Women In Business

How to use market research to build your content and audience

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Keeping your content fresh, relevant, and effective is all about identifying your target audience and understanding the intricacies of how to reach them successfully. This means learning about their browsing and purchasing habits, how they interact with your brand, and how they interact with each other. Using market research to better understand your audience allows you to market your content wisely and achieve the best return on your investment. Let’s delve into how to use market research to drive effective content marketing.

Identifying your target audience

Engaging your audience begins with identifying and relating specifically to those audience members you are trying to target. And that means establishing the who, what, where, when, and why. Fortunately, as consumerism migrates into the online space, it has become easier to identify these answers.

Who

First up, who is your audience? The easiest way to pinpoint this answer is to look at your current customer base. You likely already have their demographics and purchase habits, and from this simple content you can learn a lot about what is most enticing to your audience along with their basic age, sex, location, and whether they are coming from (i.e. mobile or desktop devices). If you don’t have much in the way of information, reach out to them via telephone interviews or in-person surveys and ask them more about themselves. Once you’ve learned about them, review your newly discovered information. Is this the audience you are intending to target? If not, adjust your content efforts accordingly.

What

What are your customers buying? What keywords are they searching for that are leading them to you? What are they saying about you in their social network circles and your customer feedback forms? Each one of these answers can help lead you towards more effective content marketing.

Where

Where do your customers hang out online? Where are they conversing about your brand? Where on your site are they most active and what content do they focus on for the longest amount of time? What content are they engaging with most frequently? What social networks and websites do they engage in? What websites are they coming from and where are they going to once they leave your website?

When

Figuring out when your customers are accessing your content and purchasing your products can help you outline the most effective times in which to make the most out of your content marketing. Do they purchase most often during a specific time of day, week, month, or year? How often do they purchase? Do they tend to purchase only once or are they repeat customers? How long does it take them from the first time they encounter your content to the time they make a purchase? Do they interact with social media posts on certain days or during a specific time of day? All of this information can help you place the most alluring content in front of them at the time in which they are most prone to see it and react to it.

Why

Last but not least, is the why. The why is twofold: why are you marketing to them and what are the business goals you are attempting to achieve? This can help keep your content on point. It can also help remind you of your goals with your content – what it is you are trying to incite your audience to take action upon. Readership is great, but if your potential customers do nothing but visit your page, your return on investment is not trending in your favor.

Measuring your content effectiveness

Each type of business has its own style of content. And each style of content has its own level of measurability, as well as its own goals. Start by mapping out what types of content you have on your site, and what the purpose of that content is. Some of the most measurable content comes in the form of landing pages, home pages, product and checkout pages, contact pages, and pages that have a goal of conversion or lead generation. From these pages you can measure whether your content is generating conversions from returning visitors, the demographics of those visitors, and the channels where you are getting the most action. Are they referrals from a partner website? Are they coming through a search engine? It’s important to find out.

Additional content – blog posts, off-site content, graphic-based content, etc. – focuses more on creating brand awareness, loyalty, trust, community, and conversation. This latter type of content is more difficult to measure, and often comes in the form of blogs, forums, whitepapers, social media, FAQs, and instructional documentation. That is not to say that this content cannot be effectively measured. Data such as page views, session time, and returning readership are all used to understand your reader’s preferences and actions and allow you to tailor your content to increase loyalty and brand awareness. For example, take a look at what content draws new readers and what content draws returning readers. Returning visitors can tell you whether you have done a good job of establishing trust and authority with your brand, whereas new visitors can highlight what type of content attracts new readers.

So how do you calculate your return on investment (ROI) when it comes to your content in order to tailor it properly? When it comes to content, calculating your ROI can be an imprecise and challenging task. But each bit of this analysis saves you money that you would otherwise spend in marketing. Take a look at how much traffic each piece of content generates, whether it is shared socially, and where it is referred back to by outside parties, among other metrics.

Now that so many consumers employ the internet to make their purchasing decisions, your business has a great deal more information by which to effectively build content and target consumers. Using available data to strategically evaluate your audience and your content is an important part of ensuring that you are getting the most out of your marketing budget.

 

About Becky Wu

Becky Wu Ph.D is Senior Executive Vice President at Luth Research and brings unique perspectives in a wide array of research practices, particularly in the areas of digital tracking for advertising effectiveness, new product development, media measurement, and branding and marketing strategies. Becky has worked with major companies including LG Mobile Communication, Cox Communications, Comcast Cable Communications, Cricket Communications, HSBC, Disney Digital Publishing, and ProFlowers.

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