I LOVE my content, and I’m sure you love yours as well. Our content is what we do, it’s what we make and how we communicate with the world. We should all love our content, but we should also be sure that our content is loved by our audience.
We often assume that our audiences are some conglomerate of people, brands or marketers whose wants, and needs can only be figured out through varying degrees of trial-and-error, performance analytics, or third-party market research. When truthfully… sometimes… the best way to find out what your audience wants is to simply ask them. That’s it. Simple.
Whether you’re attempting to grow your follower/subscriber numbers, increase engagement with an established audience (or both), you will need to produce or curate content that they want or need and present it in a way that is new, thoughtful, or entertaining. The fastest way to determine what is wanted, needed or interesting is to just ask. One of the easiest ways to do the asking is with Instagram Stories… there’s literally a button for it.
These questions can be as far-reaching or niche specific as you like. The beauty of Instagram Stories is that they are gone in 24hrs unless added as a highlight. Asking questions in this way offers a quick (valuable) look at your audience’s preferences as well as offering an opportunity for them to engage with you directly.
Any new information about the audience you are engaging with is extremely useful when making decisions about what kind of content you will ultimately create and present to them. That said, it is still important to find a way to ensure that your original isn’t lost in the process. After all, you LOVE your content.
Viewing your content (that you LOVE) through the lens created with information pulled directly from your audience’s responses can help in determining what posts will have the best chance to be LOVED by them as well.
Let’s say that you find out your audience is really into motorcycles. Great! But now what? “Motorcycles” is a good start, but still kind of vague. Again, Instagram Stories offers a fantastic way to dive deeper into your audience’s preferences.
The difference this time is your story posts can be made with content your audience has already told you they liked (or even LOVED). Making a poll to get more information can be as simple as an either/or decision. Offering simple choices, visually, is a quick and easy way to engage and learn from your audience.
An example of this is making a story and simply asking which picture people like more.
The results of story polls can really help drill down into the niche you are exploring and give you a great place to start when developing a larger content creation plan.
Using audience-defined topics as the starting point for content creation inherently offers a greater opportunity for it to LOVED by the audience you’re engaging with. Articles can be written for your website to be shared in your newsletters.
These articles can also be shared to your social platforms with call-to-action statements or links back your site, developing multiple touchpoints for your growing audience to engage with.
Keeping an eye on your web analytics as well as social reach and engagement can help you understand your audience even more. Help you ask better questions moving forward and develop an ongoing dialogue with the very people you are trying to cultivate as an audience.
None of this is to say that questioning and polling your audience is a necessity every time you set out to create something new, but it is another tool for you to use to ensure your audience LOVES your content as much as you do.