How to identify your audience’s needs and address them in your content

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Data-driven insights are key to creating content that converts. As the new marketing value chain reminds us, strategy enlightened by data insights creates predictable, effective marketing leading to sales, engagement and brand loyalty.

Collecting marketing data is the first step in crafting content that addresses your audience’s needs. Analytics can help your marketing team identify pain points and craft content tailored to your target market.

Luckily, gathering actionable data and insights is easier than ever through web analytics tools like Google Analytics and marketing automation software like Act-On and Marketo. Here are some of the ways you can track your audience’s behavior and identify valuable insights about your target market’s needs:

Research the searches that lead people to your site

Use the “Queries” tracker in Google Analytics to explore the search terms that bring users to your website. Do you provide valuable information on the topics your audience is searching for? If your content is mismatched with the queries that lead people to your site, you may need to reassess your SEO strategy to better reach the right audience at the right time. Conversely, if you’re struggling to drive search traffic for terms you want to be known for, you may need to consider adding additional pages and keywords to your site to begin to rank for the keywords you want to target. The Google AdWords Keyword Planner can also reveal information about search volume that will help you identify audience pain points based on the things they search for online.

Track site searches

When visitors use the search function on your site, they are telling you directly what they hope to find — and that they’re unable to quickly find it themselves. Build out content on topics your visitors routinely search for, and ensure that it is placed prominently on your site so users can find it quickly. Site search data is also available in Google Analytics.

Practice social listening

Social networks aren’t just a venue to broadcast your own messages; they are also a place to learn about your audience’s opinions and points of view on an array of topics. “Social listening” is the practice of paying attention to what your audience is talking about online, with the intention of learning rather than engaging. This type of listening can give your marketing team many insights into the interests and needs of your audience, as well as knowledge about the types of marketing messages they most appreciate.

Ask your audience

Direct customer feedback remains one of the best ways to learn what your audience needs. Don’t be afraid to ask current customers about their experiences with your product or service. For example, ask your social media followers what they look for in digital content and the needs they want a provider in your field to fulfill. Do they struggle with topics a thought leader in your organization can address?

Are you ready to apply these insights when crafting your content strategy and ensure that your content truly addresses your target audience’s needs? Read our white paper, The 5 new laws of content, for more content marketing insights.

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