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Taking audience insight from AnswerThePublic - Sophie Coley at BrightonSEO Sept 2017

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Taking audience insight from AnswerThePublic - Sophie Coley at BrightonSEO Sept 2017

Sophie Coley, strategist at Propellernet, talks about how you can use AnswerThePublic.com to understand more about audiences, influence and your brand on the main stage at BrightonSEO, September 2017.

Visit AnswerThePublic: www.answerthepublic.com
For more on Propellernet, see: www.propellernet.co.uk
For more on Skiers vs Boarders, see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QyxfCxJJlE

Sophie Coley, strategist at Propellernet, talks about how you can use AnswerThePublic.com to understand more about audiences, influence and your brand on the main stage at BrightonSEO, September 2017.

Visit AnswerThePublic: www.answerthepublic.com
For more on Propellernet, see: www.propellernet.co.uk
For more on Skiers vs Boarders, see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QyxfCxJJlE

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Taking audience insight from AnswerThePublic - Sophie Coley at BrightonSEO Sept 2017

  1. 1. Sophie Coley PROPELLERNET Answering The Public: How To Take Audience Insight From Search Data @coleybird @propellernet
  2. 2. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO HAVE YOU EVER ASKED GOOGLE SOMETHING YOU COULDN’T ASK SOMEONE ELSE?
  3. 3. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  4. 4. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  5. 5. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  6. 6. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  7. 7. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO WE TURN TO GOOGLE BECAUSE IT’S THE FONT OF ALL KNOWLEDGE…
  8. 8. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO … ESPECIALLY WHEN WE’RE TOO EMBARASSED TO VOICE QUESTIONS IN THE ‘REAL’ WORLD
  9. 9. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO SEARCH BEHAVIOUR INSIGHT IS AN IN-THE-MOMENT, BIAS-FREE GIFT FOR MARKETERS
  10. 10. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO WE SHOULD BE USING THIS INSIGHT (BUT NOT LIKE HIM)
  11. 11. THE QUESTION WHEEL WILL…? CAN…? WHERE…? WHICH…? WHO…? WHAT…? WHEN…? WHY…? HOW…? ARE…?
  12. 12. THE PREPOSITION WHEEL WITHOUT… WITH… TO… NEAR… FOR… CAN… IS…
  13. 13. THE COMPARISON WHEEL LIKE… AND… OR… VERSUS… VS…
  14. 14. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO 1. IDENTIFYING AND UNDERSTANDING YOUR PUBLIC 2. UNDERSTANDING INFLUENCE 3. BENCHMARKING YOUR BRAND
  15. 15. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO 1. IDENTIFYING (AND UNDERSTANDING) YOUR PUBLIC
  16. 16. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  17. 17. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  18. 18. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  19. 19. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO AUDIT YOU AUDIENCE. CAN YOU SERVE THEM WELL?
  20. 20. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  21. 21. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO DON’T DEFAULT TO CONTENT. DELIGHT YOUR AUDIENCE. MAKE THEM SEARCH FOR YOUR BRAND, RATHER THAN ASKING GOOGLE FOR HELP.
  22. 22. SOMEONE WHO SKIS, OR… … A SKIER? @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  23. 23. A GUY WITH A BEARD, OR… … A HIPSTER? @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  24. 24. SOMEONE WHO READS, OR… … A BOOKWORM? @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  25. 25. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO USE LABELS TO FURTHER UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE, THEIR LIVES AND WHERE YOU CAN HELP THEM.
  26. 26. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  27. 27. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  28. 28. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  29. 29. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  30. 30. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  31. 31. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO IDENTIFY AUDIENCES WITH THE ‘FOR’ BRANCH. USE SELF-LABELS TO FURTHER UNDERSTAND NICHE GROUPS.
  32. 32. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO 2. UNDERSTANDING INFLUENCE
  33. 33. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO WHAT DO THESE PEOPLE HAVE IN COMMON?
  34. 34. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO COATS.
  35. 35. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  36. 36. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO REMEMBER: DON’T DEFAULT TO CONTENT. TAKE A STEP BACK.
  37. 37. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO WHAT COULD YOUR PR TEAM DO WITH THIS INSIGHT?
  38. 38. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO WHAT COULD YOUR PRODUCT TEAM DO WITH THIS INSIGHT?
  39. 39. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO IDENTIFY INFLUENCE WITH THE ‘LIKE’ BRANCH. SHARE YOUR INSIGHT BEYOND YOUR SEO OR CONTENT TEAM.
  40. 40. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO 3. BENCHMARKING YOUR BRAND
  41. 41. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  42. 42. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  43. 43. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO ARE THERE ISSUES THAT NEED ADDRESSING? OR SUCCESSES TO SHOUT ABOUT?
  44. 44. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  45. 45. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO REMEMBER: DON’T DEFAULT TO CONTENT. TAKE A STEP BACK.
  46. 46. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO WHAT CAN YOUR PR TEAM DO TO AFFECT HOW PEOPLE SEARCH FOR YOUR BRAND?
  47. 47. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO WHAT CAN THE PEOPLE DEALING WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS EVERY DAY DO TO AFFECT HOW PEOPLE SEARCH FOR YOUR BRAND?
  48. 48. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO HOW DO SEARCHES FOR YOUR BRAND COMPARE TO THE COMPETITION?
  49. 49. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  50. 50. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  51. 51. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO FOCUS ON THE QUESTION AND COMPARISON WHEELS BENCHMARK QUERIES AROUND YOUR BRAND VERSUS COMPETITORS OR GENERICS
  52. 52. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO REMEMBER: DON’T DEFAULT TO CONTENT. TAKE A STEP BACK.
  53. 53. “TRADITIONALLY, KEYWORD RESEARCH HAS BEEN PERFORMED TO BETTER UNDERSTAND WHAT PHRASES SEARCHERS ARE USING TO FIND THE CONTENT, PRODUCTS OR SERVICES YOU PROVIDE. BUT USING KEYWORD RESEARCH FOR THAT IS AKIN TO TREATING THE SYMPTOM RATHER THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.” STONEY DeGAYTER
  54. 54. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO THERE’S A PERSON BEHIND EVERY QUERY. HELP THEM IN THE MOST APPROPRIATE WAY.
  55. 55. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO 3 TOOLS (BEYOND ANSWERTHEPUBLIC.COM) TO FURTHER HELP YOU UNDERSTAND AUDIENCES…
  56. 56. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  57. 57. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  58. 58. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  59. 59. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO BREAK FREE FROM YOUR SEO BOX. SHARE INSIGHTS WITH THE REST OF YOUR ORGANISATION. HELP BUILD A CLEAR PICTURE OF YOUR PUBLIC.
  60. 60. “I’M NOT TRYING TO BE A BETTER SEO PROFESSIONAL ANYMORE. I’M TRYING TO JUST BE A BETTER MARKETER.” WIL REYNOLDS @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO
  61. 61. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO AN INCREASE IN BRAND SEARCHES AND DIRECT TRAFFIC IS OFTEN AS VALUABLE AS INCREASED RANKINGS FOR GENERIC TERMS.
  62. 62. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO LET’S BE BETTER MARKETERS, NOT JUST BETTER SEOs. LET’S MAKE THE EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND OUR PUBLIC.
  63. 63. @COLEYBIRD #BRIGHTONSEO ONE FINAL THING…
  64. 64. SEARCH: ‘DRINK THE SEEKER’ THANK YOU @COLEYBIRD @PROPELLERNET @ANSWERTHEPUBLIC #BRIGHTONSEO

