Understanding our audience is at the heart of all good content marketing.
Fundamentally, content marketing is an exercise in empathy: understanding and appreciating the audience’s needs and providing content that they’ll find useful prior to making a purchase.
The better you know your audience the better you can serve them great content that nurtures them towards a booking.
You can use audience mapping exercises like this one to explore your audience’s needs at different stages of the purchase decision, using those insights to plan your entire content strategy.
Most travel businesses already have a fairly intimate connection with their target audience. Your knowledge of your own customers gives you an intuitive grasp of the types of content and information they respond to. You can supplement that with qualitative feedback from your sales and operations teams – what are the most commonly asked questions prior to sale, what are the areas of concern and other friction points?
Your website and other digital properties can yield a wealth of quantitative insights, too. Here are a few techniques to help explore your audiences and understand what makes them tick.
Low-definition: Google Analytics & social insights
For an extremely low-definition picture you can start with the Demographic and Interests sections of Google Analytics, but chances are it won’t tell you anything you don’t already know:
Your organic keywords report might offer hints of the types of questions your visitors are asking when they find your site, although this report has diminished in value over the years thanks to Google limiting organic keyword data. (To get around this, set the date range to several years to gather as many keywords as possible.)
Tip: Use an advanced filter to highlight keywords including question words – how, what, when, why, etc. These will often be ‘research’ phase questions that your visitors are using while planning a future trip, and might offer some good ideas for content topics.
Your social media properties might offer some new insights, although these are also fairly limited. Facebook Page Insights will give you some basic demographic information.
Keep in mind that these are people who follow your Page, not necessarily those who visit your site (much less book a trip).