Do you know your audience? We don’t just mean the simple things you can gather from Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics {though, those are great places to start!}. We mean, do you know the kinds of recipes they love, the places they shop and why they read your blog? If not, we’re here to tell you that knowing your audience can unlock an understanding of your brand in ways you might not have thought of.

First things first, what’s the best way to get this information? We love HotJar Surveys. There’s a free 15 day trial, and then a free plan that you can utilize after that time period. It allows you to build surveys that either appear as a pop up on your site {you can control how and when they pop up}, or you can provide a link for your readers/followers and have them access it that way. They provide simple survey formats and make it incredibly easy to gather results. Instagram Stories can be a great place to source this as well. Use the Poll feature to gather feedback on recipe ideas, where followers like to hear from you, etc.

What should you ask your audience? Besides the basic demographic information {age, gender, location, etc}, we recommend incorporating some of the following:

  • How do you learn about new posts from the blog?
  • If you were to describe me/my blog in 3 words, what would they be?
  • What social media networks do you like to use to follow me/the blog?
  • Where do you do the majority of your grocery shopping?
  • What recipes/content would you like to see more of on the blog?
  • What are the two most important factors when determining whether or not you’ll make a recipe?
  • What do you like most and least about the blog?

How can you use this information to better serve your audience? Learning about what your audience likes can be eye-opening. It not only helps tailor the content you’re creating to fit their needs and solve their problems, but also allows you to build a relationship with your audience where they feel like they can voice their opinions. This unique two-way communication is vital to cultivate and can be a great way to demonstrate loyalty and solid engagement. Understanding your audience can also help spur new content ideas. Maybe you’re a food blogger, but your audience wants to hear more about your day to day life. This is the perfect opportunity to test out some day-in-the-life content, lifestyle posts, etc and see how it’s received.

How do you communicate this with brands? At the end of the day, besides better serving your audience, understanding your audience on a deeper level will make you a better partner to brands. When engaging with a new brand, provide the survey data you’ve gathered in a clear way by sending a combination of quantitative and qualitative information that can help them understand why you’re a great fit. This could be things like where they shop or what kinds of recipes they like to make. All of these things help back up your pitch and lend credibility to your brand. It also shows that you have a relationship with your readers! We’re hearing more and more from brands that they care less about how many pageviews or followers you have, and more about the authentic engagement and communication that goes on between you and your fans.

Lastly, knowing your audience can also be very powerful in the giving you the ability to say no when something isn’t the right fit.  If a brand approaches you with a campaign idea that isn’t a fit with what you know about your audience, don’t be afraid to say no, or voice this concern and present an alternative way to collaborate. Brands will not only appreciate your honesty, but it could lead to further client work down the road that is a better fit.

At the end of the day, owning your brand and treating it like the successful business it is is most important. This starts with knowing your audience, which will help you create meaningful content that resonates with your readers and delivers on brand goals.

We’d love to hear from you! Have you surveyed your readers before? What have you learned? How has this helped your business?

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  1. I wish I had read this earlier before saying yes to some brands I feel don’t fit what my mission is!

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