Editor's Notes

  • Hello, I’m Sophie Coley, Strategy Director at Propellernet – the agency behind the team that built AnswerThePublic.com
  • I want to start with some audience participation! Hands up if you’ve ever told Google a secret; something that you’ve not told your friends, your partner, even your doctor?
  • My hand’s up too although I won’t divulge my secrets right here on this incredibly big stage. I think we all have. These, by the way, are some of my favourites – and it’s my suspicion that they weren’t voiced out loud!
  • My hand’s up too although I won’t divulge my secrets right here on this incredibly big stage. I think we all have. These, by the way, are some of my favourites – and it’s my suspicion that they weren’t voiced out loud!
  • We might have questions that we know are obvious, but we’re just not sure – and we turn to Google over a friend.
    Same goes for when we’re looking for moral guidance (that person seeking advice on the married man) or when we’re ashamed or seeking reassurance.
  • Remember that search insight is free of any research bias you might find in insight taken from traditional market research methods; focus groups or surveys. And it’s free. No fees for participants or research agencies. A TOTAL GIFT.
  • Not like this guy – we should be using it to make the lives of our customers and potential customers better.
  • So from Dr Evil to another bald headed fellow who I hope a good few of you recognise.

    I’m here to talk about Answer The Public – a tool I hope you’re familiar with (if you’re not, do check it out, it’s live at AnswerThePublic.com!) – and specifically, how you can take audience insight from it rather than just content ideas. It’s fantastic for that, but I believe there’s so much more we could be doing with it.

    A note on why it’s me here talking to you – as I said before, I work at Propellernet, the home of the team who built the tool. I actually trained as a journalist originally before lucking out with an internship in the PR team at Propellernet and 8 years later I’m still here, today as a Strategy Director!

