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5 Steps: Effective Audience Analysis

In B2B content marketing, audience analysis is everything.


Taking to your audience about stuff they don't care about is a recipe for a quick failure. Start with audience analysis and create content that actually resonates with your audience, and you're golden!


What do you need to know about your audience?

When conducting an audience analysis, focus on five crucial elements:

  1. What kind of information they need

  2. What are their fears

  3. What are their challenges

  4. How you can help them

  5. What they are interested in


That's all that matters because this is what your content should revolve around.


When doing content marketing, you don't talk about your company; you don't talk about how great your service is. You talk about your clients/users and their challenges and needs. You provide value to them.


That's how you gain their interest and trust -> Two things that are absolutely necessary to grow business and increase sales.


How to conduct audience analysis - 5 steps

If you know the sector/niche you're operating in, audience analysis shouldn't be that difficult. After all, I assume you started your business to solve some particular problem of that audience, right? Right...?



However, even if you do know your audience, you still need to conduct some research. That's because you need to know what to write about to grab your audience's interest.


In general, your content needs to resonate with two types of recipients:

  • ICP (Ideal Client Profile): That's the type of company you want to see as your client. For instance, if you provide marketing automation for B2B companies, talk about marketing automation in this niche.

  • Buyer Persona: They are decision-makers at ICP companies. A buyer persona is always a human, whereas an ICP is usually a company.


Your content needs to resonate with both.


Here's a simple example:

The ICP is a SaaS company, and a buyer persona is a marketing manager. If you want to succeed with your content, you need to show that

a) You understand your ICP

b) You will help your buyer persona achieve THEIR goals


A marketing manager is usually interested in getting more high-quality traffic to their website or boost lead generation. But, since they are also ICP representatives, they need to know that you can help their company because you have knowledge and experience to do so.

audience analysis - icp and buyer persona

Ok, with this intro done, let's see what you can do to analyze your audience's needs. Here's what's important for audience analysis:

  1. Analyze your clients/users

  2. Conduct competitive content analysis

  3. Find industry reports

  4. Participate in Facebook/LinkedIn groups

  5. Find a reliable knowledge source


Step 1: Analyze your clients/users

If you're already operating on the market and you have clients or users, analyze them first. Go through past interactions with your brand - questions and client service communication records to see what they needed to know or what they wanted to complain about.


You can also simply talk to them, maybe conduct a short (!) survey. Another idea is to analyze what kind of services your clients usually order and build your content around them.


But what if that's not sufficient or you don't have any clients you can ask? Then, move to step two.


Step 2: Competitive content analysis

Go through your competitors' websites. Pick three to five of the closest and/or most successful companies. What are they writing about? What makes their content successful? Do they get enough interactions (likes, comments, shares)? If so, you know what to focus on.


This bit is important: Competitive content analysis is to help you come up with topics to cover with your content. Don't use this tool to copycat your competitors; it never ends well. If you want to be successful, you need to stand out.

Don't focus just on the websites and blogs. Take a look at their social media profiles, maybe even sign up for their newsletters. This way, you will get a general idea of what you want to achieve. And then, you can put the skyscraper content technique to work to make even better job!

skyscraper content

Step 3: Find some industry reports

Industry reports can be tremendous sources of knowledge. That's because they usually comprise what hundreds of respondents had to say in your niche. They can be gold mines of useful and actionable insights.


Take this Semrush report as an example. One of the questions asked in this report was this: What are the top challenges you face in content marketing? That's something every content marketing agency like mine wants to know! And here are the answers:


content marketing challenges

It's a ready-made list of things that matter to my clients! It's obvious, then, I should tackle them in the entire communication of my agency.


And you know what's the greatest thing about industry reports? The majority of them are available for free or in exchange for your email. Definitely worth it.


Step 4: Participate in relevant Facebook/LinkedIn groups

I admit there are thousands of Facebook and LinkedIn groups, and they are full of spam and "great offers"...


BUT!


Some of them are great and can be not just valuable sources of knowledge but also new business. All you have to do is look for these hidden gems. In nine out of ten times, you can find them, even though it takes some time and effort.


My suggestion is this: Discard spammy and dead groups immediately. Thinking, "I will give this group a second chance," won't get you far. If there are signs of low-quality content in a given group, delete yourself from it and move on. Don't waste your time.

Step 5: Find a reliable knowledge source

There are many good knowledge sources out there:

  • An influencer (yes, sometimes they can be helpful; I'm surprised, too!)

  • A known CEO

  • A niche-specific news outlet

  • An industry association, etc.


Even one good knowledge source can be enough, seriously. But you need to find it and then - follow it for quick and easy access to your audience's interests and hot topics. This way, you can stay on top of things and incorporate up-to-date content into your marketing and sales.


Wrapping up

I'll say this again - in content marketing, audience analysis is everything. Your content can do its job only when there are people willing to interact with it. If they don't (despite many different efforts), you clearly need a different approach or even strategy.


If audience analysis is something you need help with, feel free to schedule a free consultation with me! Just go to my calendar to book a convenient time and date.


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