The fundamental question to ask yourself – What should I research on my audience profile?
I have been mentioning about the audience in this blog. The audience is, of course, the most important person who buys your product or enlist your service.
It is also your potential customer, the one who checks on your product or service but has not yet decided to buy or pay for, or is still having second thoughts to buy.
It is also your second customer, 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 your audience, or the audience of the client you are assigned to write for. 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.?
It is about asking the right questions that 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 the act of 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 that your audience has. Others will have particular reasons for this primary goal, like analyzing problems to find specific 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. You should do it religiously.
Where do I go to collect data and information about my audience?
In this day and age, you do not need to go out and dress anymore to meet people you need to interview or conduct your survey with. The web is available at your bidding to do a 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, thoughts, and beliefs, from your visitors (from their comments). You can also do this by visiting blogs or websites that your audience frequently visits. How about visiting your favorite social networks or online groups (LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Google +) ?
How about doing primary researches? 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?
This is the most exciting part but the hardest. Imagine the fascinating things your audience think, do, or say 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 researches done physically is getting honest to goodness answers. Some participants do not care at all. Some will think it is such a waste of time to do surveys or 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. They have to 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. This is 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. He becomes restless and begins to consider other options. You would definitely 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, troubles, worries, and difficulties you will discover as you continue with your research.
But it is not only the problems you have to research on. What do they aspire to do? What values do they believe in? Do they want to earn more money? Do they prefer to become famous? Do they prefer to travel abroad or locally?
It’s like filling up a scrapbook 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?
Just like primary researches, you can opt to conduct surveys or polls, manage interviews, and participate in group discussions. These can be done using available applications and forums. The web is always full of surprises!
You can also use social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google +. There are many ways you can sift information through these sites.
Last but not least is 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, even with the noise.