Most brands already have an audience: customers, social media followers, products in marketing, etc. Because of this, you have data on some level. But a lot of companies don’t fully take advantage of that position. How can they?
Embrace old-fashioned means
Tara is a huge fan of doing things the old-fashioned way. The old-fashioned way is to talk to your audience. Your customers will be ecstatic to be able to speak with you directly and give you feedback.
Maybe they’ve used your product for a while and like it. Maybe it works for them, but they have ideas and just didn’t know who to talk to. But a CEO sitting down to talk to them? You get valuable input on how they use your product, how they describe it to others, and what they love about it (and what they don’t). You’re also building loyalty. It’s time-consuming but simple. And the value you get out of those conversations is golden. The depth of the data is so good.
Anyone can send out a survey, but there’s no real depth to it. Tara notes that you can start with pre-determined questions, but don’t be afraid to get conversational. Go down rabbit holes and dive deep into problems your products could solve. It can help feed into your content too. How?
Write down frequently asked questions or phrases you hear from customers and turn it into a blog post. You know, if they’re asking the questions or using terminology to describe your product (or their problem), others type those questions into a search engine, too. It’s low-hanging and effective fruit.
We started asking 10 rapid-fire questions to every new client we bring on. We’ve found themes within their answers. One of the questions we ask is, “What are the major challenges in your marketing organization right now?” It leads to great top-of-funnel awareness content. It’s super-targeted and perfect for your audience.
Embrace Google Analytics [the way of the future]
You can also look at Google analytics and social media analytics. What pieces of content are people engaging the most with? How are people coming to your site? Where do they spend the most time?
Tara loves using the “audience” section in analytics. There’s a dropdown called “interest.” If you click on it, there are three different categories:
- In-market segments
- The “other” category
They recreated categories that old-school advertisers use like “sports enthusiasts” and “news junkies.” They’ve classified visitors based on behaviors picked up through cookies. They make okay audiences, according to Tara.
Tara admittedly LOVES this category. The person that has come to your website is in the market for “x.” They have been actively searching for a product, job, home, travel, etc., and Google knows this. It’ll capture where they’re searching. When they come to your site, you can see the percentages of who falls into what category. Employment is a large category (people are always looking for jobs).
You’ll see residential properties, credit and lending, banking services, and even marketing services. Tara will look to see what percentage of people are in the market for marketing consultant services. Then she knows she’s attracting the right person to her website. It allows you to gauge what percentage of your audience is looking for marketing services.
You can even click on that to see what networks they’re coming from and what content they came in through (i.e., a landing page or blog post). You can even see if they came in organically on Google.
The “other” category
The “other” category contains everything that isn’t caught in the first two categories. This talks about who the audience is and where they’re from. It’ll include life events like “moved recently” or their interests, like cooking a recipe. These categories keep expanding. But it’s mostly experimental.
Conversation leads to community
Looking at these things generates ideas to grow your community better. A lot of marketers are great at driving inbound traffic but not building a community around that traffic. A simple conversation with a customer can help you gather more information than you could glean from a survey or analytics. How do you take this information and build community? Why is it important? Tara shares more in episode #40 of the Content Callout podcast!