In the previous post, I discussed about how you can leverage audience research to drive growth and the importance of conducting an audience research.
In this post, we will discuss more on how to carry out audience research for your business.
Since we have acquainted ourselves with the concept behind audience research, it is necessary that this post shows you how you too can achieve success by doing audience research.
Your leads, audience, prospects, and customers are scattered all around either geographically, demographically or otherwise.
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But the internet has concisely brought everyone together using platforms where they can all assemble. This is one of the greatest opportunities to study your ideal audience to form part of your decision making.
Jeff Bullas opinion is that too many of us skip ahead to the fun part and underestimate the importance of fundamentally engaging your target audience first – don’t wait for them to find you!
Valuable audience engagement is all about quality over quantity. It’s worth spending time thinking about who you need to connect and engage with on social media. It’s about seeing past the obvious and leverage audience research.
Who is interested in your product or service? Is there anything unique that could appeal to a certain audience?
Then think about the next level which those people might be associated with.
Word of mouth is a powerful thing and it’s prevalent among social media folks. Therefore, connecting with those that are connected to your target audiences can be worthwhile.
Think about who these people are, which industries they work in, what they like, what they read, what motivates them, age range, personality traits, where they hang out, and technical know-how, how likely they are to use social media and leverage audience research.
Really do your research and segment your audiences by creating profiles for them.
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You may uncover some less obvious people that could be great for you. Keep a record of this, a simple spreadsheet will do, and make sure you review and update it, adding others as necessary.
Also identify your key influencers. These could be people that stand out within your communities, people that others listen to, and people that create action (not necessarily those people with thousands of Twitter followers).
They could be peers, journalists, thought-leaders or other stakeholders.
The types of audiences you could be looking for include:
• Existing customers
• Leads and prospects
• Journalists and editors
• Affiliate businesses
If you don’t know who these people are, make the most of the various free monitoring tools to track who is talking about the keywords associated with your business, the type of content you post etc.
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Once you have profiled the people you want to connect with, you need to find them. This will give you a good idea of which social platforms you should have a presence on, so keep your mind open to niche sites to enable you understand your ideal customers.
Understanding audience has always been – and will always be the key to successful marketing.
So, how do you get to know your ideal customers?
Don’t fret! Am sure you have started to imagine going through all the huddles of researching. Based on the presence of survey tools on the internet, you can take a chill pill and comfortably conduct your research using either SurveyMonkey or Google forms to enable you create and promote your brand survey.
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The social media is where most people connect from business to personal, news, entertainment etc. Social media has revolutionized the audience research process, and few strategists miss the opportunity.
By using social networks, businesses can monitor what their audience is saying about them and their competitors, and gain an understanding of common questions and concerns.
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Social media has revolutionized the audience research process, and few strategists miss the opportunity.
With an idea of what your audience, leads, or customers want and most often talk about, you can now strategy’s on the means in which you can infiltrate the market and drive growth.
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Already, you know what they want and how they use the internet. Therefore, creating content and campaigns that will suit them won’t be much of a headache to you. Engaging them with the type of things they want because you already know them.
Leverage audience research
This might be a little bit on the high side but it is still worth the try. In case you haven’t thought of this, it is most likely you should because it probably will yield quicker results than any other research method.
You can hire the services of a digital marketing agency to enable you achieve faster outcome. Expand the reach of your market research by investing budget in sponsored social promotion and PPC.
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Provide an incentive to attract participants and entrants; allocating some budget to a prize could prove to be worthwhile. LinkedIn advertising is effective for targeting a proposed audience with research questions, particularly for B2B brands.
Am sure you think this is an outdated method especially with the new media but individual interviews and focus group meetings can highlight audience wants and needs as well.
You get to here straight from the horse’s mouth that why they engages with certain products or brands, what they search for the most online and even why they use the internet at certain times.
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It is time consuming as you will get to here various opinions that you will have to compile together as your end result. The good thing is, once you get your facts straight, then you might not need so much work organizing your digital marketing strategy.
