Did you know there are over a billion websites in the world today and a new one pops up every second? So there are at least thousands of readers out there who will most likely be interested in your content and opinions. After all, if your content matches your audience’s interest, well then that’s a match made in internet heaven!
But what if you don’t know what your audience likes, wants to read or share? Then creating content without this knowledge would be a waste of your time and resources. Seriously, you would just create and no one would know about it.
What is Target Audience?
Before we go any further, it is important you know the definition of target audience. It is essentially the group of people to whom your products and services are aimed at. Your marketing efforts such as video, advertisements, any content you create for consumption is intended for this selected group of audience only. Your target audience is what defines your content creation strategy, it is who you are not writing for too!
Knowing your target audience has a multitude of benefits.
- Building the right content
- Planning your marketing strategy
- Making yourself an authority in the industry
When you are aware of what time your audience is most likely to read tweets and Facebook posts, you would design your social media marketing around that. If you knew their problems and issues, you would give them solutions. This would make you an authority. Your readers would return for advice, tips and more.
Here are some actionable tips you can follow today to identify your audience's interest:
Observing Your Audience
Assuming you already have an idea of what your audience looks like, for example, you know the ideal age-group and gender. So further, you can observe what kind of content this audience shares on social media. Observe the points being discussed in comments and who is being admired by your target audience.
Sending Out Surveys
This is one of the easiest things you can do to identify your audience’s interests. Make use of your email lists! Designing the perfect survey is one thing, but you may find that not everyone has the right motivation to answer these, unless there is something in it for them. Offer freebies or discounts in exchange for their valuable time.
Joining Online Forums
There is great treasure waiting to be unearthed inside online forums like Quora, Yahoo Answers, Facebook Groups. They definitely differ from social media. You need to spend at least 3-4 hours every week observing the discussions; take note of the commonly asked questions. Check which questions have the wrong responses and notice the problems that continue to be discussed on the forum.
Being Up-to-date With Industry Trends
This is a great way to create interest where there isn’t one. You could be the first person talking about the latest change in your industry. Share your insights and learnings with your audience. This free and updated information will get your content liked, shared and talked about in no time.
- Make it a ritual to go to a cafe to devour your trade journals or consumer magazines in peace.
- Scour industry specific websites, like ScienceDaily would be for the health industry.
- Listen to podcasts, and visit your competitors blogs frequently.
- Read newspapers.
Subscribing To Newsletters
You know who you look up to. It could be your competitor or it could be someone you want to emulate. Either way, subscribing to their newsletters gives you a good insight of what is being shared and talked about by their community. Subscribing to their websites will automatically make you the recipient to get newsletters and notifications for their new blog post. Hubspot made a list of 15 interesting newsletters you’d love as a content creator.
Using Google Analytics
It’s one of the best tools you can use to get into your audience’s head. Google Analytics gives you the key to find out who refers the readers to your website and where do they go after scanning your content. It is a fantastic way to identify your audience’s interests.
Adding live chat to your website
Live chat is a support tool that allows your website visitors to contact you. But the thing is, it works both ways: you can also start a chat with a visitor (you can test it for 30-days for free). Use this opportunity to spot your potential customers, provide them with help, and get to know them better. If there's one thing that gives you a lot of knowledge about your future customers, it's chatting with them.
Using Facebook Insights
If you have never paid to get likes to your page, then looking at Facebook insights gives you a new perspective to identify your audience’s interest. Although the information seem like the normal stuff - age, gender, language and location, including countries and cities. These demographics matter a lot. Not only the “liked”, but you can look at the demographics of all the people who have engaged with your posts as well. Just remember that Facebook may not give you this information if you have less than 1000 likes.
Using Youtube Insights
Not everybody knows this, but you can get a quick look at top locations and demographics of a video that got many likes. It is a fantastic way to check what your competitor's audiences are interested in. After all, this is potentially the same audience that may consume your content too, right? Right. You can also use this tip for your own videos. See what kind of videos your audience enjoys. At least doing this will give you a perspective if video marketing is viable for your business or not.
Building an Online Community
We talked about sending out surveys in tip #2, well, here is another way of connecting with your audience, except you do it personally and more often. Build a community that helps you to get the answers.
- Be active on your social media accounts. Ask questions, answer questions. Connect and socialize.
- Care about every comment you get. It can be difficult to respond to each, but you can always send one comment that blankets the other comments.
- Credit people, share the social love. Tag creators when you share their work online. And then tell them about it (so they share it with their community).
- Take interviews. This is a great way to promote someone else, get noticed within their community and also build a new relationship with the influencer you interview.
- Guest Posts within your industry bring new folks to your community.
- Strengthen your offline connections by attending conferences, taking pictures and videos with the people you meet and greet there.
Discuss and identify their interests; what’s changing, what’s staying. Get the pulse of the people who follow you.
Not Stopping the Research
You may have spent elaborate time and put efforts into understanding your audience in the beginning. But remember, times change and so do your audience’s interests. Make sure you frequently study and continue performing the research about your audience and their interests.
Your marketing strategy needs to keep pace with change.
Investing time and effort to get to know your audience’s interest will save your moolah and make you more moolah! There are many benefits when you identify your audience’s interests. If you haven’t already, it’s time you get cracking.