Audience research refers to any communication research conducted on your targeted audience segments for information gathering purposes. This information can be regarding their attitudes, knowledge, interests, behaviors or preferences.
This research is a vital first step towards brand development and content creation. In order to have people care enough to engage with your brand or content, you need to show them why you’re relevant to their lives.
For this, you need to do some research to get to know your audience.
How Organizations are Conducting Audience Research
The top two techniques used by content marketers to research audiences are sales team feedback and website analytics. 80% of content marketers utilize sales team feedback, learning more about their target customers from the people who serve them directly.
71% use website analytics to find out what site content is most engaging for the audience.
66% of content marketers use keyword research to find out what interests their target audience. 55% converse directly with customers, perhaps using panels. 51% monitor activity on social media, “listening” for mentions of the brand or product. 50% uses quantitative and qualitative forms of primary research, while 49% uses secondary research in the form of internet searches, for example. 48% also carries out database analysis.
Very few companies are currently utilizing AI-powered Audience Analysis – just about 6%. In the future, however, as AI becomes more commonplace, this number will likely rise.
65% of content marketers report that their brand or organization uses personas. 20% said they planned to use personas before 2018 ended. Personas are a great way to figure out who your audience is, but they also help in the process of audience nurturing.
Audience nurturing refers to the process of developing lasting relationships with customers. These relationships are built at every stage of the sales funnel, as well as through all the steps of the buyer’s journey. Nurturing is all about listening to the needs of your audience, and providing them with the solutions and information they need.
How Organizations are Nurturing their Audiences
The top two methods used by content marketers to nurture their audiences are through email campaigns and educational content.
92% of content marketers use email/email campaigns to keep their audiences updated and interested in the brand and product offerings. 79% uses educational content that educates their audience about their products, and how those products could bring value to their lives.
71% have clear Calls-to-Action (CTAs). 67% have in-person events that engage the audience. 46% utilizes storytelling techniques that help the audience relate to the brand. This keeps the audience invested in the long term. 32% use offers and incentives to keep their customers on the hook, and 29% build communities that allow the audience to directly participate in the brand’s story.
Only 7% uses predictive technology, while 6% use membership perks like rewards cards. As predictive technology becomes more widely available, its usage is likely to see a boost in the coming years.
Through audience research, you can find out what your audience is interested in and so provide the kind of value they want!