First off, you need to establish what you would like to know, and tailor questions to elicit genuine and honest responses. Also, consider the misleading impact of asking loaded questions before conducting the interviews.
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It might seem old school but it is as effective as other methods of audience research but in this case, you get to have a one-on-one interaction with your people in your leads or prospect category.
Research on your competitors platform
Your competitor’s platform is also another forum for audience research. Wwwhhaat! I get that face.
Honestly, that is one reliable research source for you to leverage on because they already have the kind of prospective clients or customers you want therefore it’s a whole lot more easier to locate and find out more about their buying and content consumption pattern.
Competitor research is also a key element of preparing a strategy, but so too is the research of other brands in a similar sphere of influence. People are immersed in their own world of buying habits (and that of their peers).
By understanding where else your audience buys other products and services, you can better understand their habits. Further down the line, you can actively place content at these locations.
Keyword research is one tough nut to crack especially when it comes to creating content.
It is advisable to use Google keyword planner for your research to understand the type of words mostly used by your leads when using any of the search engines especially Google which is very popular.
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To make your work easy and fast, you should create a top level list of keywords that you predict your audience to be searching for.
Analyze the search volumes of your suggested keywords, and allow the tool to suggest new potential keyword groups. Always ensure that you use relevant keywords that will be easy for your audience to search for.
After the in-depth research, it’s time to create comprehensive audience personas. These will inform every strategically decision thereafter (until future review), and should form a key reference point when deciding on the nature of a proposed campaign.
In a nutshell, this is what you should include in researching your audience personas:
Demographics include name, age, gender, income, education, location, and information about their work. This is essential to understanding context that surrounds your audience.
Goals and objectives
Establish what the goals and objectives of your target audience are, and the hurdles that stand in their way. If you can discover this, you can communicate the ways in which your brand removes these hurdles and makes your audience’s path to success easier.
Leverage audience research to avoid doubts
Establish which factors would prevent individuals from purchasing your product or service. Most people second-guess themselves during the purchasing decision.
After all, they’re parting with their hard-earned pocket money, or sticking their neck out by investing the boss’s budget. If you can list these objections, you can address them before it’s too late.
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An oft-overlooked element is the inclusion of a photograph. It might sound frilly and unnecessary, but adding a photo of your target will help your marketing team to visualize the individual at every stage.
Furthermore, the habits and hobbies of your audience also indicate their interests and can help you target content in the right sphere, as mentioned previously.
Once these personas are created, it’s time to store them in an easily-accessible and visible place. They’re absolutely necessary to tapping into the emotions of a target audience, so must be reference able every day.
Now that you have done your research and you know your ideal audience, how can you engage them?
Create engaging content
After gathering so much information about your audience, the next line of action is to deliver high-quality content that will bring about an active response from your customers.
Neil Patel says you don’t need to be the best or have the best writing tools but what you do need to do is to understand your reader. Which is the basic thing for your business growth.
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This content is expected to add value to your prospect which will in turn trigger the conversion process. The content could either be articles, pictures, videos, infoghraphics, websites and even freebies. You should make your brand worthy to be engaged with.
The fact remains that without understanding your audience; you cannot cater to them or deliver value. Audience research is a long, tedious and never-ending commitment.
It’s also absolutely essential to marketing success. There are many constantly-changing variables at play in B2B and B2C markets; technology, trends, and wider economics to name a few.
Complacency breeds eventual failure, whilst listening to your audience will highlight opportunities and ensure you’re front of mind when it comes to the purchasing decision.
We have everything at our disposal to broadly drive growth. Social networks and forums enable us to listen in to conversations, and intelligent online tools allow unprecedented access to audience behaviour, search trends, and much more.
Once this quantitative and qualitative data has been mined, the challenge is to spot the opportunities and deliver great content, at the right time, in the right way.
You can share with me how you too have leverage audience research to drive business growth.
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