Based on the readership data from 22 of our parent company’s leading niche publications, we’ve assembled Audience Snapshots 2022. Designed to help marketers make more informed marketing decisions and create better content for their niche audiences, each snapshot features a breakdown of the issues, approaches, articles, and keywords they engage with most.
But we’re not the type of people to just give you the data and run. What follows is a collection of explanations and tips to help you use each section of our Audience Snapshots 2022 to the benefit of your marketing program. So download your snapshot, and then head back here to make the most of it.
Top 10 Articles
Writing great headlines for your audience is an essential skill. Look down the list of top 10 articles and see if any you can decipher any patterns: Does this audience prefer headlines with numbers in them? Or do they prefer more jarring or thought-provoking headlines that leave a curiosity gap?
Beyond headlines, look into the substance of the top-performing articles:
- Are they long or are they short?
- Do they revolve around opinion-based analysis from expert voices? Or are they a little more concrete, chock full of facts and figures?
- Does this audience crave breaking updates from across the field, or are they more focused on tactical executions and retrospectives?
You might find it’s a little bit of everything. But by taking a keen eye to the top performing articles, you can better understand and reflect the sort of stories and tactics that grab your audience’s attention — and holds it.
2x As Long Stories
This section represents stories that users spent two times as long engaging with in comparison to the average story. Put on your detective hat as you parse through these articles and compare them to some of the Top 10 Articles:
What about the 2x as long articles separates them from the pack? Do they cover something particularly newsworthy or controversial? Or maybe it’s the approach and tone of the article that really hooked them. Do they contain stats that help the reader wrap their head around lofty concepts? Do they leverage charts and other kinds of visual media to keep the user engaged and scrolling down page?
Keywords Resonating Right Now
Keywords are an essential tool for any modern content or demand gen marketer, and are a pillar of any successful SEO strategy.
Assess the keywords resonating right now with your brand’s value proposition and differentiators in mind to suss out which your brand is best poised to address. In other words, which keywords do you have the authority to speak to? Who from your organization might have expertise in that specific arena? Can you interview them to showcase your brand’s distinct perspective and highlight your expertise?
And be sure to take these primary keywords and go one step further. Do your research to uncover the actual search intents and user questions behind those keywords to create content that’s a perfect match.
Once you have a good sense of the keywords/search intents you’re going to target, one of the best uses of keywords is in SEO-optimized articles for your blog.
Top 5 Topics, Issues of Focus, and Industry Themes
These three sections of each snapshot combine to give you a sense of what your target audience is up against today, as well as a hint at what they’ll be focused on well into the future.
Parse through these sections and supplement with your own expertise and research to determine which are big concepts right now, but will likely wane in importance in the months to come — and which are here to stay for years to come.
For the highly of-the-moment issues, do you have a highly valuable perspective you can get out the door quickly enough before it becomes “old news”?
And for the issues that will be of importance to your audience for years to come, put together a content strategy that plays the long game and stays on that particular “beat,” covering all of the surrounding subtopics that will unfold as the years go on. By doing this well early on, you can solidify yourself as an authority on that topic in your audience’s eyes — and keep them turning back to you for updates as the topic evolves.
And when you’re ready to really take all of this to the next level to own a wholly unique perspective in your industry, dive into ownable conversations.
Content Insights for Marketers
Within this section, you’ll find characteristics of top-performing content, top-performing content types, as well as approach recommendations based on our industry expertise and the picture the data paints when assessed as a collective.
Characteristics + Formats
You’ll find that some audiences prefer lengthy, all-encompassing whitepapers they can sink their teeth into — while others prefer quick-hit articles and lively podcasts they can consume on the go. Use these insights to not only make more informed investments in content formats, but also make more informed investments in advertising placements within our publications.
Don’t forget: it’s all in the approach. The earlier pieces of the snapshot gives you the “what,” while the Recommendations subsection gives you the all-important “how.” These insights will help you come up with angles that resonate with this audience, saving you time and energy from potentially misfiring in your storytelling approach. And remember: memorable connections — especially with niche audiences who have their own secret languages — are born from authenticity. Keep it real through every element of your approach.
Should you need any help using these insights to craft high-performance content strategy + marketing campaigns, and/or getting your content in front of the right people at the right time, we’re never more than a few clicks away.