Are you struggling to create content that connects with your audience?
Has the sheer task of creating a content marketing strategy got you wondering: “Where do I even begin?”
Not sure how to identify evergreen content opportunities?
When it comes to content marketing success, your audience is critical. You likely already know this and have your buyer personas all mapped out. But, do you know your audience as intimately as you think?
Benefits of Getting to Know Your Audience Intimately
When you dig real deep. When you really get into your audience’s minds – their dreams, pains, struggles, fears and obstacles holding them back from achieving what they want – you’ll:
- Create content that resonates and speaks to them, so that when they start reading your content, they’ll nod and think to themselves: “That’s me. This brand, this company, they totally get me.”
- Build trust as they’ll view you as a company that cares
- Kickstart your B2B content marketing on a solid foundation- yes, content marketing strategies start with your audience. I know there’s much more to creating a content marketing strategy, but defining and understanding your audience is the first step.
- Generate a constant stream of content ideas and avoid the all-too-common scenario: “What should I write about?” Your audience, in effect, will do all the work for you, without you having to do hours of research.
- Quickly and easily identify evergreen content opportunities – you know the material that always remains relevant and of interest to your readers, year in and year out?
But How Do You Get to Know Your Audience Better?
You likely already have a good grasp of your target audience, but there’s always room to get to know them better. To help you do this, you could:
- Scour the pages of Quora
- Visit forums
- Research social media
- Analyze comments on your blog
- Pay attention to when prospects reach out to you with a question
Perhaps a better approach, though, is to simply ask by creating and sending a simple survey. Indeed, this is exactly what I did when preparing to launch my newsletter.
I knew that my past experience working with content managers, content directors and marketing executives of B2B tech companies and learning about their challenges, wouldn’t be enough. That’s why I created a simple questionnaire in Google forms and sent it to my current and prospective clients (if you want to fill the survey out, follow this link). The questions I asked were:
1. What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
2. What are you short (3-6 months), medium (6-12 months) and long-term goals (12 months plus) in your role?
3. What are the biggest obstacles stopping you from achieving your goals? Please name some (three would be great, if possible).
4. What are your most burning question(s) about content marketing? You can have more than one question. Example: “Is there an ideal content length?”
5. What’s YOUR biggest challenge when it comes to the content marketing industry?
The answers to these questions helped me understand your current content marketing challenges, where you want to be, and what’s holding you back. They’ve given me many different topic ideas to write about – which I’ll cover in upcoming newsletter editions.
More importantly, I have detailed insights into your world and the exact words you use to articulate your problems – words that I’ll inject into my copy so that it resonates with you.
And, because I understand that getting to know you will be an ongoing process, I will store this information in a document and update it over time. In this way, I’ll never run out of content ideas, ever again. By following a similar approach, you too can create a survey to learn more about your audience.
How to Create Your Survey
The key is to create questions that allow you to identify current pain points (challenges), goals/dreams (where they want to be), and the obstacles holding them back from achieving those goals.
You can use the questionnaire I created as a skeleton, adjust accordingly, and follow these tips:
Tip 1: Ask 3-5 questions. Keep it short so that it doesn’t take a lot of time to complete. The longer the questionnaire, the less likely it is that your audience will answer it.
Tip 2: Tie the survey to a specific topic. For example, if you’re a cloud accounting provider targeting small service-based businesses, a short survey may look like this:
- What’s the biggest challenge you face as a small business owner?
- What are you short, medium and long-term goals?
- What are the biggest obstacles stopping you from achieving your goals? Please name some (three would be great, if possible).
- What are your most burning questions about cloud accounting? You can have more than one question. Example: “Is my accounting data secure in the cloud?”
- What’s YOUR biggest challenge when it comes to accounting?
Tip 3: Include examples next to the questions, so they know what level of detail you want.
Tip 5: Put the survey on your website, send it via email, or do both.
Tip 6: Provide an incentive – such as an ebook or free report – to get customers to complete the survey.
Surveying your customers will help you identify that evergreen content we spoke about earlier. For example, if many respondents highlight the same problems in the questionnaire, the chances are good that a blog post that solves this problem will become evergreen content.
Bottom line: Getting to know your audience is a superb way to improve your content and surveys will help you do exactly that. Have any questions? Feel free to leave a comment below.