Tips for Understanding Your Audience’s Needs
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by James Daily, Content Manager at Flash Essay.
If you don’t understand your audience, everything else that you do is a guesswork. It’s like playing darts blindfolded. You might have a general idea of where to aim, but it’s hard to score points that way. If you can result in wasted expenditures now, and loss of potential profit in the future.
Larger corporations are able to hire out market research firms to provide them with the insights they need. Most small business firms, bloggers, eCommerce shops, and content providers aren’t able to do that. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you cannot gain important audience insights. Here are some tips for doing just that.
Reach Out to Customer-Facing Teams Outside of the Marketing Department
Let’s be honest. Nobody loves the marketing department’s ideas better than the marketing department. When those ideas are brilliant, wonderful! If not, it can be like handing the keys of a Ferrari to a fifteen your old. There has to be a counterbalance.
The best way to find that balance is to speak with people on other customer-facing teams. Nobody knows better than customer support agents, clerks, cashiers, and sales staff how to answer the following questions:
- Is the latest marketing campaign hitting the mark or evoking eye rolls?
- What product is causing the most frustration?
- What upcoming product has customers most excited?
- What questions are customers asking most?
- When customers drop out of the funnel, what are the most common reasons why?
Poll Your Audience
Sometimes what’s simple is best. To understand your audience’s needs, just ask them. The trick is to present your questions in the right way and at the right time. Here are a few rules to follow:
- Keep it short. A brief poll is fine. People will bounce on a lengthy survey (usually).
- Provide an incentive for more information. That lengthy survey might work if you offer a small freebie.
- Provide room for customers to be detailed.
- Don’t be leading. You’re trying to learn, not convince.
- Be consistent. Don’t change ratings scales in midstream.
Finally, don’t be pushy. From their grocery receipts to their social media feeds, people are bombarded with requests for feedback. Keep yours to a minimum.
Upgrade Your Content
Yes, writing a high quality and engaging content is extremely important, but you must be 100% sure it’s not only valuable, but also supported by unique visual content and edited well. Support your content creating with these useful tools:
- ProWritingAid – polish your content with this editing tool that aims to help you improve your writing by checking grammar, spelling, readability and more!
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Find Out What’s Creating Engagement and Why
What are people in your audience reading, discussing, and sharing? Which topics in your niche are trending on Twitter? Content that is earning engagement is content that is somehow meeting a need. This could be information, education, even entertainment. When you understand what audiences are looking for, you can begin creating a better content plan.
Angela Davis from Ok Dissertations says, “A tiered approach to creating evergreen content is best. The first step is recognizing what audiences are hungry for. Then, create that content, but deliver something more than your competitors. This could be more data, video, case studies, or simply approaching the topic from a fresh perspective. Finally, share and promote that content where your audience is.”
Spend Time with Your Community Members
If the only information you are gathering from your audience is through your owned media channels, you are probably missing quite a bit. You have too much control there, even if you choose a light touch when it comes to moderation. To truly learn about their needs, you have to find them elsewhere. This includes:
- Seminars conventions and other events
- Online forums such as Reddit
- On competitors’ social media channels
- On review websites
- On their own websites and social media channels – A great place to identify influencers and power users
These are places where your audience will be freely sharing their opinions, openly discussing their frustrations, and speaking about what it is they would like to see when it comes to your products and services.
When you understand your audience’s needs, you best tailor your approach to engaging them at every point in the sales funnel. You will even be able to make better decisions when it comes to product development and customer support. To start, simply keep the tips above in mind.
James Daily is a professional writer and content manager at Flash Essay. When he is not involved in career-related tasks, he follows his other many interests, including astronomy, psychology, and cinema. Feel free to contact him via his personal blog Brainished.