One of the biggest challenges business owners seem to face is knowing what content to publish for their audience. Are you one of the many who sits and stares at the computer screen, paralyzed into publishing nothing?
The solution? Ask your audience what they need and want! It’s truly that simple, and on this episode I’m sharing the six big benefits of surveying your audience.
So if you’re unsure of what content to create or you’re finding it difficult to get the results you you want on your content, tune in now!
Mentioned in This Episode
- Ask Your Audience Challenge – Live
- Episode 134: They Ask, You Answer
- Episode 57: Make Your Content About Your Audience, Not You
Welcome to Episode 144 of The Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast that supports the idea that content and marketing are ever-moving targets in any business and it’s okay if you don’t feel like you’re doing it ALL right, ALL of the time. You have permission to experiment with little tweaks and changes in your content to find what works for you, what increases value for your audience and what grows your business. And most importantly, what feels good for you.
I’m Abby Herman, content strategist and coach for online business owners who are ready to make a bigger impact online. I firmly believe that success isn’t about what big marketing brands and so-called gurus think is the right thing; it’s about you and your business. Your lifestyle and, frankly, your values and belief systems.
You get to do business in a way that works for you.
If you’ve been listening for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about surveying your audience, asking your audience what they need and want to hear from you in your content. In episode 134, I interviewed Marcus Sheridan, author of They Ask You Answer, which is where this idea comes from. And also in episode 57, where I shared why content is about your audience, not about you or your products and services (mostly). And I know I’ve mentioned it a lot on other episodes and as a guest on other people’s podcasts. In fact, I’ve also presented about surveying your audience at numerous summits.
Today I want to talk about WHY. Why is it so important to talk to your audience, to ask them what they need and want? What’s the benefit to you, the business owner, and what’s the benefit to them, the audience member and prospective client?
But before we get started, I want to let you know that today we’re just talking about the WHY. I’m not going to share HOW to survey your audience–best practices for getting the most out of your survey or WHO to survey, because yes, it really matters.
Nope, I’m not sharing that today. But I WILL share it with you, if you join me for the free LIVE Ask Your Audience challenge I’m hosting starting September 27. It’s a five-day challenge that will take you about 30 to 60 minutes each day, including the instruction and the homework. You’ll walk away with a completed survey, that I’ve reviewed for you (if you do your homework each day), a list of exactly who you’re going to survey (because you shouldn’t survey everyone on your list or in your free Facebook group), and some tools to help you get responses.
It’s an incredibly valuable challenge that’s 100% actionable. And I haven’t offered it live since last September, and I’m not sure when I’ll offer it live again.
Sign up for free at thecontentexperiment.com/ask. I can’t wait to see you there!
And if you’re listening in and love what you hear, I would so appreciate it if you’d leave a rating and review on your favorite podcast app. Ratings and reviews are what help tell Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and all the other platforms (and me!) that you like what you’re hearing. And it helps to get the podcast in more earbuds…so others can benefit from the information I’m throwing down on a regular basis.
Okay, let’s dig into the importance of asking your audience. Finding out what they need and want from you so you can deliver it.
I think we all know by now that creating content for the sake of content doesn’t work. There needs to be a strategy behind it–a reason for your audience to keep paying attention. They’re following you because they want information–they want to learn something. And that means that you need to educate them.
You do that through content marketing. It helps you to establish an online presence and helps you to get visible.
And I’m here to tell you…content marketing does not mean publishing endless blogs, podcast episodes, and YouTube videos. Yes, those are a part of it. But those pillar content pieces are not everything. There’s a lot more to content marketing than blogs, podcasts, and YouTube. A lot. But I’m not going to go into that all right now. Stay tuned for a future episode on this topic.
I think we can all agree that things are different today than they were in early 2020. And honestly, I don’t think we can expect to get back to any kind of normal. Things will continue to change and evolve and it’s up to us to evolve along with the rest of the world.
