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How to Use Surveys and Social Media to Increase Sales The new book 'Content Is King' unlocks strategies to discover your next best-seller.

By Entrepreneur Staff Edited by Dan Bova

Ivan Kruk | Shutterstock

The following is an excerpt from Content Is King: The Complete Guide to Writing Website Content That Sells by Laura Briggs, available now at Entrepreneur Bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Bookshop.

If you're building a website but are unsure of your audience/buyer persona, you can learn a lot about them through survey research. You can hire survey companies to help you get direct feedback from your target market and learn more about what is most important to your audience. With Google surveys and companies like SurveyMonkey, you pay a specific amount of money for each survey result, which varies from a dime to several dollars per survey completion.

One of the best things about not having an existing audience persona is that you have the chance to be creative. You can also tap directly into the market in real-time and build the data you gleaned right back into your marketing plan.

Related: Ultimate Guide to Using Shopify

If you have the opportunity to use open-ended questions in your survey, you can learn the exact words and phrases that your audience uses. Make sure your survey questions directly request the feedback and information that you need to build this brand persona. You can then use the responses to better understand these demographics and develop an audience content persona. If you have access to your target audience outside of surveys, such as people in your direct network, consider setting up customer informational interviews. These can last 20 to 30 minutes and tell you more about this person's primary concerns.

What Questions Should I Ask in My Survey or Interview?

Start with basic demographic information about your audience member, such as name, gender, age, location, where they work, job title, industry, and the biggest challenges they face. You might also add questions that drill down further into your specific business type. This kind of data can help you understand where most of your audience members share commonalities.

Related: Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing

How to Learn More About Your Target Audience Through Social Media

Yes, your audience is interested in solving the specific problem you're presenting, but they are also dynamic people with other interests and concerns. Some of those interests and concerns will be shared by a good portion of your audience. For example, imagine that your ideal audience member is interested in home renovation. You could make a reasonable assumption that they like HGTV or visit BobVila.com. That same person might also be interested in flea markets or other DIY projects. Adding these kinds of guesses is how you build out a more comprehensive version of your target audience member.

Something awesome about living in the modern era is that someone has probably already done the work of collecting information about your target audience. (We can save the privacy debates for another day.) Hello, big data!

Head on over to Facebook and type into the search bar "interests liked by people who like _______." Fill in the blank with the name of a competitor or another interest of your ideal audience member.

You'll get a list of information about your target audience members and other things they like. You can use this material to provide context and also to highlight those other details throughout your copy.

Let's imagine you're a closet organization company that found that your audience is also interested in home renovations and DIY projects. But your premise is that they don't know how to get started with organizing a functional closet. You might use that in a line of copy, such as "Keep your weekends for watching Property Brothers and let us do the heavy lifting. You'll head into each week with the knowledge that your closet is fully organized and ready for action during the busy work and school days."

That kind of copy is what makes your audience feel like you're talking directly to them. It works because you've done your research to confirm what they like and their levels of interest.

[Click image to buy]

How to Use Facebook Audience Insights to Learn about Your Buyer Persona

Facebook audience insights are tools used by online marketers to learn more about the vast data treasure trove that is Facebook. You can look at people who are connected to your personal page or all of Facebook. There is very little reason to look at the information connected to your page audience, especially if you have an audience segment of fewer than 1,000 people. Start by looking more broadly at all of Facebook and then adding differentiating factors to help narrow this down.

Navigate to business.facebook.com/latest/insights/people. In the interests section, type in your industry or other terminology people would use to describe your industry. Then narrow down by demographic information. You can gather a great deal of valuable data in this process. Don't forget to look at the lifestyle section of the Facebook audience insights to identify goals and challenges of your potential target readers.

Your copy should always be based on your UVP and what is most helpful to your target customers. In this chapter, you learned how to evaluate and describe your audience so you can craft copy about what you can offer to them. In the next chapter, you'll learn how to incorporate these elements into your content marketing strategy.

Related: What Are Million-Dollar Habits?

Action Steps and Takeaways

Determine whom you serve and how that influences your company's unique value proposition.
Think about brand value adjectives that can set you apart from your competition and clearly convey what's most important about your brand.

  • Survey your current or prospective customers to learn more about what's most important to them (or use social media).
  • Determine your audience personas for your business.
  • Define your unique value proposition.

Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff


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