A successful content marketing strategy relies on good customer feedback. Without knowing what your customers want, it’s impossible to develop valuable content that generates brand loyalty and business leads.
The better your content, the bigger impact you’ll have on the bottom line.
In fact, 2018 study by Clutch revealed that 73% of consumers made a purchase based on marketing content they’ve viewed. However, for it to work, the study states that content must be considered useful and valuable. Enough so that the consumer feels inclined to further research the company and consider making a purchase.
So how do you gather the customer insight you need? Customer surveys.
If done right, surveys can bridge the gap between what content you already provide and what content your customers are looking for.
In this article, we’ll review some key ways that surveys can help you craft an actionable content marketing strategy that will put you well on your way to creating material your customers love.
A word about customer survey fatigue
The questions you ask on your customer survey are the key to getting to the heart of what you want to know. But it can be difficult to capture (and keep) your customers’ attention. One study reported that over 60% of consumers had abandoned a customer feedback survey before completing it. Therefore, it’s critical to keep your questions to a minimum.
Even if you do manage to get people to respond, you’re up against a phenomenon called “survey fatigue” which happens when people are asked for their feedback too often and from too many places.
Survey fatigue can affect the quality of the response as well as the total number of surveys you get back. It can also occur when a survey is too long or the questions too complex.
In general, shorter surveys are better, so it’s important to make every question count.
The right content marketing survey questions
Surveys that focus on helping you plan your content marketing strategy should be brief and include very specific questions aimed at helping you make decisions about what type of content to create and where to create it (YouTube vs. your own blog, for example).
We recommend starting out with no more than four questions that address four categories: content type, content format, content length, and content frequency.
We’ve included a sample question for each category, but you can change it up however you want.
Content type question [open-ended]
It’s important that you always start your survey with the “content type” question.
Sample question: What type of information is most valuable to you?
Content format question [multiple choice]
Sample question: What content format do you prefer when researching something new?
Content length [multiple selection radio box]
Sample question: How long do you prefer your content to be? Check all that apply.
Blog posts should require 5-10 minutes of reading time at most
Blog posts that are in-depth and instructional should require a minimum of 10 minutes reading time
Podcasts should be 15-30 minutes in length
I don’t mind the length of a podcast as long as I’m interested in the subject
Video length should be 1 – 5 minutes
I don’t mind the length of a video as long as I’m interested in the subject
Content frequency [multiple choice]
Sample question: How often do you want to receive information from us?
Once or twice a week
Never, I’ll come to you when I need information
Here is an example of the above survey within GetFeedback’s survey tool.
Other things to consider for your customer survey
While it’s important to keep your survey brief, the above four questions are pretty basic, so you may want additional information.
Here are some other questions to consider for your customer survey:
Content sharing: It can be helpful to know how your customers find and share content. To this end, you should ask your customers what platforms, websites, and apps they use to discover and share professional content (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.)
You may even want to set this up as a 2-part question:
How do you find new content?
Where are you most likely to share content with colleagues?
Tone of voice: While the tone of your content should match your company’s overall culture and identity, it can be helpful to know what people prefer. Keep the question simple—ideally, a multiple choice or radio box format which lists the style people prefer.
An “other” field can be appropriate here as well
Top resources: Most people have several go-to resources they use to find information. This is particularly true for certain verticals such as healthcare, hospitality, retail, and travel. It can be very enlightening to ask people where they go to find the most useful information in their industry.
The question might look like this (open-ended): Please list the top people, blogs, articles or other resources you use to find industry information (e.g., Inc.com, Buzzfeed, Healthcare News Daily, etc.)
Even with the additional categories we listed, your content survey shouldn’t be more than 7 or 8 questions.
Using your customer survey information
Once you get survey responses back, you can start planning your content marketing strategy. Ideally, you’ll have a list of subjects you want to address, an understanding of how to address them (e.g., infographics, webinars, blog posts) and what tone of voice to use (serious, humorous, formal).
Keep in mind that surveys are just a way to gauge what a select sampling of your customers want. You should continue creating content as you always have, but with a more informed perspective about what’s useful for your customers and prospects.
Taking the time to survey your customers, can help you create share-worthy content that not only positions you as a leader in your industry but keeps your customers coming back to you again and again for information and advice.
Learn how GetFeedback can help you create the best customer experience—start your free trial today.
About the guest author
Ryan Gould, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services of Elevation Marketing
An expert search, social and content marketer, Ryan leads Elevation Marketing’s digital strategy department, helping brands achieve their business goals, such as improving sales and market share, by developing integrated marketing strategies distinguished by research, storytelling, engagement, and conversion. With a proven track record of energizing brands, engaging audiences and managing multi-discipline marketing teams, Ryan is a respected expert in achieving consistent results through creative design, thought-provoking narratives and innovative problem-solving. You can connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.