Well-written and researched content will not only sell, but also help with search engine optimization. If it’s useful and targeted, there is a high possibility for it to go viral and positively influence your goals. But the question is: how do you find out what your customers want so you can provide it?
Search engines are like data miners and provide information to millions of users on a daily basis. There are few things in the world which can’t be found on the internet today (if you know where to look), which is why it’s becoming harder for websites to rank on search engines. So what do you have to do in order to stand apart from the rest? Well, the answer is simple; give them solutions to actual problems.
As simple as it may sound, this is probably the toughest thing to do in the marketing world. In order to provide value, you need to know what your audience wants.
In this post we will show you ways you can learn what your target audience needs so you can deliver value and drive long-term traffic.
Learning from your competition
In order to beat the competition you need to know more about it. You can start by simply looking through your competitors’ websites and forums to learn their strategies and find out how they’re dealing with customers.
If they’re doing things that are working for them, there is no harm in taking pointers and implementing the same strategies yourself.
A good practice would be to analyse their content and note down the keywords they are targeting. Since your competition is going to be within your industry, the same keywords and a similar content strategy will be applicable to your brand as well.
Similarly, if you are running an e-commerce site, you can easily visit your competitions’ sites and find out what their customers are saying. Any bad reviews they might have are great opportunities for you to build on (a great guide for this is available here).
You should also check out SEMrush, which is a great tool for competitor analysis and research.
Reading and responding to feedback and comments
This is not only a way to learn from your target audience but also strike a relationship with them. If it is a B2C kind of business, comments are directly going to shed light on the things which customers need from you.
Moreover, comments are not relegated to your blog only, you should invite feedback on different forums which have relevant audience. Even if you find feedback regarding other brands or companies, it can be helpful for you in learning what customers want.
Conducting your own keyword research
Since a large majority of people use search engines to find products, services and solutions, search engines are excellent sources for insights into what customers really want. Google has some great free tools like Google Trends and Keyword Planner which allow you to conduct your own research.
Finding the most searched keywords doesn’t just tell you what people need but also gives you a path to optimize your content and pull traffic from it.
The most important keywords from your perspective should be long-tail keywords because they are more specific and give you the exact train of thought your customers are on.
Social Media Signals
Social media platforms are diamond mines of information. Today most people just put everything out on the internet and marketers can easily learn about their likes, dislikes, needs and wants.
Moreover, social media signals are real-time and current, giving you a more accurate picture of how your target audience is thinking and what it needs today.
You should not only be active with your own social profiles and connect with people but also join groups, chats and pages relevant to your industry and browse through them for feedback, ideas, suggestions and even complaints.
If your company or brand profile has a good following, you can even ask your followers directly to provide feedback on a certain idea, service or product.
In order to stand out from the noise and pull traffic, get yourself heard and make sales, you need to deliver precisely what your target audience wants. Targeted content is the key here, and in order to produce that, you need to conduct research through various means, including competitors’ analysis, keyword research, social media networking and feedback collection.