You want to create and curate content that your audience wants to read and view. After all, that’s the content that is going to be shared, that is going to create engagement, that is going to increase your followers, and that is ultimately going to drive traffic to your website. This, of course, is what is going to improve your conversion rate. Creating content takes time, human resources, and technical resources.
What you don’t want to do is waste time and money creating or sharing content that your audience just doesn’t connect with. The question is, how do you know what content is going to please your audience, and what content is going to be ignored, or worse, drive people away. Adding a process of reviewing your content strategy and direction should be a part of your overall marketing strategy. Here are few suggestions for doing this.
Read Your Followers’ Comments
If you give them the opportunity to do so, your followers will give you a pretty good idea of whether or not they approve of your content. If you get a lot of indication that a piece of content is boring or irrelevant, you may have touched upon a topic that simply doesn’t hit the mark with your audience. Of course, a lack of comments speaks volumes as well. If you touch upon a particular subject more than 2 or 3 times and don’t get any engagement, you should probably avoid that in the future. Whatever you do, don’t confuse disagreement with lack of interest. If you post controversial content and express strong opinions, you may receive equally strong reactions. That’s not necessarily a sign that you should avoid a specific subject. Tackling controversial topics is a way of creating engagement and sparking off an intense and possibly fruitful discussion.
Take a Look at Your Competitors
Make it a point to look at your competitors’ websites and social media pages every week or so. Check out what they are sharing that is generating a great response and what is being ignored. Don’t pay attention just to the subject matter though. Take note of the type of content they are sharing. Are they producing videos, sharing infographics, or focusing on long-form content? On which social media platforms are they having the most success? Remember that what your audience wants to see is influenced by where they are when they see it.
Search Trending Topics
If you want to produce the content that your audience really wants to see, it’s important to stay on top of trending topics. For trending topics for a general audience, you can use headline aggregators like AllTop to get the latest in trending news in the areas of business, tech, sports, and entertainment. You can also check out Twitter to find trending topics there as well. If you want to know what is trending in your niche, the secret lies in who you follow. Know who the influencers in your niche are, follow them on social media, and read their blogs. In addition to this, you should also keep up with any online or print publications that are in your domain or related niches. You should be able to get a lot of content ideas from these sources, and also find some great content to pass along to your followers. If writing great content is a struggle, you can pass on these trending topics to a content writing service for assistance.
Google Analytics and other analytics software give you lots of information on web traffic, bounce rates, inbound links, social shares, CTA, click-through rates, and more. You can use this information to determine which content is a hit, e.g., generating shares and engagement, earning links, boosting traffic, and which content is a miss, e.g., little to no shares, no links, and increased bounce rates. It does take time to generate enough information for analytics to be useful; however, once you have enough sample size, the data you get is extremely useful. If you are already running analytics over your website, you might want to look into companies that provide analytics solutions for your social media sites as well. The more feedback you get the better.
Read Product Support Forums
If you are in the position of providing your followers with information or reviews on particular products or there are products that are particularly relevant to your audience, consider taking a look at the manufacturer’s websites and viewing their product support forums. If there are independent support forums, look there as well. You can learn a lot about the problems that people are having with these products, where there are learning curve issues and the features that are really getting people talking. Once you know all of this, you can identify which of these problems you can help your audience solve, how you can provide education, and how you can turn what’s interesting to them into content that will go viral.
Post Surveys and Polls
This technique can be a winner in two ways. First, interactive content is always popular and it tends to get shared. Second, this is an absolutely cost-free way of getting feedback from your audience about what they do and do not like about your content and what they would like you to focus on in the future. These can be created quite easily through tools such as survey monkey and shared on your blog and social media pages. If you prefer a simpler approach, just pose a question about preferred content on your Twitter account or post a Facebook status update asking for that kind of feedback.
Make Sure Your Personas Are as Right as You Think They Are
Even with lots of research, creating your target customer personas isn’t an exact science. If your content seems to be missing on a regular basis, it could be that your estimation of your audience’s interests, values, concerns, and behaviors is not as spot-on as you may have originally thought. Don’t be afraid to revisit this. You may also want to consider if the demographic you are intending to target is the demographic that is paying attention to you. The sooner you make any needed adjustments and clear up any misconceptions in your initial personas, the better able you will be to create the most relevant content.
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