A well-researched content strategy is essential for success – and social listening can play a crucial role in the creation and development of your strategy.
Imagine this: you’re the marketing manager of a travel brand, your website has just been redesigned, your blog is looking beautiful and your social media channels are primed and ready. In short – you’re good to go. But what should your brand be blogging about?
You could just make an educated guess about what your target audience would be interested in and use that assumption to create an editorial calendar.
But the great thing about social listening is that it makes guesswork unnecessary. It works by tracking and analysing social media mentions of certain keywords and phrases. Each mention is then assigned a media type – blog, tweet, forum post etc – and a sentiment: positive, negative or neutral.
So what does this have to do with content marketing strategy? Well, here are three key areas where social listening can be invaluable.
You have some personas, but they were put together years ago and, to be honest, you have no idea whether they were properly researched. Here’s how social listening can help. Say your travel brand specialises in holidays to Dubai – your target audience will be people interested in travelling to this destination. If we conduct social listening and gather mentions of phrases like “thinking of booking a holiday in Dubai”, we can find out all sorts of demographic details about the people making these comments.
We can find out what proportion are male or female, their ages and their location, down to city or town. So, if you find that lots of people interested in going to Dubai are female, aged 45-55 and living in Manchester, your editorial plan can be much more focused – not to mention your Facebook ad targeting!
Now that you have an idea of your audience, you need to know their attitude towards your product. Why do these people want to go to Dubai? What appeals to them about the destination? Do they have any misconceptions about Dubai that you need to correct? Social listening provides concrete numbers and proof points around these topics. So, if 70 per cent of commenters say that they love the idea of a luxury holiday to Dubai, planning content and campaigns around the theme of luxury is a safe bet. Much better than guessing.
So you know who your audience is and what they think of your product, but what do they think of you? Using social listening to monitor positive and negative brand mentions is invaluable, especially in an industry like travel where a negative review can be a deal-breaker. Social listening will tell you what proportion of people think your customer service is bad, or that your products are too expensive. You can use this data to prioritise and fix each problem.
You might also want to know how you’re doing compared to your competitors. Knowing how you fare in terms of volume of positive brand mentions compared to your competitors can be a great way to measure your marketing success.
If you’re keen to learn more about social listening, or any other aspect of content marketing that could benefit your business, Axonn can help.