The Power of Audience Insight
Passionate marketing and social media strategists often find creative ways to approach their particular discipline. But many of them are looking for insightful ways to face the daily challenge of collating useful data.
Most companies still rely on basic demographic data from platforms such as Facebook, which can offer helpful starting points. But these initial data-sets aren’t enough to make a significant impact on the success of strategy and campaign roll-out.
The challenge here is overcoming the tendency to rely on just demographic data, and drawing premature insights from this, instead of combining that data with sociographic dimensions.
Here’s an example:
The graphs above are a familiar sight to every social media strategist by now. It’s a quick overview of content performance on Facebook, offering basic insight into community size and growth, content reach and engagement, when compared to previous time periods.
You would also have a view into the performance of the competitors you identify and set, based on a few limiting metrics. Many companies use the business tool and other social software to gain greater insights and to automate reporting – but is that really enough to achieve something remarkable with your strategies?
- At the end of that process, what do you really know about your audience(s)?
- How are you identifying key traits and behaviours, and creating content accordingly?
- Do you see the value in rich demographic analyses and, if so, are you gathering enough insight to actually do these?
For most marketing teams, these questions begin to show huge holes in audience insight strategies and how we target content, identify competitors, stay part of the conversations about our brand and align with the right influencers and consumers.
With so much information available to us as a community, we need to harness this in order to improve every facet of our marketing plan.
So, how do we do better?
The simple is answer: create easy-to-consume but data-rich audience insight reports and have the right mechanisms in place to achieve this.
Meltwater’s Audience Insight Reports go further in that they:
- Offer far richer analysis.
- Segment the total audience based on the communities who follow each other.
- Pull up information about the parent companies.
- Do comparative analyses, look at common personality traits, online habits, commonalities in interests and keywords.
- Identify the influencers who these different segments follow.
- Understand the content users are engaging with to help you resonate with different segments and advertising platforms and speak to the different segments.
- Identify brands that can influence that segment and find partnership opportunities. Which brands have the closest affinities with certain segments? If, for example, you are the Manchester United Football Club and you’re starting a partnership with Adidas, you can see which of your players are most followed by people who also follow Adidas.
- Help you find a direct tie-in to these individuals on Twitter. Understand the content that’s resonating with these users.
- Give you the chance to create tailored content for each segment.
- Export all of these different segments and then use them in Sysomos to do some audience-centric social listening and understand them beyond keywords.
- You can listen in on the conversation and get a sense of what they’re talking about and understand where you can contribute to the conversation.
The key to quality market research
Essentially, audience profiling is crucial to the discovery process. By creating a socio-affinity “portrait” of your audiences you can begin to combine their socio-demographics behaviours, and gain insights from their interactions. While the science of segmenting an audience is never a perfect one, it can go a long way in expanding our understanding as marketers. In fact, 80% of marketing professionals say that audience profiling is a challenge, which shows that understanding consumers can be a stumbling block.
Profiling tools are crucial to the success of your campaigns
A profiling tool can help give you insight into various audience segments. With the Meltwater software, you can get an idea of how an audience is profiled.
From the example above, if we look at Spiderman fans worldwide, we can quickly establish where they are located, what languages they predominantly speak and what other interests, competencies and demographics they share, in a single view. There is also the opportunity to dive deeper into the data.
Looking at a more centralised dashboard, we can also see socio-graphic information, influencers and brands followed, interests, media preferences, content tracked and personality and behavioural traits.
We are also aware of more intricate details, like the type of device used, favourite social media platforms, publication preferences, days and hours of activity, types of content consumed, participation in events and more about the navigational behaviour of our audiences.
From a market research perspective, we can actually work with the target demographic and understand what those people are talking about. We can also understand the audiences of your competitors. Are they more successful than you at marketing to a certain gender or age range? You can find out where there are opportunities for competitive intrusion and take some of that market share back.
So, Audience Insight Reports are crucial to any marketing discovery because you can easily see the reach of monthly publications as well as your social audience.
Collate audience insights and put them to good use
This is a particularly useful approach for those of us who have the room to create experimental marketing strategies and execute them on the data we collect.
- Each group is going to have a specific group of influencers who influence that segment
- Find the influencers followed by the most people in that segment – “affinities”
- Understand from a uniqueness standpoint (which are most unique to each segment). This can help you identify micro-influencers who might be more cost-effective but still powerful.
Insight for search and paid media
It’s also a perfect fit for search and paid media professionals who want to profile very specific users and target paid media and search campaigns to a very specific demographic or persona.
There is a plugin that allows you to segment audiences and advertise directly to those people on Twitter with promoted tweets. This is a great way to cut through the noise and show them content that only they see.
PR and communications professionals can use audience insights to find publications and personalities, and to create specific angles geared towards a target demographic. It’s also an important mechanism in terms of finding fitting influencers.
Content curation is best when you can understand which content really resonates with people in different segments. See what people liked on Twitter, and get insights into the personality of these personas. You can even see purchasing habits and the social channels they are most active on.
This allows you to craft a very tailored strategy, and allows you to identify all the people going after your brand so you can engage and respond to them.
Anyone who needs to understand the audiences who are talking about your brand and products should have some form of comprehensive audience insight.
Audience Insights in action
Most brands have multiple target segments. If, for example, you run basic insights on Budweiser Light, you will see three people who have mentioned the brand. One comes from the vantage point of the LGBTQ community, one association with Nascar and one with Game of Thrones. If you wanted to appeal to these three different people or connect with them, you’d need to identify these mentions and then speak to these individuals.
It’s extremely time consuming and labour intensive to manually connect with your audience. Go beyond the basics and really tap into the minds and behaviour of your consumers. Identify opportunities for better marketing strategies and empower your team to create more meaningful insight and data-driven campaigns, by prioritising insight.
Get in touch with us to learn more about gaining invaluable audience insights.