It’s no secret that getting to know your community members is essential to creating and publishing the content that is going to resonate with them. If the content you create doesn’t interest them, they’re obviously not going to stick around for very long.
“But,” I hear you say, “it’s impossible to get to know everyone in my community!”
And while that may be true on an individual level (although having a dedicated site to communicate with them helps), there are ways to get to know your community as a group that will give you insights into what kind of content you should be creating for them.
Here are 7 tips for getting to know your community:
Tip #1: Know the overall demographics of your community
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s essential to have a solid understanding of who your community is. What are their demographics? What are their interests? What discomforts, often called “pain points,” are they trying to solve? Once you know who they are and what they need and want, it’s much easier to create content that appeals to them.
Tip #2: Pay attention to your analytics
It might seem counterintuitive to pay attention to numbers when getting to know your community, but the truth is that you can learn a lot about the people who visit your site and social media through your analytics. This is especially true when it comes to content, because you will be able to get a clear indication of what the most popular types of content you create are.
Make sure you are taking time to review your analytics regularly so you can see which pieces of content perform well and which aren’t getting as much attention. Once you know this, you can tweak your content to better fit with what your community wants.
Tip #3: Pay attention to your social media platforms
Social media helps to connect you with your community and can provide some feedback about your content. You’ll definitely want to pay attention to what people say about your brand and your content on social media.
Don’t rely completely on social media for insight though, as the algorithms for each platform can vary and might not be showing all your content to your community members.
Tip #4: Use surveys to get feedback
Another great way to get feedback from your audience is to conduct surveys. This works especially well if you have an active and engaged community.
Structure your questions to find out things like:
- what kind of content they want to see from you,
- what topics they’re interested in,
- what products they’d like you to create
and more. This will give you a definite advantage in creating content that you know your community members want to consume.
Tip #5: Be engaged with your community
If you’re serious about getting to know your community, the best way to do this is to engage with them. It’s not as hard as you think! Easy ways to get the engagement ball rolling are:
- Welcoming them to the community
- Responding to comments
- Answering questions
- Starting conversations
The whole point of building a community is to build relationships with your customers and members, and you really can’t do that unless you talk to them!
Tip #6: Listen to what your members have to say
This is the other half of being engaging. Don’t just talk at your community members. Listen to what they have to say! The most important information you can have when getting to know your community is to hear their feedback when they are telling you want they want from you.
Again, take the time to read and respond to comments with more than just a “thanks for your comment” post. Responding intentionally and thoughtfully to comments and feedback, whether on your blog, in your forums, or by email, lets your community members know that you value their time and their input.
Tip #7: Take notice of trends
Another way to learn about your community – and something I’ll admit to not being very good at – is spotting trends and seeing the effect they have on your members. Paying attention to industry trends is another way to get ideas because when you notice a trend gaining traction, you can create content about it. This shows your community that you’re keeping up with the latest industry trends and that you’re invested in providing them with quality relevant content.
Your community members are like gold to your business. These are the people who have stepped up to say they want what you have to offer and should be treated as such. Taking the time to get to know them and letting them get to know you is how you build a thriving community.
And when it comes to creating content for them, keep the maxim of “underpromise and overdeliver” in the forefront. Exceeding their expectations whenever you can by delivering quality, relevant content will keep your community members interested and engaged.
This is Part 4 in a 10-part series on Using Content in Your Marketing Strategy. Other posts in this series include:
- 7 Reasons to Make Content a Key Marketing Strategy for Your Creative Business
- 6 Good Reasons for Using a Content Calendar
- Got Creators Block? 5 Common Reasons Why This Might Happen to You
- 7 Tips For Getting to Know Your Community (this article)
- 7 Tips for Generating New Content Ideas
- 8 More Tips for Generating New Content Ideas
- Four Ideas for Creating a Content Idea List Using Data
- 8 Tips for Using Social Media to Gather More New Content Ideas
- Five Reasons to Outsource Content Creation
- Coming Soon