Audience Research

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How to Make the Most of Your Content (Without Reinventing the Wheel)

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Keeping up with your business and personal wellbeing is particularly overwhelming at the moment. It’s a constant challenge to try and be productive, stay connected to colleagues, clients and customers, and come up with fresh content ideas. Today, we’re here to help lighten the load by making that last to-do item – content creation – much easier.

Chances are you already have great content on your website, social media pages, video or podcast channels. Content that you spent hours crafting and promoting with tweets, LinkedIn posts and Instagram stories.

While producing fresh content is an effective marketing strategy, it doesn’t always mean churning out new material.

In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to get the most life out of existing content: reusing and repurposing content you already have, and how to prolong the shelf-life of upcoming material.

Let’s start by reassessing your current approach to producing content. Because now, more than ever, is a good time to check in with yourself and your community to see how we can best help each other through the coronavirus crisis, together.

#1 Reassess

Take a step back for a moment. Have you been following the same content strategy for the past few months, year, 18 months? Are your messages still relevant to your audience? Do they align with your business?

Don’t panic. Reassessing your content strategy is as easy as reading your analytics platforms and listening to your community – things you’ve likely been doing already.

First, check in with your audience. Who are they?

  • Gender
  • Age group
  • Financial demographic
  • Where do they hang out online?
  • What media do they consume?
  • When are they most active online?

It’s easy to find out this information. Many social media platforms have built-in analytics you can access for free (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for instance). Then try actively listening to your audience’s conversations on Twitter and Reddit to bring timely topics and challenges to light.

Another tactic is to ask your community members directly about their current situation either in conversation or through customer surveys.

Next, determine when and where your audience is most active so you can expand your reach on that platform. This will help to focus your time, energy and effort, and better keep your target audience in mind.

#2 Repurpose

Now that you’ve identified who and how you can help, let’s take a look at your back content catalogue and ways we can repurpose it to catch your readers’ attention.

Think of it as clearing out your wardrobe. Some clothes fit well, suit your style and are in great condition – keep those! Others might need a refresh before throwing them on: restitch a seam, mix and match with a newer item. And some simply don’t work anymore: your style has changed, they don’t fit right and they’re out of fashion.

Before you go off creating new content (or shopping for new clothes), see what’s already there. The creativity comes in figuring out how to repurpose it.

Fresh content, less time and resources.

Just remember to ask yourself, will this new, reimagined content resonate with my audience on their most active platform? There’s no point in repurposing something that won’t catch anyone’s attention!

Here are a few ideas for making ‘old’ content new:

  • Reshare evergreen content (articles, videos, podcasts that your readers will always care about)
  • Reminisce on past events with ‘on this day’ posts
  • Expand on a successful social post and turn it into a blog
  • Repurpose a popular blog as a YouTube video or podcast episode
  • Create a LinkedIn slideshow using existing video content

#3 Refresh

As the weight of coming up with new content ideas begins to lift, let’s finally turn our attention to refreshing your content calendar and long-term strategy.

Start with your social calendar – particularly the plans you had in place for this spring/summer. Do they still resonate with your community’s interests and challenges? Will the content you intended to share be helpful during the coronavirus crisis?

Hubspot‘s social media calendar is a great tool for refreshing your strategy.

The same goes for your blog, YouTube channel, podcast, livestreams, or any other content you produce: what will help your audience? This might not be your product or service – that’s okay. Instead think about how you can be there for your customers right now.

Save yourself time and energy while you reorganise your content plans. Be intentional with your messages and choice of platform. Did your research show your community isn’t hanging out or engaging on LinkedIn or Facebook? Redirect your attention to where they are active and where you’re more likely to gain traction.

Three tips to remember

In summary, here are three simple things to bear in mind when you’re looking to get the most life out of your content.

  1. Reassess your audience. Find out where they hang out, what they enjoy and when they’re active online.
  2. Flip through content you’ve successfully produced in the past, and see how you can repurpose it, give it new life and help your audience in a new way.
  3. Refresh your short-term approach and let it guide your broader strategy. Make sure your content fits your core values and aligns with what your audience values – that will give it longevity and make it ideal for repurposing in the future.

