The fundamental question is – What should I research on my audience profile?
I have been mentioning this to the audience in this blog. The audience we all know is the most valuable individual who might buy your product or enlist your service.
He is also your potential customer, the one who checks on your product or service but has not yet decided to buy or pay for your product or service or is still having second thoughts about buying.
Or he may be your second customer or the one who does not buy your product or service but spreads the word or says good things about you and your product or service.
You want all of them to take an interest in what you have to offer and hopefully decide to buy or get your service.
But before that – who is your audience?
Your work as a content writer depends on what you know about the audience.
How much information do you have in your hands now that will help you effectively do your tasks of writing or re-writing content, managing social media and e-mail campaigns, etc.?
Asking the right questions will help you with your research. It is essentially market research that you are bound to do. What else would it be if not market research that makes you gather information about your audience’s needs and desires?
Why do I have to do market research?
Before plunging into knowing and learning what to research, take a pause. Ask that question above. The answer to this question will not always be the same for every person. ‘Different strokes for different folks,’ says Clarence Darrow.
We each have our motivation. Each situation appeals to each one of us in different ways.
You must have learned that you need to help solve problems your audience has. Others will have particular reasons for this primary goal, like analyzing problems to find solutions or classifying the audience according to their problems.
Whatever it is, you have to find a reason why you have to conduct market research. Do it religiously.
Where do I go to collect data and information about my audience?
Nowadays, you do not need to go out and dress to meet people to interview or conduct your survey. The web is available at your bidding to do secondary research.
What you need is to know exactly where your prospect hangs out. You have to visit these online spaces and let them feel your presence.
If you have a blog or a website, you can easily collect ideas, opinions, and thoughts from comments from your visitors. You can also do this by visiting blogs or websites your audience frequents. How about visiting your favorite social networks or online groups (LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Google +)?
How about doing primary research? You have to do these physically, unlike what you do online.
You will have to go out there to conduct surveys. You will need to interview people or discuss matters with a group. You have to go to places to experiment or observe.
You may have to ask somebody or some people to do these things with you, especially if you are a group of people doing business. The important thing is you gather information about your audience.
What information on the audience do I have to collect?
Collecting information is the most exciting part but the hardest. Imagine the fascinating things your audience thinks, does, or says as you go along with the process.
Do you think it will be easy to get this information? Yes and no.
The challenge with this research done physically is getting honest-to-goodness answers. Some participants do not care at all. Some will think it is a waste of time to do surveys, answer interviews or participate in group discussions. You can end up with invalid and unreliable information.
Crafting the right questions and explanations can help convince people. Most of the time, confusion is a turn-off.
The online scenario is different. Visitors fill up an online survey without convincing them. They willingly participate in surveys or polls.
We go back to crafting the right questions for the surveys or polls. These questions should be relatable to the audience, appealing to their emotions to make them want to participate.
First and foremost, you have to know your audience’s problems. These problems are the most valuable information you should have. Is it about the product’s functionality? Are the instructions not clear? Is your service poor compared to your competitor as they see it or vice versa?
Your audience has an unresolved complaint and begins to consider other options. You would want to record that.
Your audience is troubled by a regulation that affects his business. Why not jot down the details and see what you can do?
And there are so many more problems, complaints, worries, and difficulties you will discover as you continue your research.
But it is not only the problems you have to research. What do they aspire to do? What values do they have? Do they want to earn more money? Do they prefer to become famous? Do they want to travel abroad or locally?
It’s like filling up a scrapbook while knowing about their interests, likes, and dislikes, favorite personalities, idols, etc.
Whatever it is that can be of value that could help you craft your content effectively, list them down.
What online tools can I use to help in my research?
Like primary research, you can opt to conduct surveys or polls, manage interviews, and participate in group discussions. You can do this using available applications and forums. The web is always full of surprises!
You can also use social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google +. There are many ways you can sift information through these sites.
Last but not least are your keyword research tools like Wordtracker, Google Keyword, or Answer the Public.
Do I have the skill to do this research?
Of course, you do. It is not an easy feat, but you can do it. Focus on your research, even with the noise.