specific and crystal clear you get on your persona, the more focus and concrete you can become with your content.
How do you start with market research?
If you’re asking yourself how you would even create a persona to talk to, then it’s time that you invest in the online course, How to Create a Realistic Content Marketing Plan.
Why should you invest in this course? Here are three reasons why investing in a course that’s going to teach you how to create a realistic content marketing plan is the best decision for your future:
- You’re going to plan content base on what your customers want to know from you (so you can be a mind-reader for your audience!)
- Know exactly what your audience wants so you can create services, products, and more
- Impact your business by being laser-focused on your marketing and content goals so every week, month, quarter and year is a success (instead of a continual flop)
How to Create a Realistic Content Marketing Plan comes with seven quick and easy video lessons for you to take action steps on right away with action guides, cheat sheets, and a workbook. Plus, you’ll receive an editorial calendar, content marketing plan, infographics and more!
If you have NO idea what you’re going to do, say or market this year, then your business will suffer from time, energy, lack of knowledge, and resources that could have gotten you to your year-end goal.
Don’t let another year go by wondering what works and what doesn’t. It’s time to create a plan of action and you can create that by investing in yourself, your business, and your marketing by getting into the course, How to Create a Realistic Content Marketing Plan!