This blog is the third in a mini-series about getting through the coronavirus crisis. The first post is all about checking in with yourself and your community, and the second helps you get creative and stay connected through this period!

All, Audience Research, Community

3 Simple Ways to Check In With Yourself and Your Community During the Coronavirus Crisis


As the world continues to fight the coronavirus outbreak, we find ourselves adapting to new ways of life and work.

Our routines look vastly different, the economy has plunged and uncertainty looms overhead.

It’s certainly not business as usual, so how do we carry on? With this new space between us and our friends, coworkers and clients, how do we work with and support each other?

By taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, and by connecting with others on the phone and online.

This applies to your business as well. At times like this, it helps to go back to your roots.

By checking in with what matters to you and your community on a personal level, you can better align your values with your business and network’s needs.

Here are three simple questions to help you pinpoint what’s important right now and provide your community with something they really need.

This blog is the first in a mini-series about getting through the coronavirus crisis. The second post is about getting creative and staying connected during lockdown, and next we’ll be talking about how to get the most life out of your content!

#1 What are my core values?

The first step to identifying your core values is to take a moment to think about how you feel. This might sound silly, but what you’re feeling – specifically the emotions you enjoy experiencing – will guide you and your business now and in the long term.

Grab a pen and piece of paper (trust me, it helps) and think about what matters most to you, inside and outside of work:

  • Do you value certainty? Do you feel completely lost without a clear plan for today, next month, next year?
  • Or do you thrive on variety, experiencing different things often and doing what you can to mix up your routine?
  • How about feeling connected to others? What role does love and compassion play right now?
  • Do you always feel the need to contribute and be a part of the solution?
  • Does your happiness derive from achieving something significant? Something that is respected by others?
  • Are you driven by growing, learning, stepping outside of your comfort zone?

In this list, of things that mean most to you and the emotions you want to feel regularly, you have your values.

Once you’ve established what you value, your priorities will become very clear. Because whatever pushes you closer to these positive emotions is important and helps you live your values.

The next step is understanding what your audience values.

#2 What does my audience value?

Just as your priorities have shifted over the last few weeks, your audience’s have too. More people are working from home around partners, children and housemates, and everyone’s routine is shaken up.

Engagement is taking a hit as paid promotions aren’t striking the chord they ordinarily do, and people don’t have their usual commuting time to enjoy an article or video; you can almost hear the collective sigh on social media as the world looks increasingly bleak.

That’s why now, more than ever, it’s important to connect with your community on a human, personal level, and not as a brand to a consumer.

People will remember you for putting a smile on their face with an uplifting Instagram doodle, or helping their kids learn about art or history while they’re not at school.

Your community’s needs look a lot different than they did a month, six weeks ago and so do the problems they are trying to solve.

This means your content and messages should take on a gentler, more advisory and helpful tone: people need a helping hand and guiding light during these unpredictable times. Take a look at our next article for tips and inspiration for creating content that can really help!

#3 How can I help?

We may not be doctors, nurses, supermarket staff, or an essential worker on the front lines, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help and make a positive difference.

Brands across sectors are changing tack to support people through this crisis. Even if you can’t mass-produce hand sanitiser in a distillery like Brewdog or manufacture non-surgical masks like sustainable fashion brand Reformation, you can still support your community by extending a helping hand, whatever form that may take.

Work-from-anywhere gurus are giving free consultations to help people adjust to a remote lifestyle, fitness buffs are leading home workout classes to keep spirits high and bodies healthy, and chefs are livestreaming recipe tutorials so customers can enjoy their food at home.

Some of these things are directly helpful to our lives, health and finances, but some simply make us feel good and keep us happy. Now is the time to think outside the box: how can you and your business help people get through this?

We’re all trying to figure it out. As we get our content marketing heads around how best to approach this crisis, we’re here to help you too.

