One of the toughest things to do is to generate new content on a regular basis. The problem? If your content is too vague, it becomes useless. If it’s too specific, then you risk alienating parts of your audience.
Even generating ideas for content can be difficult, which is a problem in the modern day environment, as you need well targeted content to knock your audience’s socks off! Quality content is what keeps your audience coming back for more – and lets you build a long-term relationship, which leads to increased profits.
So, where do you find quality content? The trick is to figure out ways you can generate it – using surveys.
Why Use Surveys in Content Marketing?
Using surveys lets you mine your audience for information, which can then be used to tell a story. By having access to actual numbers, you won’t just be making things up – you’ll have hard evidence you can use to make your point. This will increase your authority. By having an increased authority, you’ll have more people willing to link to you through their own websites and through social media.
Another advantage is that you’ll be capable of generating content that is both unique and useful. It will be unique because no one else will have the data you’re basing your content on, allowing you to become an authority on the subject. You can then distribute this unique data in a variety of forms, which will get to later.
First, you need to learn how to use surveys correctly.
Building Your Content Marketing Surveys
The first time you build a survey to generate content is going to be a challenge, but each time you go through the process you’ll get faster while producing better results.
Before starting, you need to determine the purpose of your survey. It can’t just be to help you generate results, you need to dig a little deeper.
In particular, you need to look at what kind of data you want to collect. Generally, there are two routes you’ll want to consider. The first is to create a survey that’s based on your audience. Think personality tests, daily routines, likes and dislikes. These surveys help your audience (and you!) learn about themselves, then compare themselves to their peers. Are dog owners or cat owners more likely to be interested in your business?
The second type of survey you can create focuses around a topic that your audience is interested in. For example, if your business sells clothing, you might create a survey based around spring fashion trends. This survey will help you learn how your audience thinks about a particular topic and might work better for audiences that are harder to engage.
Survey Design for Marketers
The first rule of survey design is pretty simple: the longer and more complex your survey is the less likely you are to see results. However, the shorter your survey is, the less information you’re likely to receive. Thus, the key is balance – you want to design a survey that can be completed in a reasonable amount of time while still providing you with useful data. Brainstorm a list of questions relevant to your survey, then eliminate approximately half of those, leaving you with the best questions. Those will be the ones you want to ask your audience.
Once you have your questions, it’s imperative that you go through your survey yourself. Note any questions which might be confusing or if you get bored at any point in time. Remember, you’ll likely have more patience than your audience will.
Speak to Your Audience and Get Results
After you’ve completed your survey design, you need to send it to your audience. If you’ve built an email list, this is a great time to take advantage of it. You can consider offering an incentive – things like a 5% discount tend to work well, as do entries in a contest.
Now you have to wait for all of the results to roll in – make sure you give your survey a chance. Just because the first hundred responses say one thing doesn’t mean the next hundred responses will agree. Don’t jump the gun! When you’ve given your survey enough time to collect an appropriate amount of data, it’s time for the next step.
Generating Content from Surveys
Let’s be honest – taking the data and publishing the results in a simple list is probably not going to attract much attention. You’ve sacrificed the time to make a great survey, so don’t skip over the creating of the content.
Data is important, but only if you can use it to tell a story. Here are some content ideas you should consider in addition to your regularly scheduled blog post:
Visually stimulating and easy to read, infographics are a perfect way to give your audience a quick glance at the results. Have a professionally designed infographic with your own survey results will build authority while providing you with something unique to share.
People love video content – so why not use your results to create a short whiteboard video? It doesn’t have to be expensive, either – there are programs you can license to create your own whiteboard video. It’s a little more work than creating an infographic, but it’s very easy to promote and share.
A PDF Report
If you have an engaged audience that enjoys digging deep into data, you can compile a PDF report (like a whitepaper) referencing the data you’ve collected – and what it means. This is likely more appropriate for businesses that deal with heavier topics on a regular basis.
Create Your Content
Content generation is difficult to do, but it doesn’t have to be. By using surveys you can easily generate high-quality content – the kind of content that will keep your audience coming back for more and help you build a relationship.
You can become an authority in your niche and receive a tremendous amount of ROI – and it all starts with a simple survey.