As one of my favorite authors, Chuck Palahniuk, once stated, “the audience only wants a limited amount of honesty.”
Most of your blog readers do not care where your information came from or if you double checked your sources.
The audience doesn’t really stop trusting your personal brand if you have sponsored content placed on your channels.
Marking your content as sponsored is a moral choice you make as a blogger and writer in order to inform your readers that you’re making some money out of the content you create.
But what if you want to find out more about your audience? Your audience members get to know you through what you post and share, so how can you get to know them? Here are three ways to do so “behind the scenes” without being invasive of their privacy.
Encourage People to Leave Feedback
Feedback is the source of continuity and growth for your brand. It is the best way to pick your readers’ brains and to discover their interests.
From the type of feedback your followers provide, you can understand what is a top priority for each user individually, as well as observe patterns as a whole in your community. Here are some examples of feedback initiatives from my community members:
- Feedback initiative created by a fellow member of my freelancing community, encouraging everyone to fill out a Google form. I would receive an Excel sheet with all their answers.
- Feedback from a fellow member sent individually, via email.
There are multiple ways to gain access to your audience’s feedback, including surveys, feedback boxes, direct reach out, usability tests, and user activity (like in the examples above). You can read in detail here about the best ways to get feedback.
Interact with Your Fans and Followers on Social Media
Social media is a great channel for gathering feedback and interacting with your fans and followers. The beauty of it is that it works both ways.
Not only can your audience get to know you behind the scenes but, by following your audience members back, you can also get access to bits of their lives and hobbies. Here are a few channels you can use for a more personalized experience with your customers and users.
Instagram is one effortless way to connect with your readers. By following them back, you get access to their photos, videos, and Insta stories.
You can also make use of live videos to interact with them in real time or in the private/group message features. The main idea is always to encourage conversation and to let people in.
Younger audiences have an affinity for Snapchat. The social media platform and app allows users to post videos and photos that disappear in 24 hours.
Bigger SM platforms have adopted many of Snapchat’s features. Snap ads, geo filters, and Snap sponsored lenses are fantastic ways to reach a wider audience and secure your connection with an already existing one. Check out this ultimate guide to Snapchat for business by Hubspot.
A combined audience (young and adult) enjoys using WhatsApp, and the app facilitates fast communication through groups and individual messages. I wrote a massive post on NinjaOutreach about the WhatsApp business model, which you can check out here.
Extract Data from Your Website and Analyze Patterns
[clickToTweet tweet=”The data available in your website’s logs is as precious as gold.” quote=”The data available in your website’s logs is as precious as gold.”] Some of your data is transformed into reports in your Google Analytics (GA) account, but what if you want to carry out your own analysis or run a specific test? Well, GA has the data you need. It’s just that you’ll need to do the processing yourself.
As with most procedures, this process is straightforward when you know how to do it. If you don’t know how, then check out courses like these to gain solid knowledge.
These classes will help you to generate more advanced reports that will ultimately enable you to understand your customers and readers better.
This type of “content,” if we can call it that, can provide great insights into the actions your audience performs on your website.
For example, you can discover the amount of time spent per page or item, number of clicks, returns to the same page, migration to the next page, the number of purchases, intention to purchase, and so on.
And you can discover what triggers their support, loyalty, and further “evangelism” of your content, services, products, and brand.
Do you feel that you’re not living where your audience lives? Do you sense you’re losing pace and not getting to “spend time” with your readers in a way that helps you get a deeper understanding of what they want and what they expect from you? If so, use these three calls to action.
First, ask for feedback and engage with the feedback, which ought to come from you and from your community members.
Then make use of social media channels that encourage a more personal experience. Dive deep into numbers and generate reports that showcase your audience’s patterns at a community level.
Original image via Pixabay
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