Throughout April, we’ll be helping you come up with a plan for creating content that aligns with your community. Whether that’s experimenting with a new media channel or joining forces with another entrepreneur, the all-important first step is aligning your brand with what really matters to you.

It’s cliche but it’s true — we are all in this together!

All, Audience Research, Content Marketing, Content Tips

Leonardo’s Drawings: An Enlightening Exercise in Understanding Your Audience

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By the end of his life, Leonardo da Vinci had drawn thousands of sketches on the human body, horses, plants, architecture, engineering, maps, forces of nature – anything that captured his imagination.

500 years later and these drawings give us one of the closest and clearest looks into the Renaissance master’s mind.

Leonardo self portrait
A presumed self-portrait of Leonardo from 1512. He died in 1519. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

To celebrate his artistic and scientific achievements, the Royal Collection is showing 200 of Leonardo’s drawings at Buckingham Palace. So, as anyone on the other side of Green Park would do, I hopped on a bike and went to see the drawings in person.

After admiring the genius’ sketches and detailed observations, the biggest thing that stood out to me was how Leonardo saw and studied the natural world: he didn’t see art and science, painting and technology as separate spheres but as equal parts of the whole.

Which comes as no surprise then that he worked across sculpture, architecture, anatomy, engineering, geometry and more.

Leonardo even left his mark on, you guessed it, content marketing!

A Collective View of the World

By seeing the similarities in different fields of knowledge, Leonardo took a collective view of the world. He embraced correlations and spotted connections between things that seemed separate on the surface.

For instance, when it came to painting, Leonardo didn’t see it as merely an art form; he considered it a science. A painting he thought “should be a rational, objective depiction of natural effects.

Inside the exhibit at Buckingham Palace.

That’s certainly one of the reasons he obsessed over proportions, drew muscles, tendons and ligaments from every angle and described the movement of water in meticulous detail.

Through his drawings and notes, you begin to understand that Leonardo never just looked at something and jumped onto the next. He made observations in the context of nature and the world around him.

Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

His subject’s drapery is so realistic it appears to glide across the ground and the rivers in his maps seem to spread out like veins in the body.

The presence of nature is never lost in his art. The natural world, however, is what fuses his work together and makes his creative and scientific contributions invaluable, even five centuries on.

A Unified Approach to Content Marketing

As content marketers, our goal is to connect with people in a meaningful way. We want to share knowledge and expertise with others in hopes of making their lives better.

Everything we research, plan and create for a business is based on one thing – audience. Their readers’ wants and needs, passions and fears. Because the more we understand the audience, the greater (and longer-lasting) the impression we can have on them.

In other words, a company’s audience is what powers and unifies any effective content marketing strategy.

Your audience is to content marketers what the natural world is to Leonardo da Vinci.

Follow in the artist’s footsteps and think of your content, product or service and business channels (store, website, social media) as equal parts of the whole. They are all working to serve one thing – your audience.

This unified approach to content marketing will only make your customer relationships stronger. Because when you build a product that matches your prospect’s needs, create content they can relate to and provide a positive experience across platform, you are putting your audience first and giving them another reason to trust your solution over someone else’s.

Last Thought from Leonardo

Keeping your audience top of mind will also help guide future content creation and business ideas.

If it serves your customer, then it is worth pursuing.

Focus on the solutions that benefit your audience the most and organize your content and resources from there.

As Leonardo looked for answers in nature, you can find the answers in your audience.

All, Audience Research, Community, Content Tips, Marketing

4 Illuminating Steps to Listening to Your Audience (and Learning to Speak Their Language)


Have you ever traveled to a foreign city without planning anything except your plane ticket?

If you have, I bet you felt lost and a bit overwhelmed by all the decisions you had to make on the spot – directions, accommodation, activities, meals.

Most likely though you did some research and planning ahead of time so you knew what to expect. You might’ve flipped through other people’s itineraries online, picked up a guidebook or even started learning the language.

