We’re in the midst of a data explosion.
Last week at SportAccord Convention this topic was high on the conference agenda. Probably because more data has been generated over the past two years than ever before.
But how do you know which data is most useful to you? How can you get hold of it? And how can you use it to grow your audiences? This question is the focus of this blog.
So, with only a few seconds to grab your audience’s attention, here are 3 simple ways data can help grow your online audience.

1) Collect it

From web interactions to mobile phones, questionnaires to interviews, beacons to WiFi, there are literally hundreds of ways of collecting data.
But you don’t have to have a team of data scientists to hand, and here are 2 free sources that provide plenty of fresh audience data:

  • Google Analytics
  • Social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, WeChat etc.)

Adata-driven strategy is only as effective as the data used to shape it, and the key to success is being able to collect the right data. What do I mean by the right data? Data that can help you talk to the people who are listening.

2) Build audience personas

The only way you’ll grow your online audience is continuously to engage the audience you already have.
Audience engagement relies on having a deep understanding of who you’re talking to. What interests them? How do they want to receive content? On what platform? When?
In short: build an audience persona. Only then can you create content they’ll want to engage with and share.
And remember, don’t create content you think your audience will like. Use data to create content you know they will like. 

3) Test, analyse, optimise…in real-time

Data always allows you to monitor how audiences are reacting to your content so you know what’s working – and what isn’t – before making any necessary, immediate refinements.
The process of refinement isn’t just for future videos, blogs or articles. Existing content can easily be refined to increase its effectiveness. Next time you’re unsure whether to capitalise the word FREE, or if your ‘click here’ button should be coloured blue or green, look at the data – it’ll answer these questions for you.

Follow these 3 basic principals and audience growth will follow.

Final word

Don’t overcomplicate ‘data’. Focus on your organisation’s objectives. Lay simple foundations that focus on generating the outcomes you want; amplify what works and rethink what doesn’t.
Effective interpretation of data will grow your online audience, but you’ll need digital expertise, experience, and creativity to unlock the potential of this audience.
Here at REDTORCH we have a great team of data insight managers. If you’re keen to explore the potential of audience, we’d love to hear from you.