According to IQBlade, gaining insights from analytics and making data-driven decisions can lead to a 24% increase in sales. But where do you get data when it comes to the content your audience prefers?
There are numerous ways to find out what type of content your audience is interested in. This article will reveal eight effective strategies you can utilize to learn what kind of content your audience craves.
How to Find out What Kind of Content Your Audience Is Looking For
According to Forbes, 91% of users prefer interactive visual content. And Cisco predicts that by 2022, videos will dominate consumer internet traffic with 82% on the global scale.
To keep up with the user preferences and demand, companies will need to focus more heavily on visual content. But not all visual content is created equal. If it’s not useful and personalized, customers will discard it.
Below are eight ways you can leverage to create more user-focused content and boost audience engagement.
1. Use Analytics Tools
Analytics tools can provide invaluable insights into your audience’s demographics and interests.
The Insights tab on your Facebook page is a powerful, free analytics tool. It can tell you who your audience is, how they react to your posts, and much more. Then, you will be able to analyze which posts had the highest engagement and what topics can work for your future content.
Business accounts on Instagram have access to follower insights. These can be found by clicking the analytics icon and finding the posts section. You can sort the posts by reach and engagement to gauge how popular certain types of content were.
Twitter Follower Dashboard
To access Twitter Follower Dashboard, you will need a Twitter Ads account. You will see a list of common topics and accounts that your followers are interested in. You can also find the demographics, lifestyle, and behavioural insights to help with your content planning.
If you’re aiming to create a content plan for your blog, Google Analytics is a reliable, free tool that’s packed with invaluable data.
You can learn about your audience’s:
- Age and gender
- Language and location
- Interests (by category)
- Behaviour (page views, time spent on the page, bounce rates, etc.)
- Type of device, service provider, operating system
2. Ask Your Audience Directly
Directly asking your followers what they want may seem counterintuitive, but people like to know their voice counts.
Hold Email Surveys and Questionnaires
One way to get direct feedback is to use your mailing lists. You can set automated emails to be sent to subscribers when they sign up or at specific intervals. If you monitor engagement, you can send out a quick survey or a questionnaire when you notice a drop in visits and interactions.
Reading the comments section on your blog and social media platforms is an effective strategy to get unfiltered feedback.
Is your audience enjoying the content? Is it thought-provoking? Are there suggestions on how to make it better? Are you completely off the mark? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself while reviewing the comments section.
Actively Engage Your Audience
Include questions in your posts, respond to comments or post Instagram Stories or Reels with “Yes/No” questions about your content. You may be surprised by how much you can discover about your followers if you just engage with them.
3. Create Audience Personas
Once you have some audience insights, you can start outlining your marketing personas. Personas make the audience relatable and give you a better understanding of their interests, pains, fears, and desires.
Describe two or three personas for in-depth insights. Then, provide targeted information that is truly valuable to each customer segment, based on the trending topics among the group.
4. Talk to Your Followers
Socializing with your readers and subscribers in the comments section deepens your brand’s connection with them.
As you connect and engage with them more, they will start to open up about their wants and needs. This helps you identify expectations and how to consistently deliver relevant content.
5. Look at Your Competitors and Peers
Observing what your competition does can help differentiate between the best and worst types of content to produce.
Join Facebook Groups
Following Facebook groups and pages, you will see what kinds of posts generate high interest. It can also help gauge the attitudes regarding specific topics and brands.
Follow Their Social Media Accounts
If your competitors and peers are present across different platforms, follow them on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other relevant places. By doing this, you will discover where your audience is and what type of content they appreciate the most.
Visit Topical Conferences
These usually cover trending topics, so that’s one of the first signs of people’s interest. You can also learn about new approaches and technologies, find connections, and join discussions. Then, use that information to enrich your content plan.
Look at Competitor Backlinks
Backlinks are a sort of vote of quality to search engines. As far as search engines are concerned, the content is such a good source of information, that other companies and publications are directing their audiences to it. Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that. Conducting a competitor backlink analysis with a tool like Ahrefs is a good first step, but then you need to dive deep to understand what type of links the content is attracting and why. Once you have this information, you can apply it to improve your own content.
6. Use Social Media Tools
Social media tools provide more in-depth insights than analytics tools we discussed earlier. Using these tools, you can discover what types of content you should focus on, identify trending topics, and hear what people have to say about your company or brand.
Buzzsumo can help you identify what content performs best, generate content ideas, conduct content research, and much more.
WhatsTrending is a go-to tool for identifying trending social media news. Explore different categories to see what your audience may be discussing.
Google Trends displays a chart of how a particular search term is performing over time. Input parameters such as date range, location, category, and type of search to craft your content using the most popular topics and formats.
Sprout Social helps you learn how topics perform, and more importantly, what people have to say about your company. This social media listening tool is used by over 25,000 businesses worldwide.
7. Experiment with Different Types of Content
If you are not sure what types of content and topics to choose for your plan, you may need to conduct some experiments.
Audit Your Existing Content
Auditing your existing content is the first step before experimenting with multiple types of content. Maybe your posts are text-heavy and aren’t visually appealing. Or you have a lot of interactive visual content, but something else is missing.
Identify best- and worst-performing content and figure out the factors that affect the results.
Once you know where you stand, you can set your content goals.
These can include:
- Number of followers or subscribers
Using the insights from the tools mentioned above, start creating different types of content.
As you start posting new types of content, monitor the results of your experiments. Is there an increase in followers, how many of them are returning visitors? Are they more or less engaged after consuming different kinds of content?
Use these results to inform new content marketing plans.
8. Repurpose Old Content
Repurposing existing content is an easy and often overlooked way to reap the benefits of content marketing.
Reuse Best Performing Content
When you know that a piece of content is performing well, repurpose it for different platforms.
Keep in mind that you may want to adjust the length, format, and visuals depending on the target platform.
Some examples include spinning off chapters from a pillar page or white paper into their blog posts and infographics. Or, using funny clips out of your webinars and YouTube and creating loop videos and gifs.
Redo Worst Performing Content
Conduct some in-depth analysis to see where and why your users drop off.
Is the format appropriate for presenting the information in the post? Are there issues with the topic or the content itself? Is that kind of content common and well-accepted on that exact platform? For example, an instructional video on knitting may not fare well on LinkedIn.
Once you have the answers to these questions, improve existing posts to get closer to your goals.
If your content marketing isn’t going according to plan, you may need to revisit your strategies.
Visual content might work best for most audiences. However, creating the most enriched, interactive content won’t matter much if the audience doesn’t care about the topic you are discussing.
Numerous strategies and tools are available to help marketers identify the exact topics, types, and formats of content appropriate for their target audience.
For best results, gather insights from:
- Analytics and social media tools
- Surveys, polls, discussions, and comments
- Developing personas
- Competitors and peers
- Content experiments.
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