“Being in the audience actually looks like quite a lot of fun” – Paul McCartney
The importance of knowing your business’ audience is one of the building blocks of marketing while audience research is key to studying and monitoring buying behaviours. But now, with the content marketing revolution came an audience research revolution.
Whereas traditional market research looks broadly at Who, Where, How and Why, successful content marketing research dives into the nitty gritty of Why. Why does your audience buy – what is their motivation? What frustrates them? What information will benefit them in their daily lives? How can you make a difference in their lives?
Standard analytics of clicks, likes, shares and dwell times while informative in the sense that they tell you what your customer is doing does not tell you why they are doing it.
Market Research Vs. Content Marketing Research, Hubspot 2015[/caption]
The buying journey of your customer has evolved with technology. Online research is the primary and ongoing step in their journey. Your audience is searching for answers to questions that might not even be fully formulated in their heads at the start of their research.
According to SEO Hacker, the key to understanding your audience is to develop a sense of empathy for them.
When content marketing is done right, audience research begins with stepping into your buyer’s shoes. A buyer persona is created which is based on your ideal buyer. Potential keywords, questions, possible behaviours, demographics and psychographics are all researched. The content marketing team becomes the audience. Your competitors and anyone who can and is answering your audience’s questions and feeding their information needs are looked at and monitored.
The most important factor however is to consider that nobody knows your audience like your audience themselves. The most effective research is to ask them.
Engaging, relevant and valuable content will come out of intensive audience research. Predicting your audience’s needs will make you stand out. Answering your audience’s questions and providing them with content that adds value for them will position you as an authority in your sector. The quality content you provide will ensure customer loyalty.