Finding The Networks Your Audience Is Using

“The recent proliferation of media sources provides individuals with more programming choice than ever before. While some individuals consume media of a single type, others select a more diverse programming diet. Though scholars of selective exposure evaluate each type of media independently, the net causes and effects of media consumption may depend on the combination of programs consumed.” Devra C. Mohler, Doug Allen “The Media Diet Imbalance Score”

We couldn’t agree more with the quotation we borrowed from a great look at an alternative approach to measuring the impacts of the consumption of a diverse media diet.

You might be unfamiliar with that phrase, “media diet,” but stop for a moment and think about all of the different types of media you’ve interacted with today.

You’re reading this post right now, so that counts. You probably got to this post by seeing it somewhere else, that counts too! While we’d like to think that you’re coming straight to internet to check our site to see if we’ve updated our medium, we know that isn’t happening. So you’ve likely been to at least one or two other places before this.

The same thing is true of the people you’re hoping to communicate with using your marketing. We live in an age of media abundance. By one measure, the average person may spend as much as 58% of their time consuming more than 15 different types of media a day. (Louisa Ha, “Diversity, Convergence and a Balanced Media Diet in a Digital Age”)

(If you’re a visual learner, that might be hard to make sense of. One of our favorite graphical explorations of this idea is “Your Media Diet Breakdown,” by the great @sidneylimyx)

We made a promise in the headline, that we were going to show you how to find your audience anywhere, no matter what you’re selling. But we think that context is important to understand — because it’s why what we’re going to tell you to do next, works.

…and it’s why it’ll work for every product for every service, for audience, every time.

This is the same exercise we use with clients who having a difficult time getting into the heads of their ideal customer. It’s a great idea to try before a team marketing meeting, or even on your own.

Get Out A Notebook And A Pen

You’re reading our article right now, write that down. Write down how long you spend, and if you do anything else before you stop working on the computer, keep track of that, too.

It may seem strange at first to write down every click, video and website but after you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself reaching for the notebook much to the surprise of everyone around you.

Once you’ve collected a full day worth of data, take a look at where you’ve been. Tally up the amount of time you spent on each property. (You can sort your list by number of visits, time of day, really any way you find interesting.)

Easy, right?

Here’s The Magic

You likely spend a good chunk of your time on media properties that are too expensive for your company to advertise on, but as you look at your list does anything stand out? It’s quite likely that you spend some time on ‘niche,’ media properties.

Your ideal audience isn’t any different.

Measuring What Strangers Consume

There are all sorts of tools, techniques, and experts that are ready and willing to help you find obscure media your audience is crazy about. The good news is that even if those resources are out of your budget, there are a lot of things you can do on a shoestring budget.

Find a competitor with an established presence on the network you’re curious about.

Read through their content, look at what works and what doesn’t. You won’t have to look very long before you start to notice a pattern in the types of users who are “engaged.”

You can even use the techniques you learned in our exercise above to predict where they are spending the bulk of their time online.

Follow those users until you understand them. These are the people you’re trying to help. Learn to listen to them. Learn to respect them.

That’s how you’ll always be able to find your audience.

what do you think?

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