How to use audience signals
5 min read

How to use audience signals

Yo! Welcome to the next episode of The Content Strategy Reeder where 6,335 creators get better at content strategy and creation in 5 minutes or less.

The Content Strategy Reeder is sponsored by Alyce. 

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That’s why Alyce created the Outbound Love Playbook.

Warning! You should only read it if you want to…

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  • Build customer relationships stronger than Hulk Hogan in his prime

Ready to turn your marketing efforts into meaningful relationships (and revenue)? Grab your free copy here.


This week you’re going to learn how to use audience signals to nail Content-Market Fit.

But “audience signals” is a big cake to cut into on a Saturday morning (not that there’s anything wrong with cake for breakfast…), so instead we’re going to slice into one double-layered piece:

How to use audience signals to validate your decisions and inspire new ideas.

Without these insights, you’re left hoping that what you’re about to publish will land.

With them, and you publish content with Bradly Cooper level confidence because you know it will resonate.

This is the exact approach I used to scale Gong, my own brand, and every company I advise to become THE content authority within their domain.

In the next ~3 minutes you’ll discover how to use these insights to inform your content strategy so you can produce highly relevant and valuable content, plus you’ll see two examples of how I used it recently to fuel my content strategy.

Ready? Let’s ride.

Real quick, what is Content-Market Fit?

*Googles it*

Content-Market Fit is creating the right content in the right format on the right channel for the right audience (thank you, Kevin Indig).

I like that definition. Sits well.

To me, Content-Market Fit is when a creator — individual or marketing team — has figured out exactly what their audience cares about (topics), how their audience likes to engage with it (format and style), and where they like to consume it (channel).

I suppose it’s like knowing your go-to order at your favorite local diner. You know exactly what you want, how you like it, and why you like it.

Except in the content game, you’re the diner serving up spicy content and the hungry patron is your audience.

They show up, and you deliver.

Benefit #1: Audience signals validate your past decisions

A few months back my marketing team at Gong was writing an email campaign to promote our newest podcast episode. It was a bit of a test because we hadn’t promoted the podcast via email much.

As we were finalizing the copy, I had a feeling the biggest objection our reader would have is the time commitment because podcast episodes were much longer than our usual CTA of tip sheets and blog posts.

Add on that if ~50% of emails are opened on a smartphone, I knew there was a slim chance that they’d stop what they’re doing and commit to 30 minutes of content on the spot.

So I decided to add a final line to the email before sending it:

In a single line I cut the time commitment by 90% plus upped the curiosity by promising it’s a game changer.

After we sent the email, I monitored the click-through rate (CTR) and saw that it was in line with our benchmark.

This justified the question, “Will people click on an email that leads them to long form audio content?”. An important question for anyone who wants to scale their podcast using email as a promo channel.

But I still didn’t know if my PS line was helpful or if it was completely unnecessary (like a second piece of cake for breakfast that I’m definitely not eating right now).

Until I saw this comment on a LinkedIn post where I was promoting the same podcast episode:

It’s hard to read, but that little screen grab is the PS line from above.

Here’s our exact ICP saying that the extra line was noticed, it worked — and he liked it.

Now that timestamp tactic is confidently added to my playbook. Money.

But keep in mind, audience feedback won’t always be this straight forward and obvious.

So keep a sharp eye on your audience feedback, like what they agree with, when they’re confused, and what new topics they surface.

Which brings us to…

Benefit #2: Audience signals inspire new ideas

It might seem like creators that have Content-Market Fit are exclusively leading their audience.

But that’s an illusion.

The truth is, the fastest way to reach Content-Market Fit is by letting your audience lead you.

Because if you make listening to your audience a habit, they’ll tell you what they want — which makes picking topics easy.

Sometimes I ask directly:

Many of those 52 comments are people sharing why measuring success is so important to them and the challenges they face today.

These are incredibly valuable insights.

I used it to create a post that mentioned how I measure success to help give folks advice on how they can measure their content:

This post did well and again had a healthy comment section where I got more insights.

You can see how this forms a loop:

Publish content → listen to feedback → add new ideas to your strategy→ publish content → listen to feedback…

With enough iterations you reach a tipping point and reach Content-Market Fit. AKA content nirvana.

Let's wrap

“Social listening” has been around for a while. This is hardly a new concept. But the truth is very few content creators are diligent about it.

If you take the time to engage with your audience, analyze their comments, and listen to their replies, you’ll quickly understand your audience better than any of your attention competitors.

That’s how you unlock Content-Market Fit and become THE go-to source of content for your niche.

Holler at you next week,
Devin

Did you enjoy this episode of CSR? If so, you’d make me sing “HUMBLE” by Kendrick if you shared this link with your friends or on LinkedIn. Here’s an example from Declan Davey for inspiration.

Digital resources for creating prolific content

  1. You can catch up on previous newsletters here if you're in the mood to binge (scroll down to ‘Here’s what you missed’)
  2. Follow me on LinkedIn for edu-taining content on sales and marketing tactics and the occasional spicy hot take.
  3. Check out my video course Content Strategy for LinkedIn if you want to elevate your LinkedIn personal brand. Be sure to use discount code “CSR” for an exclusive discount.