That means we can’t do content like we used to. You need to be able to market your services and products to people outside of conferences, summits, events, Facebook groups, etc. Because these things don’t look like they used to. AND you also need to find ways to nurture new audience members when they’ve found you.
How do you do that? You ASK them what they need and want so you can give it to them. You ASK them where they’re showing up online (so you can too). You ASK them what their challenges are so you can offer solutions.
But why? What’s the benefit to you?
- Gets you in the head of your followers and audience members
- How would you like to know the exact words they use to describe their challenges? This helps you understand what they’re struggling with and how to market your solutions to them.
- Lets you know exactly what your audience needs to know
- You don’t know what you don’t know, right? They say that your ideal client is often you, a year ago. But everyone is different so they’re probably struggling with something that’s different from what you were struggling with. And their life and experiences are different than yours so they’re approaching it from a different mindset.
- Identifies where your audience is following you (where you should be showing up online!)
- I used to blog…a lot. Until I surveyed my audience and discovered that my audience, my prospective clients, don’t like to read blogs. They love to consume audio content. So I started this podcast and am about to hit my two year anniversary. My business has changed so much since I started the podcast, in so many good ways. I never would have started the podcast if I hadn’t surveyed my audience. Okay, maybe I would have, but it would have taken me longer to get there.
- What would it feel like to let go of some of the content you’re creating and not getting great results from? Wouldn’t it feel good to know that your audience wants THIS kind of content, not THAT kind of content? Think of how much time and energy you’d save!
- Helps you generate content ideas (and ideas for offers and services!)
- What if you had an endless list of content ideas–right from your audience’s brain? Wouldn’t that be amazing, to not have to sit and wonder what the heck you should create?
- When you survey your audience, they will tell you what they need. All you need to do is pay attention
- And that’s not to say that they’ll be able to give you every single content idea; you’ll want to fill in the gaps a bit. But I guarantee you, if you ask the right people the right questions, you’ll end up with an enormous list of content ideas.
- Gives your audience a voice in what you’re creating
- Who doesn’t love being asked their opinion. I have a lot of opinions, and sometimes I offer them unsolicited. I try not to, but I can’t always help it.
- Wouldn’t it feel good to be ASKED for your thoughts from a favorite business you follow? I mean, I started going to Orangetheory about six weeks ago, and I love it. But I’d also love to be asked for my feedback about certain things. I’ll try to keep my mouth shut unless I’m asked.
- Maintains a connection between you and your audience
- This goes along with the previous point a bit. Talking to your audience, asking for feedback, is such a great way to start a conversation or maintain a connection. Especially with someone who’s already following you and already invested in your brand.
So what do you think? Are you convinced yet that you need to survey your audience?
What if I shared some testimonials from the last live round?
One participant said:
Abby’s Ask Your Audience Challenge has been one of the most valuable exercises I’ve participated in to learn more about my audience’s specific needs and wants! It was simple, actionable, and easy to implement. I received insightful feedback from my ideal audience that I could use immediately, which has been helpful in creating the right content, services, and products for my audience that they’re excited about!!
And from someone who watched me teach this on a summit:
OMG… I’ve been trying to survey people since November of 2020 with zero response but your suggestions / guidance knocked it out of the park. I don’t know how to thank you for your gift.
Surveying your audience should NOT look like a mass email to your entire list. It’s strategic and thought through, with specific questions that get you the answers that you need. I’ll help you with that and show you exactly who to survey and how. Plus I have templates so you don’t have to start from scratch!
If you’re not signed up for the free Ask Your Audience Challenge yet, what are you waiting for? Go to thecontentexperiment.com/ask to sign up now. We get started September 27.
If you found value in what you learned here today, be sure to share it on social media. Take a screenshot of the episode on your phone and share it over on Instagram stories. Tag me at thecontentexperiment. The more you share, the more we can get the podcast into the hands of more business owners, just like you, who need to hear the message that they are not alone.
It’s not about YOU or YOUR products & services.
It’s about what THEY need.
What’s missing from the industry?