Strategies to Discover What Content Your Audience Wants
This is Chapter 2, Part 1 from the Content Types and Ideas Guide.Yes, it can be challenging to come up with new content on a regular basis. Especially that content creation is a repetitive thing. But content is also key in marketing – for traffic, and of course search engine optimization. So, what do you do to come up with the content your audience actually wants and needs? Strategize. How? Consider the important areas of interest and use simple methods to track and discover data and comments. By doing so, you’ll always find yourself one step ahead of your followers’ needs. Here are 8 strategies that will help you discover the content your audience will dig. 😎
1. Define your purposeWhat’s your purpose? What do you want to achieve with your content? Whether the purpose of your content is to educate, entertain, create relationships, make a sale, the first thing you need to determine when planning your content strategy is what you are trying to achieve with that piece of content.
2. Know your audience – Create a Buyer PersonaDon’t write based on assumptions. Be strategic. A crucial step in writing is to know what your target audience wants to read about. How do you figure this out? Ask two questions:
- Who are you writing this content for?
- How many audiences are you creating content for?
3. Ask your audienceAnother great strategy is to ask your audience what they want. Weird? No, it’s not. In fact, it’s very simple to do this. You can ask a question like: “What type of content would you like us to share?” You’d be surprised by the answers you get and how fast people may express their wants and desires. Another approach you can go for is to create a poll. This works best if you already have a sense of what your audience may be interested in. So, make a poll, list a few options your audience can choose from, and then create your strategy also based on the answers you get. To give the entire process some boost you could offer some sort of motivation or reward in exchange for your followers taking the time to provide an answer to your question. And, even if you only manage to gather information from 10% of people who visit, chances are the other 90% of people would at somewhat agree. ✍️ Bottom line: Asking your audience directly may be one of the most efficient ways to get inside your reader’s head. And it’s an excellent approach to help you figure out what type of content to write and share on social media.
4. Use your social media analyticsAnother smart way to find out what your audience likes and wants when it comes to content is to use your analytics. In fact, with the help of our social media analytics, you’ll be able to find out what type of content works and what’s not. How? By studying your top-performing posts. What you want to do here is find a pattern and discover why certain posts work better than others. Here’s what you should be looking for:
- Common topics among the posts
- The specific source of your content – your blog/ website for instance
- A particular content type that generally performs better (video, shared article, image, infographics, etc)
- Which posts got the most comments
5. Follow the newest trendsAlways stay updated and keep an eye out for the newest trends in the social media space and follow them. By doing this you’ll get a general sense of the types of content to post because you know what is trending and what type of content audiences expect to get. Although this type of approach may not allow you to be very specific to your audience, it can still be helpful as you’ll provide the latest trends you are somehow expected to provide.
6. Socialize with your audienceTry to spend as much time as possible with your target audience online (if it’s possible in person even better). How? Simply get to know them by visiting their social media profiles, reading their personal blogs, or by joining the discussion forums and other social groups they are members of. In order to get a sense of what’s on your buyers’ minds related to your niche, you could monitor their discussions, social media posts, and comments on the different social platforms. And then… write that educational, problem-solving, and valuable content that will actually address all the issues you’ve seen your audience mention on social.
7. Decide on the types of content you want to createBecause there is a great variety of content types you can opt for, you need to decide which one(s) is best for you and would help to reach your target audience. The most popular content types you can choose from are:
- Blog Posts/Articles
- Curated Content
- User-Generated Content
- Free (Downloadable) Assets
- (Quick) Tips
- Social Media Posts
- Case Studies
- How-to guides
- PowerPoint presentations
- White Papers
8. Build an Email List and know how to use itRegardless of the type of content, you are creating, you need to make sure it ends up in front of the right people. And email lists can also be a great help in achieving this task. Why? Because email allows you to communicate your content directly to your subscribers and gets you straight into their inboxes. In fact, by starting early with list-building is an excellent way to increase the effectiveness of the content you’re creating.
ConclusionThe natural starting place for content marketing is the strategy. Your strategy will dictate how the rest of the process unfolds. So, think of your strategy as the foundation of your writing process.
Would you like to read the full Guide? Read the full guide to discover what types of content work best for you.