Mastering your audience – don’t forget the data!
You’re a master of accounting, legal advice, engineering, design or research. But have you mastered your audience?
I know many practitioners who write regularly for publications, social channels and their firm’s website. But is it effective in providing an education and attracting new clients?
Writing effective content that will educate your market and attract new clients for your firm means understanding your audience and what is of importance, interest and relevance to them at this moment.
As a practitioner, you are meeting regularly with clients, so will have client insight like no other. But what about extending your message beyond your clients and attracting interest from across your firm’s marketing channels?
If you have a marketing team, they’ll be leveraging your articles as website blogs, Tweets and LinkedIn posts and more. With this activity, your message will be profiled to many, so it’s important to understand who these viewers are so that you can understand your broader audience.
We’re going to look at three sources of data to help you build a better understanding of your audience. Understanding the data is important. To spread your wings to attract a larger audience and build your profile and following, you need to know more.
I’m going to use my own statistics, of The Thought Leadership Initiative, as an example.
Google Analytics can teach us many, many things. It is an invaluable tool for marketers and content writers.
I analysed my own website visits to learn more about my audience. Who am I speaking with? Were my perceptions reality? How can I use this data to craft more meaningful communications and messages to my market?
Here are my results…
Language: 96% of my readers speak English, with almost 70% of reader settings to US English. I have a small percentage of Chinese readers. If my non-English speaking readers grow, or I am growing my business internationally, I may consider introducing a Chinese translation of my website. When reviewing professional services websites, it surprises me just how many claim to be international, or to target a specific country, without a translation available of their website, blogs or specific pages.
Location: When delving into country, I found that 61% of website visitors were from Australia (despite this, many still had their language selection as US English). My next biggest readership was from the USA, with almost 21% of visitors, followed by the UK, India, Canada and China. I know that my Twitter following is quite strong in the US and I am published in US online publications, so this came as no surprise. Make sure to figure this out for your own firm’s website visitation to ensure that you can leverage your visitors and / or introduce new services and information to attract and converts these into clients.
When I looked further into location, I found that 40% of website visitors were from Adelaide. As that’s where I am located, this was not ground breaking data, but having almost 10%and 5%, respectively, of visitors from a city on the US east coast and New York was. How can I leverage this interest and capitalise on my profile in these places? (Stay tuned in 2017).
Operating system: We all know to optimise for mobile, but we need to look at the stats to see how important this is. With my own website, I found that just shy of 64% of visitors were using Windows, 17% Macintosh and 15% iOS; so most of my visitors are browsing from their desktop. I still need to think about mobile, but my user desktop experience is vastly important.
Channel: What brings a website visitor to you helps to tailor your marketing efforts and direct your budget. Are you listing in organic searches? Are you including your website in all your materials to enable direct visits easily? Do you invite prospects to visit certain blogs or pages on your website?
My mantra is that if you don’t tell someone explicitly what to do, how will they know to do it? The channel driving the most traffic to my website is LinkedIn. Personally, I am very active on LinkedIn but I need to build my company Following for brand awareness and increasing the value of my company assets – so, while we’re both thinking about it, Follow me on LinkedIn here.
LinkedIn Analytics provides great information about your Company page Following. I use it all the time to track posts and build the following of my clients’ pages.
I can track the Reach (how many people have seen it) and Engagement (clicking, sharing, liking and commenting) of each post, and my Company page overall. I can review the demographics of my Followers and Visitors to target relevant content to engage them.
I know that 76% of my Followers on LinkedIn are senior level managers or owners. This is exactly my target market of decision makers in firms. I know that 91.5% of visitors to my page fall within this same demographic – now my task is to convert these Visitors into Followers.
With this level of Following, I need to make sure that I am speaking the same language, addressing risks, giving examples of governance and providing an education appropriate to this level. If you’re reading this post, you’re obviously interested, so make sure to Follow me on LinkedIn.
Twitter Analytics is equally revealing, providing analysis of your Following and Tweets. I know that firms generally have their own Twitter account and, as a practitioner, you may independently run your own Twitter. Have you looked at the statistics of your Following and Tweets?
To access your Twitter Analytics, click on your account (top right hand side), then Analytics. Then click on the Audience tab to see the makeup of your Followers. It reveals very interesting data.
Data about my own audience tells me that 63% of Followers are male and 71% are aged between 35 and 44. Their top three areas of interest are technology, entrepreneurship and business & finance. I know that this blog, about the data that technology gives you, is of interest to these Followers.
I have 35% of my audience from Australia and 29% from the USA – aligning with (but not equal to) my website visitation location data. Well, that’s interesting.
To increase my audience, why don’t you Follow me on Twitter.
Now that you know just how interesting and important data is to give you a better understanding of your audience, get the statistics for your own firm and think about what this means to the articles you write – or should be writing.
Or, to start the year off on the front foot, get in touch with me to do it for you.