How do you create great content? Let your customers decide.
How do you decide what to share in your email marketing or social media?
If you’re like the average person, you see more emails, text messages, social posts and ads than you know what to do with. You probably rarely make the effort to unsubscribe or unfollow, but you also rarely engage.
If you’re like the average business owner, you may believe your information isn’t subject to that same scrutiny. Yours is different! Yours is better! Isn’t it? It might be. But if you want to be sure it is, let the data tell you.
Are you the customer? Find out who is.
You may have an iPhone, and most of your friends and family may have iPhones. But only about half of smartphone users do. Don’t assume none of your potential customers use Androids just because you don’t know anyone who does.
In order to properly communicate with your audience, you’ve got to first know who they are. Look in a few places to gather this information.
- Website analytics – The free Google Analytics code can tell you a lot. It can report the type of browser your customers use, their gender and how they got to your website, among other things. If your website has any ecommerce functions, consider setting up a conversion so Google can tell you more about who is actually shopping or booking appointments. You may think your customers are women between ages 30 and 50, but your analytics may show that you’re missing the men who spend money on your website!
- Firsthand experience – If you run something like a restaurant, retail store or service company, you probably physically see your customers. Talk to them. Find out what they like and who they are.
- Social media or app analytics – This is another place to grab your demographic information. You may find that more men like your page, but more women engage with your posts. You’ll need to do a little recon to figure out why (maybe you’re posting more female-oriented content, or maybe you’re missing your customers).
Don’t take it personally. Let the numbers do the talking.
Your content ideas might fall flat. That doesn’t always mean it’s terrible, but it might mean it’s not targeted appropriately or that your personal preferences don’t match up with your audience’s. So let your customers do the talking.
- Review click-through rates and engagement. On your social posts, how many people see something, and how many of them act on it? In your emails, what do people click on? Take those findings and apply them to your content. If no one clicks on pictures of an office birthday party, but lots of people click on legal updates about your industry, put more of one and none of the other to maximize engagement on your next send.
- Segment, segment, segment! Some content might be great. But if it’s not going to the correct people, it’s not working as well as it could. Separate your audiences in your email system, and speak appropriately to the ones who follow you on various social platforms. If you run a dance studio, don’t send information about advanced summer programs to first-year dancers and their parents. If your dancers follow you on Instagram but their parents follow you on Facebook, put different content on each platform.
Be open to change.
Sometimes, if you were wrong about your expectations or if your numbers are low, the evaluation and analytics process can feel deflating. Don’t let it! Every evaluation is an opportunity. And the sooner you improve, the better. If you don’t adjust with your audience, you may lose them forever. Just like in hiring and employment, retaining customers is much easier than attracting new ones. Properly streamlining your content can make it both more effective and more efficient. It’s never too late to start.