Prepping for a trip to a new place is a lot like getting to know your community’s needs: the sooner you begin immersing yourself in their culture, the quicker you will familiarize yourself with their world and be able to communicate with them in a meaningful, authentic way.

The question is, how do you immerse yourself in your community and start making connections with ideal customers? By following the four steps below and always adhering to the golden rule of research – listen.

1. Tap into social media

Whether your audience hangs out on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, social media is a fantastic place to get to know your community.

If you’re just building your audience, join Facebook groups and follow relevant hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. Chime in on the conversation and provide helpful answers.

Facebook group
Facebook groups are great places to listen to your audience.

As you interact with different members, take note of how they express themselves: which words do they use to discuss their frustrations and pain points?

Social media is a powerful way to see what your community is talking about. Be it their interests, complaints, hobbies or headaches, you can learn a lot from online dialogue.

This insight can then be used to create content that will resonate with your audience – that’s the goal!

2. Uncover keywords

While you’ve begun taking note of your community’s feelings, questions and remarks on social media, uncovering keywords people are searching for is another beneficial way to gather intel.

Using tools like Google Keyword Planner and Wordtracker (more on that here), you can see what your audience is actively looking up in your field on the internet.

Not sure where to start?

Begin with a few keywords (four to five) you think your audience is searching for then see how they rank in popularity and competitiveness using the tools above.

Remember: you want to focus on keywords with a high search volume and low competition.

Focus on keywords that are trending up over time.

Once you’ve eliminated any words that don’t seem to be getting traction through search, use the same tools to discover related keywords (this is a great way to come up with new topic ideas for blog posts, too!).

After checking the number of impressions these related keywords receive, along with how competitive the word is, you should have a short, solid list of keywords that your audience is actively using.

Before finalizing your list, it’s always a good idea to see how your keywords are trending. Because, you guessed it, you want to create content and optimize your website using keywords that are trending up.

With your golden list of keywords in hand, you now have a valuable understanding of your community’s search and social behavior.

3. Ask for and listen to feedback

When you’re living and breathing your business day in and day out, it’s easy to forget that not everyone sees your products and services the same way you do.

That’s why it’s important to ask your customers and clients for their feedback and opinion on using your product/service.

This precious type of intel can be collected in a variety of ways:

  • A brand or performance survey (incentives help attract responses)
  • Customer reviews of a product, service, experience, podcast or any interaction with your brand
  • Comments on a social media post
  • An online discussion like a webinar or Instagram Live
  • A client testimonial

All of these give your community the chance to open up about their perception of and experience with your business.

Using these different feedback systems, you can understand how others talk about your brand, what they like most about it and what they’d like more of. It’s direct insight that allows you to tailor your messages so they fit exactly with the needs and wants of your customers. That’s priceless.

4. Meet IRL

Now it’s time to close the computer screen and meet your audience face to face.

This allows you to physically be a part of your community and make personal connections that run a lot deeper than an email or online chat.

Check out an event or put on one yourself to build trust with your community.

Plus, it’s a fantastic way to hear what your audience have on their mind. Whether in a group setting or one-on-one, you’ll be able to hear the passion, excitement, distress or concern in their voice.

You begin to see what’s holding them back and pushing them forward – two important elements of creating tailored content.

So where do you meet your community IRL? Here are a few places to start:

  • Conferences centered on your field of expertise
  • Meetups in your area geared towards sharing and learning
  • Networking opportunities (alumni, industry-led, company-wide)
  • Events put on by you, designed to bring your community together

To recap: these four ways of getting to know and understanding your audience will make your content and connection with them much stronger.

In fact, immersing yourself in your community and learning how to speak their language should be the first thing you do before creating any piece of content. Because if you don’t know what your audience is interested in and looking for then how will you get their attention, much less have them visit your site?

That’s where tapping into social media, keyword research, listening to feedback and meeting people IRL come into play. Cracking into even one of these treasure chests will benefit your content and most importantly, build trust with your audience.