What Does Your Audience Want?
audience analytics

http://moz.com/blog/know-what-your-audience-wants-before-creating-content-whiteboard-friday

Before you invest a great deal of time, money and energy in a content creation campaign, it pays to do a bit of research to see what your audience really wants. How can you find out? There are several quick and reliable ways to take a pulse on what your users are looking for and create content that meets those needs.

  • Look at your analytics. Before you start, measure a baseline of what is currently happening on your website. It does no good to talk about “improvement” if you do not have a starting point, as you will never know if you have actually improved or to what degree your efforts have made a difference. Approach this as a scientific study, not a haphazard, random act. Use Google Analytics or other web tools to thoroughly understand where you are at this moment.
  • Visit competitors’ sites. What are you competitors doing successfully? Whatever it is, you should pay attention. If a website in your niche has thousands of visitors a week, they are obviously doing something well. Study their website to learn more.
  • Reach out through social media. One of the easiest ways to learn more about what your audience wants is simply to ask them. Social media is a great way to do this. Draw in responses with a giveaway or some other attraction, but be sure to require participants to give some type of feedback. Additionally, be sure to follow up with those who respond; this is a great way to help customers or clients feel that they are special to you.
  • Visual is better. While text is great and necessary, other visual elements have been proven over and over again to be critical in drawing in a wider audience and holding their interest. Do not ignore the role of photo and video on your website, and be sure to add in interesting and interactive graphics whenever possible.
  • It is a marathon, not a sprint. Remember that the goal of content marketing is not necessarily to improve instant numbers. It can also be long-term: improve brand loyalty. This takes a commitment to work hard and making an effort to build trust with your audience.

How are you going about assessing your audience’s needs? No matter what you do, never forget to take periodic measurements to see how your efforts are paying off. If necessary, change course. Your overall goal is better client communication and participation.