    In my early years at the agency I was obsessed with using Google’s auto-completion to get ideas for content and campaigns for clients. Thankfully I work with some very smart cookies who were able to make my life tons better and simpler by building Answerthepublic.com. They’re also the team behind CoverageBook.com which you should totally check out if you need to report on coverage as part of your role.

    I worked with the guys to define what question and preposition phrases were included – guiding them on what I found most useful from an insight perspective. We now have more than 100,000 people visiting the website every month.

    So, I’m going to show you three ways to use ATP data to inform much more than content (and as I said, that’s not to discount its use as a content planning tool – it’s fantastic for that, but can be so much more powerful!).
  • They might be keen to push breakfast ideas out to acquire new customers.
  • It’s marketing 101 – know your public, or your audience, and you can build meaningful relationships with them, enjoying their custom for years and, hopefully, making their lives a bit better in the process.

    Nike do this really well, celebrating all different types of athlete in their campaigns – from featuring an athlete wearing a hijab to that crazy FKA Twigs campaign which championed those who don’t fit the traditional athlete stereotype. Patagonia too have done some great stuff around the environment and even employ a director of environmental activism, knowing that their audience are passionate about green issues. Clearly it’s more than a ploy to gain customers; it’s something the brand is built on.
  • So let’s take a grocery retailer as an example.
  • They might be keen to push breakfast ideas out to acquire new customers.
  • If we skip to the ‘for’ branch on the preposition wheel – and it’s this ‘for’ branch that’s so magical for audience insight – we start to see some audiences our grocery brand might want to prioritise.
  • At this point, my advice would be to audit the audiences ATP has thrown at you. Genuinely consider what you as an organisation can do for them in the relevant context.
  • If we skip to the ‘for’ branch on the preposition wheel – and it’s this ‘for’ branch that’s so magical for audience insight – we start to see some audiences our grocery brand might want to prioritise.
  • You want to be THE brand vegans think of when it comes to breakfast – don’t let them get as far as searching for ‘breakfast ideas for vegans’. How can you REALLY help them?
  • On the flip side, if you have some audiences who truly ‘identify’ – AnswerThePublic is a gem. Hands up if you ski. Now keep your hands up if you’d call yourself a skier? That’s the nuanced difference.
  • Lots of guys have beards, but who are the hipsters?
  • We all eat food, but some people consider themselves foodies.
  • Think about your audience and the terms they use to self-identify. NOT how others label them (that’s an important difference!).
  • Let’s run with the foodies example. I’ve just stuck the term foodies in to ATP.


  • They might be keen to push breakfast ideas out to acquire new customers.
  • What could Sherlock, Kim K, Kate Middleton and Olivia Pope (of Scandal) have in common?
  • Coats. Yes.
  • Here’s the proof. You can see, where we looked at the ‘for’ branch before, it’s the ‘like’ branch we’re focused on this time around. The like branch is invaluable for understanding influence. Straight away you can see the celebrities, characters and brands that are most influential in the coats arena.
  • Could they work a product placement deal with a TV show, or sponsorship with a celebrity?
  • Could they look at designs?
  • They might be keen to push breakfast ideas out to acquire new customers.
  • How much do you actually know about how people feel about your brand? You might be using awareness surveys but how reliable are they?
  • Let’s take [BRAND].
  • Remember that ATP can shed light on much more than how people search around your product or service… we looked at identity before, but brand is just as insightful. I’ve stuck [focus brand] in here – just remember to look at every spelling/acronym/nickname that your brand might have.
  • We can see X/Y/Z…
  • We can see X/Y/Z…
  • We can see X/Y/Z…
  • They might be keen to push breakfast ideas out to acquire new customers.
  • In putting this presentation together, I wanted to see what else was out there in terms of this kind of thinking around KW research and I was massively struck by this quote from Stoney DeGayter over at Search Engine Land. It’s so true. Reacting to KWs is like taking ibuprofen for a sore ankle. Going to a doctor and getting to the root cause is the better solution – as is understanding motivations, behaviours and attitudes of your audience and how that influences their online behaviour.
  • How rich could search behaviour data be to your sales team? To your product team? Your brand team? Even your customer service people?
  • Wil also talks about marketers focusing on being thanked, rather than ranked – something I massively agree with.
  • That token on your chair...
  • If I’ve got my understanding of the Brighton SEO public, beer is good. You can swap your token for a can of Propellernet’s very own ‘The Seeker’ Brew, just find one of my colleagues out in the lobby.

    THANK YOU and have a great rest of Brighton SEO!

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