One of the hardest things about maintaining an effective digital strategy is being able to stay inspired and come up with fresh content ideas. This is an area that many bloggers and community managers struggle with. The amount of content you need to produce in order to stay relevant online is huge. If you’re in this position, you’ll know just how difficult it can be.
Luckily, there is a simple solution. Why not get your customers to tell you what content they want? Doing this has two main benefits:
- It takes the pressure off you and your team to constantly come up with new ideas
- It ensures that the content you spend time creating will be of interest to your audience
At this point, you may be asking yourself why you haven’t thought of this before. If that’s the case, this might be the answer: getting your customers to tell you what content they want probably isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you want to make this tactic work, you’ll have to come up with bright and engaging ways to get that information out of your audience. Below, you will find six suggestions to get you started.
1) Ask Them Personally
This one is so obvious. What better way to get a good answer out of your customers than by asking them in person? This will be easier for some type of businesses than others. If you’re involved in an industry where you come into contact with customers every day, then step out of your comfort zone and ask them face-to-face what kind of things they’re interested in learning about your business and the wider industry. Alternatively, get your customer representatives to ask the question when they make customer phone-calls, or add it to any customer surveys or feedback cards you use regularly.
2) Ask Them Online
If you are in a business where you don’t come into face-to-face contact with your customers very often, it might be easier to ask those same questions online. There are a number of different ways you could do this, but social media is your best shot. Try asking for suggestions on Twitter and Facebook, along with any other social media platforms you use regularly. If you want to give your customers a chance to respond in more detail, or even anonymously, you could put together a market research survey to send out via email or create a “suggestion box” form on your website.
3) Create a FAQ
Every business has a couple of questions that they’re asked over and over again. Set aside some time to take a look at these frequently asked questions. Once you have a list of your FAQs, think about creative ways to turn the answers to these questions into content.
4) Look at what they’re asking the rest of the Internet
There are many ways that people can ask questions online. Spend a bit of time browsing blogs in your industry and reading the comments, searching Twitter for mentions of relevant key words and checking discussions within LinkedIn groups. This research will help you find recurring questions and queries that are relevant to your business, which could lead to the creation of valuable digital content.
5) Use a Live Chat
Hosting a live chat online is a dynamic way of communicating with your customers. It can also be a great way to encourage them to tell you what kind of content they’d like to see online. Using Facebook, Twitter or Google Hangouts to organise a live chat and invite your customers to get involved.
During the chat, make the most of the opportunity to interact with your customers. Ensure you answer any questions that come up, and keep things as friendly and positive as possible. Later on, take a look back at the transcript of the chat and use it to inspire more in-depth content ideas.
6) Track Their Searches on Your Website
There is one key way that your customers might already be trying to tell you what content they want from you, and that’s by searching for it on your site. If you’re not tracking and monitoring those searches within you site, you’re missing out on the chance to find out just what that content is!
To use this technique you’ll need to install a search function on your site, if you don’t already have one, and start tracking what your customers are using it to look for. This data will give you great insight into what your customers want to know.
- Getting your customers to tell you what content they want may not be as simple as it sounds. However, it does not have to be complicated. In fact, you may find that your customers are already giving you this information and you’re just not noticing it.
- To make the most of your customers as a source for content ideas, make sure you keep your eyes and ears open, and take as many opportunities as possible to engage with them.