By Victor Blasco, Founder & CEO, Yum Yum Videos
When creating new content, video or otherwise, one of the first steps you should take is defining and researching your audience. This is crucial because content alone, no matter how good, will do little if it doesn’t reach the right people.
You need to know and understand who you are talking to, and to do so, you will need information that ranges from demographics (age, gender, nationality, etc.) to preferences, personal interests, values, likes, and dislikes. You might find it hard to believe, but even online behavior plays an important role here!
With this knowledge, you will be able to plan ahead and create fully-tailored, professional marketing videos that engage current viewers and potential customers alike.
But where to start?
Well, there are many audience research tools available online nowadays, but the method that suits you best will depend on what you want to know about your audience.
Today, we are going to tell you about five of them that are incredibly useful to collect different types of audience data to help you create a more robust and effective inbound marketing strategy.
Let’s get to it!
SOCIAL MEDIA LISTENING TOOLS
Social media listening tools help you keep tabs on relevant hashtags and keywords such as your product’s name, the titles of your videos, mentions of your business, and comments on your social posts.
This is the perfect complement to the questionnaires because people voice their opinions more freely on the web, and with these tools you can “listen” to what others are saying about your content on different social channels in a subtle and effective manner. This way, you’ll gather firsthand knowledge that is more honest than it would be if you were to ask them directly.
Don’t forget that after you have collected all the data, you will need to turn the feedback into a suitable strategy for the listening to be effective. For instance, you could start by interacting with your followers and replying to their comments on social media, be they positive or negative, to provide further customer engagement.
Since all of this information comes straight from the source, you can uncover the general sentiment about your content: Does it meet your client’s needs and expectations? Can you enhance it and make it more appealing to them? Are there any issues or topics you should address in the next video?
You want to know what people are saying about your content, but they’re already telling you!
For a deeper audience research tool, you will need to know more than your viewer’s preferences and opinions. That’s where Google Analytics comes in.
To start with, this online analytics tool allows you to set certain parameters to track your web traffic and create a report on basic information, such as demographics. Depending on your settings, however, you can also find out who visits your site, the number of times they do it, how long they stay, what type of devices and which browsers they use, and so on.
Most importantly, you will be able to determine whether they watch your videos and if they do so until the end or not.
Do you realize why this is such a valuable tool in developing a strategy to optimize your content? If you notice that people leave before your videos end, then it’s probably a sign that you’ll need to shorten them in the future or change the particularly problematic segment.
On the other hand, if you wish to know how your audience finds your website, you can choose to receive data about which social network is referring most of your online traffic.
Let’s say you discover that a great percentage of your viewers come from Instagram. What you could do, then, is to direct your efforts towards that platform and adapt the length of your videos to fit its constraints. Since everyone knows that this particular social network’s content is consumed through smartphones, you will also have to crop them accordingly to fit the screens.
This ensures that your content reaches your viewers through the platform that directs most of your traffic and the one that they prefer to use.
This is a more straightforward option through which you can address the general public and potential customers to figure out what type of content they would like to see.
These people are less likely to answer your questions, as they are unfamiliar with your content. However, you can solve this issue by keeping your survey short and to the point and asking close-ended questions (multiple-choice, “yes or no,” and rating).
The advantage of this kind of question is that the answers can be easily expressed in percentages and graphs to show trends that you can take advantage of to boost your video’s engagement and their reach – especially when you are going with more niche styles, like whiteboard animated pieces.
A clever tactic to encourage your audience to complete the questionnaire is to offer a discount coupon or a gift card as a reward.
A good tool to start with is client questionnaires. Since you most likely already have a list of customers or followers on your social media profiles, it would be easy to reach out and make the questionnaire available to them. There are also more chances that they’ll answer it because they’re already interested in your content and are familiar with it.
There are, however, some things that you need to keep in mind when you’re writing a survey to understand your audience better.
First, focus on a single important issue. Your clients are more likely to cooperate if you present them with a shortlist of questions on a specific topic (e.g., how much they liked the latest video).
So don’t bombard them with long and tedious questionnaires and keep the forms simple, clear, and short.
Second, include open-ended questions so that your viewers can offer you feedback and other useful insights. This is a very good idea if you want to discover the root of a problem or the reasons behind your audience’s trends, for example.
As we mentioned before, incentives are a good encouragement for completing surveys. People are usually quite willing to provide personal information for the chance of winning a prize.
Sweepstakes are giveaways in which prizes and luck take center stage because winners are randomly drawn.
How can you use this to research your audience? Well, for starters, you will have to ask some personal questions that will enable you to obtain valuable information such as the participant’s name, contact information (an e-mail address is the most common one), date of birth, and so on.
You can also include a condition which states that they have to answer a few questions and give feedback about your content or ask them if they’d like to sign up for your newsletter.
This type of data can provide a lot of insight on who your “ideal customers” are, and the type of people your content and products are resonating with the most.
TO SUM UP
There are lots of approaches to audience research and even more tools to carry it out. Which one you’ll choose will depend on the type of information you require.
The best starting option is to select a few complementary methods and then take steps to transform the collected data into a strategy to boost your videos.
By determining your target audience, you will figure out if your content is relevant, appealing, and appropriate for them.
Remember that having great ideas is not as good as having the RIGHT ideas. When you’re more familiar with your viewers, you can create videos that resonate with them and get across your message more effectively.